production and inhibit flowering. It is ideal in semi cool areas in the Philippines like Tagaytay,Tanay, Baguio and Davao.
. In their natural habitat,
thrive near rivers, indicating their need for abundantsupply of water, although they can withstand some drought. Regular watering is a key incontinuous flower production. On the other hand, sufficient drainage is required to prevent thesoil from being too wet or water logged which may cause root rotting. The plant may also suffer from flooding for long periods.
The plants grows well inwell drained, fertile, humus rich,slightly acidic, loamy soil,though may also thrive isvarious soil types. For healthygrowth, use a potting mix of 1:1:1 ratio of garden soil,compost and sand.For container gardening,establish plants in 6-8 inch pots.Use a humus or compost richpotting mix for healthy growthand water regularly.
A completefertilizer high in phosphorus isneeded by the plant for healthygrowth. Fertilizers (example is 10-30-10 NPK) are applied at about 1 tsp per plant every 4months. Fertilizers should be applied monthly during the flowering season.
Control of Pest and Diseases.
Strelitzia are susceptible to mealy bugs, scale insects, and rootrot. Regularly inspect plants for these insects. For repellant purposes, apply dilute solution of soapy water into the plants to discourage insects. For severe insect infestations, applyrecommended dosage rate of Parathion or Malathion insecticide.Root rot is usually caused by a fungus,
. To prevent this,provide ample drainage in soil or in pot and do not over-water. Apply a dilute fungicide drenchusing Dithane or Captan.
. In its native habitat, the plant is reproduced through seeds through pollination bysunbirds. However, since there birds are not present here in the Philippines, growers maypollinated them artificially to produce seeds through division of rhizomes or separation of singlerooted shoots to yield true to type plants.If pollination is successful, 60-80 orange fuss covered seeds are produced, contained in a seedpod. Seeds has very hard seed coat and thus needs special treatment to overcome seeddormancy. Soaking seeds in concentrated sulfuric acid for 5 minutes or hot water treatment for 30 minutes tend to treat this problem, though there are other techniques like prolonged soaking of seeds in a basin of water, wherein water is replaced everyday is also applicable.For rhizome divisions and single rooted shoots, use sterilized cutting or pruning instruments toprevent transfer of viral, fungal and bacterial diseases. Wash cutting tools in soap and water, andwipe with 70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol. For rhizomes, each cut section should contain onelateral bud or “eye”. Cutting is usually done after flowering. It is recommended to remove first thesoil around the base of the plant, cut the crown into several divisions, dust the cut-surface withfungicide and let the would air-dry for a day in a shaded area. Then they are planted in soil or in