It’s been a long wait!

@Fleura (6225)
United Kingdom
March 22, 2017 6:40am CST
When we moved to our previous house 9 and a half years ago, we invited the neighbours round for a drink, and they came, bringing with them a ‘house-warming’ present of a small Strelitzia reginae (bird of paradise) plant, about 6 inches tall, in a pretty pot. The plant grew happily over the years, first on a windowsill and then in the conservatory. I always wanted one of these and knew they take a long time to flower, generally about 7 years from seed, so I waited… and waited. After 8 years with no sign of any flowers I began to get houseplant envy, when I saw that my neighbours had put their plant out on their patio and it was flowering freely. Six months or so ago we moved house and the plant, now taller than me, was installed in the corner of the kitchen, getting in the way of everyone who tries to walk around the table. It has less light here but it’s a bit warmer, so maybe it was that, or maybe it appreciated more company, but whatever the secret it has taken us by surprise by finally producing some flowers! Apparently in their native southern Africa these flowers are pollinated by sunbirds, which perch on the horizontal spathe from which the flowers emerge. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that these plants are as common as muck there (any comment @Inlemay?) but over here they are still quite unusual houseplants and they have brought a welcome splash of colour to our mornings! All rights reserved. © Text and image copyright Fleur 2017.
14 people like this
13 responses
@Inlemay (17336)
• South Africa
6 Jun
It seems I did like it already but never left a comment - they are beautiful flowers
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6225)
• United Kingdom
6 Jun
Thanks - nice to see them growing in the wild though!
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (17336)
• South Africa
6 Jun
@Fleura they dont just grow in the wild, they are kept in pots and many Botanical gardens have them displayed as well
1 person likes this
@diosabella (4843)
22 Mar
We have bird of paradise here too. But the color is yellow and red. Yours is lovely, yellow and blue. As I know this type of plant needs a lot of sun to flower. I'm glad it finally bloom. Very beautiful.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6225)
• United Kingdom
22 Mar
Thank you! Where d you live?
1 person likes this
22 Mar
@Fleura In a tropical Country in Asia.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (55805)
• India
22 Mar
We have these plants all over the garden and they are doing extremely well Ours are hanging flowers
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6225)
• United Kingdom
22 Mar
Those are pretty. I can see the leaves are very similar but the flowers are quite different!
2 people like this
@allknowing (55805)
• India
22 Mar
@Fleura They are different but belonging to the same class I think.
1 person likes this
@topffer (30685)
• France
22 Mar
I never saw this plant before. When they start to give flowers do they have them every year ? 9 years is a lot of time but not that long compared to old varieties of walnut trees : you need to wait 30 years to collect the first walnut.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6225)
• United Kingdom
22 Mar
Yes I think so - I'll have to let you know! Hmm, I was thinking of planting a walnut tree. Not sure if I'll live long enough to make it worth it!
2 people like this
@topffer (30685)
• France
22 Mar
@Fleura There is an interesting mountain variety the "Gre-noble" (sorry, the name of this city is forbidden at myLot as a bad word) walnut tree, which gives walnuts after 8 years. They are "table" walnuts, good to eat but not for oil.
In 1938, the Grenoble walnut became the first fruit to receive the French quality symbol equivalent to the European “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO). This designation protects the name, guar…
1 person likes this
@PainsOnSlate (19223)
• Canada
23 Mar
Gorgeous...I've never tried to grow one in the house but we seen them while on vacation in warm and sandy places.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6225)
• United Kingdom
23 Mar
Yes, I've seen them before as landscaping around holiday resorts in Egypt. It's quite a lot warmer there than in our house!
1 person likes this
22 Mar
The best things in life are worth waiting for ... how pretty!
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6225)
• United Kingdom
23 Mar
Thanks! I'm glad I didn't give up on it!
@JudyEv (101135)
• Bunbury, Australia
22 Mar
They are quite common here but are always grown outside.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6225)
• United Kingdom
22 Mar
Yes I'm sure they would do well there!
1 person likes this
@Mila7272 (83)
• Germany
11 Nov
Very beautiful flower
1 person likes this
• Philippines
22 Mar
It's summer here, and for the moment our mango and moringa tree that's showing flowers.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (122261)
• Switzerland
22 Mar
There were plenty of bird of paradise plants in the garden leading to the Monte-Carlo Casino, the garden was called "La petite Afrique" (the small Africa). They had become very tall plants and I remember that the flowers lasted for long time. I have never seen them here, but I know they could not survive outside in the cold.
1 person likes this
@Nawsheen (22859)
• Mauritius
22 Mar
You had to wait for so long but i bet it was worth the wait...i love to grow flowers
1 person likes this
@Kandae11 (27099)
22 Mar
That must have been a pleasant surprise for you.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar
When I lived in Hawaii I saw thousands of them, never tried to grow one.
1 person likes this