Caring for your Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) Flower

The Bird of Paradise bud reveals one floret at a time as it matures on the plant. This distinctive and complex flower lies hidden in a beak-like sheath that protects each floret as it matures. The flower has curves, angles and contrasting colours that creates a unique, artistic creation of nature. Within the bud sheath, there are more than one floret, the number varies, between 4 and six florets, depending on the maturity of the mother plant.

In our shop, your florist has carefully re-hydrated the flowers by plunging the flower in tepid water (between 29° C and 37° C).

However, once cut, the exotic brilliant orange and blue flower may need a little careful assistance.

 Opening the bud to reveal the Splendour

  • To open the flower, ‘unzip’ the stringy material that is holding the sheath closed from the stem to the tip.
  • If the seam is missing, insert your fore finger at the stem end and slowly ease out towards the point.
  • Apply just enough pressure on the sheath for it to open, just barely. Let the weight of the flower do the work of pushing open the sheath until it is wide enough to get your finger inside.
  • Insert your fingers in the sheath’s opening and gently widen it further, enough to fully see the flower.
  • Gently hook the finger under and lift the top floret and carefully pull it up through the opening.
  • Release the floret gently in the direction of the green stalk.
  • Once the flower is upright, straighten, unfold, and separate each piece if needed.
  • Repeat with each stem if necessary.
  • You are now ready to enjoy the bloom.
  • When the above floret dies, repeat the process, one bloom at a time to keep the natural look, until there are none left in the sheath.

 

Caring for the Flowers

Given the right care, your cut Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) flower can last for over a week. Proper care includes:

  • Follow the instructions on the flower food provided. It contains antibacterial and acidifying chemicals that keep the water clean and carbohydrates that feed the flowers.
  • Empty the vase every three days, cleaning it with a mild dish detergent and rinse it with clean water. Refill the vase with warm water and add the second sachet of flower food.
  • Cut the stem back by 1.5cm and return to the fresh water in the cleaned vase in the previous step. This cutting removes any damaged tissue to allow the stems to take up the water more easily
  • Display the flowers out of direct sunlight in a place that stays above 15° C