Skip to Content

Strelitzia Reginae Care Guide: Everything You Should To Know

Strelitzia Reginae Care Guide: Everything You Should To Know

Let's grow together!

One plant that’s sought-after by many indoor gardeners is the Strelitzia Reginae. It can effortlessly elevate the look and feel of your space because it is known for being exotic and easy to care for.

This comprehensive care guide will tackle all the tips and tricks you need to know to raise your Strelitzia Reginae.

Read on if you want to learn more about the exciting attributes of this Strelitzia. We also have various options for you to explore if you are looking to buy this plant.

What Is Strelitzia Reginae?

The Strelitzia Reginae is sometimes called Bird of Paradise, Crane Flower, and Bird’s Tongue Flower. It has grayish to blue-green, oblong leaves and is best known for its breathtaking flowers.

It is also a close relative of banana plants and can even look like it. The common name Bird of Paradise is given to this plant because it resembles the tropical bird called the Bird-of-Paradise (yes, it’s a real bird).

Aside from the beautiful flowers, another incredible feature of this plant is its large leaves that appear to be split. Splitting leaves on this plant is normal and is an evolutionary adaptation to allow wind to pass between the leaves. That way, the bottom part of the plant gets adequate air.

As a perennial in the Strelitziaceae family, this exotic plant thrives well near an east or west-facing window when grown as a houseplant.

Outdoors, the Strelitzia Reginae has a high survivability rate in hardiness zones 10-12.

Origin And Family

Bird of Paradise originates from the Strelitzia genus, part of the Strelitziaceae family. The swampy regions and plains of South Africa are home to this plant. Bird of Paradise has become a popular indoor plant in recent years, thriving in most households that give it plenty of humidity.

Joseph Banks discovered this sensational plant in 1788. The name “Reginae” means “of the Queen,” which is rightfully fitting because this tropical plant is recognized as the queen of the indoor plant world. It produces large midnight blue and orange flowers in late winter or early spring but can occasionally bloom when given optimal care and condition.

Where To Buy

Countless platforms are available to acquire the perfect plant for your collection, including a Strelitzia Reginae. You can get what you are looking for at local nurseries or online shopping sites such as Etsy.

Strelitzia Reginaes are relatively affordable, with expenses ranging from $30 for smaller plants to $50 and up for larger or more mature plants. Some sellers also sell this plant in bulk.

Strelitzia Reginae Plant Size

As a houseplant, the Strelitzia Reginae reaches between 4-6 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide when mature. This plant will look good near an east or west-facing window.

Strelitzia Reginae Care Needs

Your Strelitzia Reginae, like any other houseplant, will thrive when adequately cared for. With its breathtaking flowers, this plant adores humidity and wants relatively moist soil throughout the year.

You’ll want to water your Strelitzia every week. Allow ample time for the water to flow through the pot’s drainage hole. In terms of lighting, this extraordinary plant can tolerate bright light and some direct sunlight; however, it needs partial shade in the midday sun to thrive.

To ensure the survival of this ornamental plant, grow the plant in a container that can be easily moved outside in the warm summer months and hauled inside in the winter months.

Read our detailed care guide below for more specific advice!

Care Difficulty

The Crane Flower is often regarded as easy-to-care-for. If you are serious about efficiently growing this plant, ensure it gets the proper well-draining soil and light.

Growth Rate

Bird’s Tongue Flower’s growth rate is typically slow. Indoors, it matures to about 4-6 feet.

Potting

The potting material for Strelitzia Reginae should typically be clay or terracotta in most cases.

The size of the pot matters for Bird of Paradise, and you should use the large option typically.

Good drainage is another need for this perennial.

Repotting

To keep your plant healthy, it is advisable to transplant it to a bigger pot once it grows to a certain size. However, it’s not recommended to repot this plant regularly. It prefers to be pot-bound and is believed to bloom more in that condition. When the roots have cracked open the pot, you’ll know it’s time to repot.

Soil would likely lose its natural nutrient components over time, so instead of repotting this exotic plant, it’s better to add some standard commercial potting soil as it grows.

