Bird of Pardise Strelitzia reginae

andrew78(6)November 12, 2011

Hi everyone,

I know i don't usually post on this forum but today I had an exciting discovery. My BOP that I have now had for 3 years is blooming!

I bought this 3 years ago from a local greenhouse/produce stand. The reason I decided to buy this one was because it was all ready blooming. I bought my very first BOP years ago from Scottsdale, AZ. When I got this one, it was small. IT was maybe a foot tall and had 3 or 4 suckers. According to the tag that came with it, it said it would bloom the next season.

I kept that BOP for many years, until finally I decided to give up on it. IT had doubled in the amount of suckers and the leaves were over 2ft long.

I fed it and cared for it the same as the BOP I have now. This BOP that is blooming only blooms in the fall and that's it. When I bought it, it was summer time and the grower had it blooming in his greenhouse.

My questions for the forum are..Why isn't it suckering freely for me? I did repot it 1x but I only moved it to a pot that was an inch larger in height and circumference. I was told that they like to be root bound. Also, why can I not get it to bloom more often?

I really shouldn't complain since it took me over 15 years to get to where I am now. I just want it to grow more and also bloom more. Right now I only have 2 flowers on it.

Thanks guys,


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ANDREW!!! Hi. How are you???? It's been a long time.

Congrats! Any pictures?

Wish I had an answer why your BOP doesn't have pups, unless they'll appear now that it's in bud? A guess.

BOP's are related to Musa Banana. Bananas pup before flower/fruit. Not all species, but some. Reds take forever.

It's true Birds are more likely to flower when potted plant has 'X' amount of leaves, (7) maturity and rootbound. In-ground 3-4 years..

Both of my BOP's are old and large, yet no pups either.

A great question.

Why do they not flower more? Because you don't live in Fl, and your Birds are in conainers, indoors during winter.

Don't be hasty cutting off bloom stalk. Let it be. I'm so happy for you Andrew....Toni

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 4:01PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Andrew,

Congratulations of your BOP blooming!!! : )

What a wonderful feeling to have this beauty for so long and finally see it bloom!

Hope all is well with you and that your feeling better!!

Take care,

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 9:03PM
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Hey Andrew!!! Congrats! Yet another plant you and I are in love with! I have one and just can not get it to bloom.:-(
By the way, I have been a bit terrible on my e-mail, but I will get back to you before this day is over!:-)
I hope things are better for you. You are in my thoughts buddy.

Laura! Hello.

Now there is another plant you need.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 9:50PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Andrew,

Hope u are doing well!!!

Hi Mike,

LOL...I had one around 10 years ago and it didnt bloom for me either!!!

I think i will let Andrew share his pictures of his, since they dont do well for me!!! : )

Please post some pics of this beauty ANdrew when you feel better!!!

Take care,

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 3:40PM
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Hello everyone,
So sorry I have been lazy with responding to this thread. I hope you all haven't lost interest yet. I had my 2nd back surgery on the 15th and I am still recovering. I was told that I couldn't ride in a car for 1 week and not drive for 2. Well last night it was just getting to me too muc hand I had to get out of the house!! I have to admit, I had good intentions to begin with....a short ride to Walmart where I was just going to stay in the car but then we ended up going to a friends house which really was only about 10 minutes further away from Walmart. We went in and hung out for about 45 minutes.

I had a heck of a time trying to fall asleep last night. For some reason not only was I really sore(more so than I had been) but the skin around the incisions felt like it was going to tear open! So, around 7:30am I went intothe bathroom and took a peak in the mirror. I couldn't believe it! It looks like I have a goose egg the size of an orange! It's right on the upper incision. So now I know I over did it and I will have to really lie low until this swelling goes down.

All of you guys are awesome people and truly great friends of mine. I just felt bad because I asked for help and your opinions and I didn't want any of you to think I didn't give a crap to check back and see what you all had posted.

Hello Toni,
Wow I have missed you!! I will get a picture this time around. I promise! Right now the spikes are still small...under 6 inches. They are growing pretty fast now though and I also noticed that the tips of the actual buds are a bright orange which is a good sign that all is well! I mention this because last year my BOP produced 2 spikes but then right before the buds opened, something happened and the buds aborted:(

I also wanted to tell you that the original BOP that I got my rhizome from blooms at least 5 or 6 times a year. Now, they also put them outdoors in the spring and leave them there pretty much until fall. Sometimes I have seen them back in the shop by the cash registers. Now how's that for advertising!!

