STRELITZIA

Gareth in Leeds
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by Gareth in Leeds » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:18 pm

The cat says thank-you for the comment and he is now off to chew my palms.

Here's what I have found growing Strelitzias....
Starting with reginae:
my experience is that they prefer to be on the dry side, in well-drained compost, and in the uk, it's impossible to give them too much sun. (If you grow them somewhere dark, like the spare room, then put them out in the sun without acclimatising them, they will burn though.)
As for hardiness, they will take a little frost, but not regular frosts, and if they have a cold night, they expect to get a warm day (like up to 15 degrees C)- they just won't put up with being cold permanently, especially if combined with "wet feet".
The perfect location for one is in a very sunny room, or a conservatory.

The best way of stimulating flowers, amazingly, is to dump the thing outside on the patio all summer, give it plant food whenever you can remember, then bring it in for winter. (Obviously the plant has to be pretty big to flower though, at least 5 years from seed.)

I've had far more trouble with the 3 giant white-flowered species. They're just not as hardy. I've killed at least one of each over the years. They NEED minimums around 10 degrees C, with daytime temperatures higher than that. Mine used to thrive in a sunny conservatory, heated to 10 degrees... but soon died when I tried to keep them in a shady greenhouse around 8 degrees.
Anyone who has visited the temperate house at Kew can see the results of last winter's experiment they did to lower the temperatures in there: the giant white Strelitzias were almost killed outright.

But kept on the dry side, with these temperatures, they're easy to grow.

I've actually had problems with reginae Mandela's Gold, it seems like a weak-growing form compared to regular reginae, far less forgiving of imperfect conditions; and I've had a juncea for 15 years or more now, and it's still only a foot tall and not getting any bigger or showing any sign of ever flowering.

Which leaves one more to complete the set of Strelitzias: x kewensis, ie reginae x alba.

Has anyone round the world reading this got an S alba in flower, where they could donate some pollen? My reginae will be in flower soon, and I'd love to try doing the cross again.
I tried it once before, and even got pods to swell, but they miscarried and died.
Anyone out there who can help!?


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musa_monkey
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by musa_monkey » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:28 pm

I ran out of indoor space to store my Strelitzia reginae last year.
I meant to get shot of it as it always seems a sulky plant anyway.
Long story short i put it in a pot the garage in a dark corner last october and forgot about it. I found it last week and it had started pushing out a new leaf :shock:

Perhaps just leaving them to it is the answer with these plants :?
regards,
Alan


Steph
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by Steph » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:40 pm

Gareth
You can acquire seed from, http://www.sayers-strelitzia.com.au/
Mike K had some shipped, if I remember correctly.
Sometimes Jan at Minorgarden.com has seedlings for sale, which is where most of mine come from, well the obscure ones.
You didn't mention Caudata or Parvifolia either, though I am sure there are new ones being found all the time.
I also recall Simon at Amulree having Alba plants, but thats giving yourself a headstart on pollen.
I admire your tenacity going for pollen, not seed or like my lazy ways... plants!

Seeing all those flowers is making me consider giving mine space in the warmth of the house, warmth at this time of year is the difference between spikes & flowers.


otorongo
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by otorongo » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:43 pm

I've seen Strelitzia reginae thrive outside in the ground in Malaga, Madeira and Tenerife.

Someone has had luck growing it outside in London, with some dieback in the worst winters.

Plantfiles list it as hardy to 9b (-3.8 °C).

So not completely out of possibility, if you have a good microclimate and are willing to protect it.

Also, not terribly hard to find. They're being sold on ebay, both plants and seeds.

The other day, I saw a mature plant on ebay for ~25 quid that had 3 flowers on.
Last edited by otorongo on Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.


jezza
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by jezza » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:45 pm

What do you do with the spent flowers? Cut them off or leave them to drop off?


Gareth in Leeds
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Location: Really, really heavy clay. Leeds.

Re: STRELITZIA

Post by Gareth in Leeds » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:56 pm

Jezza, I just cut the whole flower stem off when the last flower has gone crispy.
Otherwise, sometimes, you actually get seedpods forming.

Otorongo... I am very suspicious of hardiness ratings. I agree that reginae could probably take minus 3, but only very occasionally, and only if day temperatures rise into the teens during the days. A week constantly at -3 would surely kill it dead.

Steph, what I'm getting at is that I'm after alba pollen to put on my reginae flowers to try to generate seeds to give us the hybrdi "x kewensis."
Have Sayers ever had x kewensis for sale? If they ever had seeds, I'd be the first to get my credit card out. I wonder why no-one ever seems to have re-done this cross since Kew flowered it in 1909.
I've got an 8' tall alba- but no flowers yet- and I'm not anticipating any in the near future.

S caudata was one of my early casualties... I got one, then murdered it owing to low winter temperatures, down to 5 degrees. It's thanks to Mike K and his seed-growing that I managed to replace it. This one won't see anything under 15 degrees now.