Soil

The Crane plant grows well in standard commercial potting soil. You can also add peat moss, coco fiber, bark, or perlite to create your own potting mix. This plant likes its soil to be kept moist.

Furthermore, appropriate drainage is essential to avoid fungal illnesses, root rot, and other problems.

We propose the following soil types:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.96
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $18.06
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $19.99

pH

You’ll want to aim for an acidic, neutral, or alkaline pH between 5.5 and 7.5. A standard commercial potting soil will have a pH level already close to this range, so you shouldn’t need to worry too much.

If you see some problems with your plant, you could do a pH test on the soil to see if this is the culprit.

Water

Proper watering is a crucial factor for houseplants. If done too much, you could invite diseases like fungal infections and root rot. Too little, on the other hand, may result in browning and undernourished leaves.

For optimal health, you’ll want your soil to be continually moist for your Crane Flower all year round.

I recommend watering it daily during the spring and summer as it quickly loses moisture through its huge leaves. Water it until you see excess water drain through the drainage holes. Ensure it won’t sit too long in soggy soil to prevent browning leaves.

Light

Coming from the swampy regions and plains of its natural habitat, this plant is used to receiving bright light and can even tolerate some direct sunlight or full sun; however, it needs partial shade in the midday sun. In an indoor setting, 6-8 are the recommended hours of exposure for your Strelitzia Reginae.

If the light is too bright for your plant’s liking or you left it too long under a sunny spot, its leaves will get burned, dry out, and droop. When this happens, move your plant away from the window, or use curtains and blinds to filter the light coming in.

On the other hand, if your Reginae is not getting as much light as it needs, it will bloom slower. In this case, you can move your plant closer to a window. You can also supplement it with grow lights. We recommend the following artificial lighting products:

Fertilizer

These plants are heavy feeders. Feed your Crane Flower to give it some extra nutrient boost. Use a slow-release fertilizer in spring. If you’re using a liquid fertilizer, feed it weekly.

Here are plant food options you can use:

Photo Title Price Buy
Fiddle Leaf Fig...image Fiddle Leaf Fig Slow-Release Fertilizer by Perfect Plants - Resealable 5oz. Bag - Consistent Nutrient Enrichment - for Indoor and Outdoor Use on All Ficus Varieties $9.95 ($1.99 / Ounce)
Osmocote Smart-Release Plant...image Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor, 8 lb. $24.17 ($0.19 / Ounce)
EcoScraps Slow-Release Fertilizer,...image EcoScraps Slow-Release Fertilizer, Made with Recycled Nutrients and Organic Matter, Covers up to 2,500 sq. ft., 45 lbs. $21.40 ($0.03 / Ounce)
Osmocote 14-14-14 Classic...image Osmocote 14-14-14 Classic Slow Release Fertilizer - 50 Lbs. $137.77 ($0.17 / Ounce)
Osmocote Fertilizer 15-9-12,...image Osmocote Fertilizer 15-9-12, Slow Release 3 - 4 Months, 50lbs. Bag $156.68 ($0.20 / Ounce)

After the growing season (during winter), you still need to feed this plant every month.

Avoid supplying fertilizers to your Bird of Paradise, as it may severely damage or even kill it.

Propagating Strelitzia Reginae

The Strelitzia Reginae can be propagated from the comfort of your home. Here are steps for making more of this extraordinary plant.

Division

A Bird’s Tongue Flower can also be propagated by dividing the clusters of stems with entangled root systems.

1. Dig up. Tap around the pot using a small shovel to loosen the soil, then gently pull the plant out.

2. Separate. Separate the stems from their natural boundaries using your hands. It may be necessary to cut the roots but be careful not to damage the main root balls.

3. Repot. Use smaller pots filled with the same soil they’re used to repot each section.

Humidity And Aeration

Strelitzia Reginae is an extraordinary perennial that loves high humidity. We recommend keeping the air humidity at least 50% for the best results.

Aside from soaking up water from its roots, your plant will also need nourishment from air moisture. You can maintain bowls of water nearby to evaporate, use a pebble tray, or purchase a humidifier that is more consistent in boosting humidity for your plant.

