Binomial name: Strelitzia nicolai
Characteristics: An evergreen perennial and a popular indoor plant. It is commonly known as the giant bird of paradise or crane flower. It has erect woody stems and large and glossy leaves. It can reach 3m if confined to a pot.
Seeds per packet: 5
Description: Seed can be sown throughout the year indoors in a mini glasshouse.
Planting medium: Seed raising mix (preferably organic).
Optimum germination temperature: 25°C.
- Put seeds in fridge for two weeks. This tricks the seed into thinking it's winter and will speed up germination when seed is put into warm soil to germinate.
- Scarify seed: nick seed with a sharp knife or abrade with coarse sandpaper. Not too much. Just enough for water to reach the embryo.
- Soak seeds in water for 24 hours.
- Create a mini glasshouse. Follow instructions here.
- Press the seeds into the seed raising mix. Space seeds about 4cm apart from each other.
- Put lid on container to speed up germination, as it increases heat and conserves moisture.
- Put mini glasshouse in indirect sun. Do not put in direct sun, as this will dry the planting medium.
- Put container on heat pad or near a heat source. Keep an eye on the soil and container. If too much moisture builds up, take the cover off for a bit to allow excess moisture to evaporate.
- Germination should be between 4-6 weeks.
- Gently move seedlings to individual containers when they are 3cm high.