Libby
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by Libby » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:02 pm

Oh my goodness, Gareth in Leeds, I love you puddytat, anyone who has a cat is a lovely person :D I love the plant to, 'wow' is all I can say.
Question, I have had mine a number of years and they only have about 3 or 4 leaves?? I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. Any other suggestions, than what you have already mentioned?
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Gareth in Leeds
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Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:41 pm
Location: Really, really heavy clay. Leeds.

Re: STRELITZIA

Post by Gareth in Leeds » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:44 pm

Libby, my cat says thanks for your kind words- but I'm worried all this praise will go to his head. At least he's not as daft as his feline friend who actually sleeps in the big Strelitzia pot, curled round the clump of leaves, and gets covered in compost.

Not sure how you're keeping your plant- but give it your sunniest windowsill; give it a large pot (much larger than you might think- the roots can be massive) with well drained compost (I actually use 80% perlite/ 20% garden centre potting compost) now for a compost. Feed regularly all through the year (I use maxicrop liquid seaweed fertiliser). Umm, I think that's it.
Bear in mind they go into shock after repotting and sulk a bit. A plant with 4-5 leaves when small sounds about right though, it's only when they get bigger and start dividing into multiple crowns that they get more leaves. Good luck!


Steph
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by Steph » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:06 pm

Gareth,
Sayers is the place you may get some pollen from... and there are more types than you mentioned.
The other point is in the wild these must cross polinate according to circumstance, the plants just don't know their names in latin.


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kata
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by kata » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:41 pm

I thought they did one big flower not several,

Well done Gareth!

:mrgreen:
http://flowersnpalms.com/floraandfaunauk/

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jezza
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by jezza » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:55 pm

Gareth in Leeds wrote:Jezza, I just cut the whole flower stem off when the last flower has gone crispy.
Ta muchly icon_thumright


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call
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by call » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:05 pm

i must get one :shock: :D
callum
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zgardner
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by zgardner » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:55 pm

:DD
Gareth in Leeds wrote:The cat says thank-you for the comment and he is now off to chew my palms.

Here's what I have found growing Strelitzias....
Starting with reginae:
my experience is that they prefer to be on the dry side, in well-drained compost, and in the uk, it's impossible to give them too much sun. (If you grow them somewhere dark, like the spare room, then put them out in the sun without acclimatising them, they will burn though.)
As for hardiness, they will take a little frost, but not regular frosts, and if they have a cold night, they expect to get a warm day (like up to 15 degrees C)- they just won't put up with being cold permanently, especially if combined with "wet feet".
The perfect location for one is in a very sunny room, or a conservatory.

The best way of stimulating flowers, amazingly, is to dump the thing outside on the patio all summer, give it plant food whenever you can remember, then bring it in for winter. (Obviously the plant has to be pretty big to flower though, at least 5 years from seed.)

I've had far more trouble with the 3 giant white-flowered species. They're just not as hardy. I've killed at least one of each over the years. They NEED minimums around 10 degrees C, with daytime temperatures higher than that. Mine used to thrive in a sunny conservatory, heated to 10 degrees... but soon died when I tried to keep them in a shady greenhouse around 8 degrees.
Anyone who has visited the temperate house at Kew can see the results of last winter's experiment they did to lower the temperatures in there: the giant white Strelitzias were almost killed outright.

But kept on the dry side, with these temperatures, they're easy to grow.

I've actually had problems with reginae Mandela's Gold, it seems like a weak-growing form compared to regular reginae, far less forgiving of imperfect conditions; and I've had a juncea for 15 years or more now, and it's still only a foot tall and not getting any bigger or showing any sign of ever flowering.

Which leaves one more to complete the set of Strelitzias: x kewensis, ie reginae x alba.

Has anyone round the world reading this got an S alba in flower, where they could donate some pollen? My reginae will be in flower soon, and I'd love to try doing the cross again.
I tried it once before, and even got pods to swell, but they miscarried and died.
Anyone out there who can help!?


they don't need minimums around 10c,i have them growing outside in my mom's house here it gets very cold -3c,and they have survive,but they do need a winter to acclimatize...
And i have one caudata from mike k,that as pass to 0c...
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Gareth in Leeds
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Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:41 pm
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by Gareth in Leeds » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:06 am

zgardner-
It's hard for us all to agree on what we mean by a "minimum temperature" tolerance for plants.
I agree that most Strelitzias can cope with an occasional frost, but only if the day temperatures are then up around 15 degrees.
For the big white Strelitizias, 3 months constantly at 5 degrees (eg frost-free greenhouse in the uk in winter) will kill them, but a few nights at -3 outdoors in Portugal might not- since the daytime temperatures might be much higher there.
It's just not easy to give absolute rules when we all have different temperature regime... I was trying to offer a guideline for uk growers... which would be useless info for those in Southern Europe.

My cat says hi to your cat and invites him (her?) over to help chew on some palm fronds.


Libby
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Re: STRELITZIA

Post by Libby » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:58 am

Gareth in Leeds wrote:zgardner-

My cat says hi to your cat and invites him (her?) over to help chew on some palm fronds.
:lol: :lol: my cats do this too!!

Thanks for your help. I shall get it all sorted this year.
Tell me and I'll forget, Show me and I may remember, Involve me and I may understand

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