Less Known Information About Heliconia | Learn How To Grow The Lobster Claw

Heliconia
Heliconia

Planning a garden full of mesmerizing flowers and exotic plants? Or Looking for a unique flower to be the channel to express your fondness to someone. Then you can’t miss this South American Flora.

Heliconia, also famously known as “The Hanging Lobster Claws” are a requisite for you to have in your yard to make it more eye-catching and striking. Having stems similar to those of bananas, this plant is considered to be related to the Banana family.  With its name being derived from the Greek word “Ἑλικώνιος”, Heliconia is an eminent plant in the cut flower industry and the floriculture. Their flowers are very costly as they can evade stagnancy for weeks by being in the water. So, you can put them in a flower vase and add more grace to your dining room. This tall, beautiful plant can easily captivate your attention and invite hummingbirds into your garden.

 

Do Heliconias like full sun?

 No, Heliconia absolutely hate direct and full sunlight. Some of their varieties survive and grow under direct sunlight but it is highly advised to keep them away from direct sunlight and put them in a place where there is no direct sunlight, where they have been known to thrive.

It is not a surprise as they are prominently found in tropical and subtropical regions and are used to humid environment. If your Heliconia is inside your house in a pot, try to put it outside in the morning so the plant can get the morning sunlight but make sure to put it back inside before noon as that’s the time when the sunlight is more intense and creates more heat.

Sunlight
Sunlight

 

Is Heliconia an indoor plant?

 Heliconia, also called “The Parrot flower”, can grow indoors in the right space and right temperature. Be sure to pick a place from where you can take the plant outdoor as well in the summer so the hummingbirds can enjoy its flowers. Some species of Heliconia grows up to 15 feet, so it’s suggested by many to put them in a large space inside where they can grow without any obstruction. Heliconia psittacorum is often suggested by many as this plant of the Heliconia family is easier to look after and also favoured by many birds due to its structure.

Note: When looking after a Heliconia, Mist your plant daily so the plant stays in a humid atmosphere and try to wipe the leaves with a wet towel at least once a week to keep the dust off them. Do not place the plant near an Air conditioner and rotate the plant once in a while for it to get as much light as possible through a window.

 

How deep do Heliconia roots go?

 A tropical plant like Heliconia requires just a little work to grow and thrive. If planted properly they can flourish efficiently and bloom in Summers.

While planting Heliconia rhizomes you will need to dig up a hole of about 20-30cm.

To make sure the plant grows you will have to create a mixture of manure, river sand with a spoon of any fungicide powder and the rhizomes will rise in no time.

If planting it in a garden make sure to plant it near other sturdy plants so the plant can enjoy humidity around it.

Roots
Roots

 

How long do Heliconia flowers last?

 “Roses who? Heliconias are the real deal”

Heliconia flowers as mentioned above, are very famous in the cut flower industry. Their flowers are expensive and last for about 3-4 weeks in water. Heliconia flowers exude tranquility and are often gifted by many to their dearest.

If you’re thinking about giving Heliconia flowers to someone special, then go for IT!!

 

Why are my Heliconias dying?

If your Heliconia plant is dying, it is possibly because there are few things which might have gone wrong when you planted them and overlooked them due to not having the proper knowledge about the tropical plant.

CHECK if your Heliconia is in a proper humid environment and not under the sun.

If your Heliconia is planted in a pot move it away from direct and full sunlight and place it under shade. Keep them inside your house during winters as they can’t withstand cold weather and winter is their dormancy season.

If these measures are taken diligently, your Heliconia won’t diminish and will move on to grow vigorously.

 

How to propagate Heliconias?

“It’s not rocket science”

Propagation of plants basically means, multiplication of plants or starting to grow a new plant from an existing plant. Heliconia propagation is usually carried out by dividing the underground rhizomes and planting it in a new pot. With luck and a little bit of patience a new Heliconia plant will start to grow. Propagation of lots of other tropical plants is done in the same way and has been found very effective in nature.

Propagation of Heliconias are suggested by many experts as it increases the growth of the plant.

Propagate Heliconia
Propagate Heliconia

 

How do I make my heliconia bloom?

 The Parrot flower can be considered the icing on the cake for every Gardener and anyone who wants their yard better and more beautiful than their neighbors. To make your Heliconia bloom there is only one prominent thing which one should never forget. Which is Wait. You have to wait for the Heliconia plant to grow properly first. Psittacorum can flower after growing for about 6-12 months under proper soil and good fertilizers whereas it takes much more time for larger species of Heliconia plants to grow properly.

Look after your plant and always make sure they’re healthy and growing and Voila! There you have it! A beautiful Flower hanging from your Heliconia plant.

 

How fast do Heliconias grow? 