Temperature

Your Bird’s Tongue Flower will prosper in a warm area, so keep the temperature between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Like most Strelitzia plants, this exotic houseplant will appreciate consistent temperatures all year round. Avoid watering your plant with hot or cold water and keep it at a safe distance from heat and cold sources like furnaces, vents, and open windows during the winter.

Flowers

Try to provide the best conditions for your plant and keep it at its happiest, and you might be able to see significant midnight blue and orange Bird of Paradise flowers. You can expect to see blooms on mature Birds of Paradise. However, it’s usually between this plant’s 5th to 10th year. While you wait, its banana-like leaves are attractive enough and are an equally excellent addition that brings out a tropical vibe indoors.

When this plant finally flowers, you’ll start to see a spathe, a hard, beak-like sheath where the flower would emerge. It usually grows at a right angle to the stem and looks like a bird’s head. One by one, the flowers will bloom from the spathe. As it blooms, you’ll see 3 blue petals and 3 orange sepals.

Bird of Paradise vs. Bird of Paradise vs. Bird-of-Paradise

Not the tropical birds, but a similar-looking Bird of Paradise plant exists and is often mistaken as a Strelitzia. It is called Caesalpinia. While they look alike, their care needs differ. Strelitzia loves warm climates and humidity, while Caesalpinia prefers arid and hot locations.

Toxic

Keep an eye out if you have small children or animals. The Crane Flower is dangerous to pets, such as cats, dogs, and people. If the fruits or seeds are ingested, the following symptoms can be expected: vomiting, mild nausea, and drowsiness. This plant is not considered life-threatening in most cases.

Toxic To Pets? Care Specifics
Botanical Name Strelitzia Reginae
Common Name Bird of Paradise, Crane Flower, Bird’s Tongue Flower
Plant Family Strelitziaceae
Origin South Africa
Plant Type perennial
Leaf Shape oblong
Leaf Color grayish to blue-green
Recommended Home Placement near an east or west-facing window
Growth Rate slow
Light bright light and some direct sunlight; however it needs partial shade in direct midday sun
Soil standard commercial potting soil
When To Water Water ?MISSING?.
When To Fertilize every week during growing season
Preferred pH 5.5-7.5
Humidity Range at least 50%
Toxic To Pets? Yes – symptoms include vomiting, mild nausea, and drowsiness when fruits or seeds are ingested
Common Pests & Diseases spider mites, brown tips, white flied, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Overall, I would say that the Strelitzia Reginae is a disease and pest-resistant plant. Below are some quick remedies for common ailments and general suggestions to keep this plant healthy.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are a terrible but common problem, especially for Bird’s Tongue Flower. Spider mite damage will appear initially as tiny, brown, or yellow spots on this plant’s leaves. You may also observe stunted development or leaves that take forever to unfurl.

Spider mites are related to spiders, and they also spin webs (which is kind of gross). The prime difference is that a spider’s web has a pattern that’s more intricate and inhabited by only one or two spiders. On the contrary, if the web is fine, sticky, and has a lot of tiny red bugs creeping, that’s a spider mite infestation!

To combat spider mites on your Bird’s Tongue Flower, start by taking your plant outside and giving it a thorough hose down to remove the bugs. When you take it back inside, keep it away from your other plants until you’re sure there are no more spider mites left.

If that doesn’t help, neem oil, insecticidal soap, and horticultural oil are organic products that can do the trick!

White Flies

Whiteflies are tiny airborne insects that instantly fly around when a plant is moved. They are particularly attracted to the Bird of Paradise. They feed on leaves but seldomly cause the death of plants.

If you like the taste and smell of herbs, keeping them near your pest-ridden plant has an added benefit! The aroma of mint, parsley, and cilantro are known to repel whiteflies.

Managing a heavy infestation necessitates the use of a pesticide. Here are several popular Amazon products we recommend against whiteflies:

Scale Insects

Scale insects will look like lumps on the stems or leaves of your Strelitzia Reginae. These tiny bugs, which may come in green, gray, brown, or black, usually remain sedentary once they’ve latched onto a plant.

Using a spray bottle, mix a teaspoon of neem oil and four cups of water and spritz the plant vigorously to discourage scale insects from attacking your plant.

