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In the Garden: White bird of paradise
October 11, 2017

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White Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia Nicolai), stands out with its large leaves and exotic flower. It grows in a clumping form and is one of the most unique tropical plants seen in the Florida landscape. Resembling a banana plant, there is nothing formal about the White Bird of Paradise. It is often seen and observed within loose tropical landscapes.

The White Bird of Paradise needs a large space to grow and spread out since it can reach to over 25 feet high and about 8 feet wide. As it grows and matures the White Bird of Paradise will stand out as a major accent plant within the landscape. It is adaptable to growing in the sun to partial shade. Ideally it should be planted in an area free from windy areas since the leaves can get damaged creating an unattractive look. The flowers bloom periodically throughout the year resembling a bird with a cream like color and exotic blue tongue. Watering this plant on a regular basis is necessary to prevent drying out but it is important however to make sure that it is not planted in an area that does not drain well.

The White Bird of Paradise is a desirable choice to be utilized in a landscape for many residential tropical gardens. It is very common for homeowners to grow them in a large containers creating a nice accent within a pool area. However, over time, the plant will outgrow the pot and will need to be removed and planted in the ground. Given enough space the White Bird can be used as a specimen plant in the yard or even planted for privacy. Overall, the White Bird of Paradise is a unique tropical plant, relatively low in maintenance, and adds to the tropical look and feel that many homeowners and gardeners desire in their landscape.

This column is a joint effort by all at In The Garden, Sanibel's local garden center located at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, Florida.

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