They grow up so fast”

Heliconias usually grow very quickly under humid conditions and proper soil. They grow more quickly as compared to other tropical plants and lighten up your garden with their uniqueness. Larger species of Heliconias take up to 2 years to thrive whereas smaller ones grow in over a year. In Amazon Forest, Heliconias are said to grow more than 24 feets whereas, in a pot they can grow up to 6 to 7 feet. It all comes down to Soil, Environment and proper space.

 

How often should I water my Heliconia?

“The more the merrier, Right?”

Water is a requisite for this tropical plant. Heliconia plants require a lot of water during summer to bloom efficiently. Water them 4-5 times a week to keep them healthy. Even if your plant looks good and healthy, water it or else it won’t last long after being cut.

 

How many species of Heliconias are there?

According to the Heliconia Society International, this close relative of the Banana family has around 225 species all over the world but has been primarily found in South American tropical and subtropical region.

Some of the most prominent species of Heliconias are Heliconia Bihai, Heliconia Rostrata, Heliconia Psittacorum and Heliconia Acuminata. All these species are eminently found in Central and South American tropical regions.

 

Apart from their dazzling appearance, what are they used for?

Apart from dominating the cut flower industry Heliconia is very useful. Heliconia Rostrata’s rhizomes are used in treating jaundice and to control blood pressure.

It is also used as an antidote for snake bites in the Assam region of India.

Heliconia Bihai is also very useful as its leaves are used to cover roofs by some tribes.

The practice of Heliconia Cultivation also takes place in many countries around the world.

Dazzling Heliconia
Dazzling Heliconia

 

Heliconia: Throughout the year

“Bloom, Sleep, Bloom, Repeat”

Stays in the state of dormancy through the winter, this mesmerizing tropical beauty blooms abundantly in summer. It requires more water and care in summer as compared to winter.

So if you’re planning to plant them in your garden then look out for these important timelines. Keep putting fertilizers and keep cutting down dead stems so it can grow abundantly and bloom beautifully.

 

 

Do birds and insects like Heliconia?

We have become a fan of Heliconias and after reaching to this point of the article we are sure you must be feeling very intrigued by this splendid flora as well.

Apart from us, birds and insects are also a huge fan of the Lobster Claws.

Heliconia depends upon Hummingbirds for pollination a lot. Heliconias have bright red, yellow and orange color to attract the hummingbird and large flower tubes enriched with nectar.

Along with Hummingbirds, Heliconia is also liked by many species of Insects as they love to munch on it’s leaves. Maggots and protozoans build their homes in the Heliconia bracts in stored water and not just insects, their unique structure gives shelter to bats as well.

Hummingbird
Hummingbird

 

Heliconias And Decorations!

From putting them in your flower vase to transforming your garden with Heliconia to resemble jungles of South America. Heliconias have been known to be on the “Must-Have” list of every person looking to restyle their garden and home with exotic plants. When placed in a garden, can easily captivate your attention and become the focal point.

Not just house decorations, Heliconias are also preferred by women as well as they like to wear handmade earrings and necklaces made by the beautiful Parrot Flower. Many resorts at beaches offer these ornaments to their tourists to promote their culture through the flora.

 

Heliconias as a Coping Mechanism

During bleak times we often find ourselves indulging in bad and perilous habits. Perhaps, it is time to allow ourselves to let our guard down for once and allow coddling plants and flowers to become a part of our Coping Mechanism.

Nothing can give a sense of contentment and tranquility to you better than nurturing a plant and witnessing it grow in front of your eyes over-time and thrive.

Heliconias are quick growers and don’t take as much effort as others to thrive. Just a little bit of care and they give back way more than they take. Their fascinating structure and color can easily light up one’s life for sure. Even relevant research has shown great results and it has been proven that flowers can help you evade anxiety and depression and help your mental health exponentially.

 

Significance of Heliconia around the globe 

Among other tropical plants, Heliconia has a great amount of significance around the world. From ruling the cut flower industry eminently in countries like India and Singapore to being used as medicines. Given the significance of this genus of Heliconiaceae family, Heliconia Society International, a Non-profit Organization has been formed to cater to the evergrowing interest of people in exotic plants and to spread knowledge on Heliconia and it’s relatives.

Heliconia cultivation also takes place in many countries today to raise different Heliconia varieties. This shows nothing but the importance of this tropical beauty in the world of exotic plants.

With so many attributes and so many species, this Exotic Tropical Plant really stands out from the crowd. If you’re looking to plant it inside your house do  adhere to the instructions mentioned above to grow the plant efficiently and to also avoid the common mistakes done during the process listed as well. Heliconias are a thing of beauty and nurturing them will give back to you more and more serenity and contentment.

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