Neem oil and horticultural oils may not get rid of the pests but will undoubtedly cause some damage to them. There are numerous insecticide sprays against scales that are considered safe to use indoors.

Aphids

Aphids are tiny bugs that will eat the leaves of your Crane Flower, resulting in black and brown patches.

Treat an infestation by applying insecticidal soap or neem oil. Weak concentrations of dish detergent can also kill aphids without harming your plant. Choose a product that is free of fragrances, such as Ivory Liquid.

Start by diluting 1 teaspoon of dish soap in 1 gallon of water, then increase the ratio as necessary. Spray this solution on your affected plant, especially on the underside of leaves where aphids can usually be found.

Mealybugs

Mealybug infestations are somewhat common on Bird’s Tongue Flower. Act immediately if you find these little parasites (often identified with white puffs on the leaves) on any of your indoor plants.

Rub a cotton ball dipped in isopropyl alcohol over the leaves and stem of your plant. For prevention, neem oil also works well as a prophylactic spray.

Brown Leaf Tips

One common cause of browning edges on your Bird of Paradise’s leaves is a soil build-up of salts and minerals. This normally happens if you over-fertilize or you are using tap water that’s chemically treated.

Another cause of browning leaf tips is the lack of moisture. Boost your indoor humidity and water your plant properly.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves on the Strelitzia Reginae can be due to inconsistent watering, inefficient lighting, and lack of humidity. It might also be helpful to clean your plant’s leaves and remove the layer of dust that can interfere with photosynthesis using plain water and a microfiber cloth.

Yellow Leaves

Occasionally, you may see yellow leaves on your Crane Flower, which may mean trouble. Some of the factors that contribute to this issue include moisture stress, improper lighting, nutritional imbalance, erratic temperature changes, insect infestations, bacterial or viral infections, and a lot more.

To pinpoint the problem, you will need to consider any recent weather changes or how you care for your plant.

Root Rot

An overabundance of water, which leads to root rot, is often fatal for the Bird’s Tongue Flower. It is difficult to control deterioration once it has begun. Your best bet is to fully remove the root system and restart your plant as if you were propagating a cutting.

Of course, you can always take preventative measures to avoid root rot. Begin by providing your plant with a fast-draining, well-aerated soil mix. Chunky materials can be used to create air spaces and allow the roots to breathe.

Next, make sure to pick a pot for functionality and not just for aesthetics. The most vital requirement for houseplants is drainage. If your chosen pot does not have drainage holes, don’t be afraid to use your driller!

Finally, do not water your plant until you are certain that the soil is no longer damp from your previous watering. To check for moisture, stick your finger into the soil or use the old-fashioned wooden skewer approach.

Similar Plants

Inspired by Bird of Paradise? Here are some other ornamental plants you should try:

Money Tree; – This charming plant, with its vivid origin tale or stories, is an ornamental plant that is believed to bring luck to its grower. It is a lucky plant; you’ll get a majestic-looking plant with wonderfully shaped, vivid foliage and a distinctive braided trunk.

Alocasia Polly; – With thick, rippled, green, glossy leaves, this plant is another unique ornamental that screams drama. This compact houseplant is very recognizable for its oddly-shaped leaves and bright nerves. While not the best plant for beginners, you’ll get a popular ornamental plant that will spruce up your interior garden when you get the hang of it.

Hoya Carnosa; – This airy plant looks wonderful draped across indoor hanging baskets. Its long, thin vines are covered with porcelain-like blossoms that resemble deep-green leathery leaves. It excels as a vibrant accent and is the queen of decorative plants.

Graptophyllum Pictum – This bold and tropical shrub is famous for its vibrant chocolate-purple foliage. What makes it truly attractive and unique is the addition of the variegated creamy pink center that makes it a dramatic accent plant to add to your indoor garden.

Conclusion

The Strelitzia Reginae is a stunning plant and is genuinely adorable to care for. Your care efforts for this plant will be rewarded when you witness its breathtaking flowers unfold.

Can’t get enough of Strelitzia plant guides? Check these other helpful articles from Two Peas In A Condo!

Help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

Let's grow together!