Now I know that my BOP would flower more BUT each rhozime will only produce 2 flower spikes(at the size mine is anyhow), so until mine gets larger or produces more offsets, I sadly wont see anymore flower spikes. I know I know, I should just be greatfull and I am trust me! It took me MANY years to get to this point!

HEllo Mr. Mike!
Please never feel bad for not getting right back to me! You and I are in similiar boats right now and trust me, I know how it feels! Look how long it took me to repond to my own posting LOL!! I would be willing to bet money on this...if you were to come across a blooming BOP and you were able to get it, you would be able to get it to rebloom with no problems!!
That's how it was for me anyhow! Now I did mention to Toni that I lost the flowers last year but that was the one and only time that ever happened. When I bought mine I want to say it was somewhere around the summer months of June, July or August. It was at it's full glory right then. Those flowers were spectacular and I couldn't believe how long they lasted! I want to say it was either close to a month or just over a month. Anyhow, after it finnished blooming, I put it oudoors in full sun. I fertilized it with a fert that I had that was comparable to a fert that you would use for banana trees..Toni also had mentioned this to me before..THANKS TONI! Anyhow, that fert was a slow release and then I also gave it the FP. I brought it in for the fall and within a month or 2 guess what! MORE BLOOMS!!

I really want to see you succeed with a BOP Mike(all of you, Toni and Laura!). They are so rewarding to me. The tropical foliage is great to have during the cold bleak winter months. If you could find one, BUY IT! I know your going to say that it is a space issue...totally understandable so you know what you do then? Throw out the dud(LMAO!)!! Yeah I know it isn't always easy to do. I had my 1st BOP for well over 10 years and honestly, I got to the point where I started getting angry. I knew I was doing everything right and to see it not blooming, it just made me dissapointed and angry.
If you really want one Mike, I can help you locate one. Take care and please take care of that foot!

Hi Laura,
Like I mentioned above, I will get a picture of it now and then I will get pics of it blooming. Have you ever seen any BOP at your garden centers? I know it would be too cold for them there to live year round. I don't even think they would survive if you protected them with those heat cables.

Again, just like I told Mike the secret(to me anyhow) is finding one that is blooming. I will NEVER waste my money(and sanity..LMAO!) on buying a BOP from a grocery store, or anywhere unless it was blooming. I went to Potratz in Erie PA, which is this AWESOME humungous garden center, nursery. They carry all kinds of cool tropicals. In fact, they will even special order just about anything I want for me. One time I was out there and they had an awesome BOP. IT probobly had 6 or 7 rhizomes in one pot. The BOP stood at around 5ft tall. I knew that I didn't have to check out the price tag, I knew they were going to charge an arm and a leg....the price? $300!!!!!!! I couldn't freakin believe it! I thought "Are you kidding me?!" Thankfully I found mine about a year or so later.

Thanks again guys for helping me out.
Take care and as soon as this swelling goes down, I promise to get a pic.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 1:38PM
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Andrew, WTH!!! Did the lump appear last night? Could it be an abscess? Don't want to frighten you, but you should have it checked out. Do you have a fever???

Did the lump go down, the same or larger?
Andrew, you really should phone your doc. Especially if you have a fever and/or the lump didn't decrease in size.

If you don't mind me asking, what type of surgery did they do? Disc problems again??? Damn things!


As much as I like talking plants, I keep thinking about your back. Lord have Mercy.

You've said, several times, get a BOP that has bloomed. Not an easy task..especially, when, like me, most of my plants are bought on the small side. lol

Space. You kidding? I have both S. nicolai and S. reginae. One is about 20 yrs, the other 15. None flowered. Boo hoo.

I can't wait to see your pictures, but if it requires standing/bending, please wait..There's no rush.

Andrew, I know this is a plant forum, but please take care of yourself. Believe me, I know how it is..
BTW, are your stitches staples or thread? OUCH for either.

Write when you can..hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 6:31PM
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Hi Toni,
Your so awesome! It means the world to me to have friends like you guys that care so much! Especially when none of us have ever met each other face to face.

i did think I was running a fever but no, I am 98.6. Ofcourse you can ask me what my surgery was for. I had back surgery 2 years ago to replace my L-4 L-5 disc. I still suffered after that procedure but it really wasn't too bad until this summer. I would say around July or Aug, I noticed some really scarey numbing in my left foot and I told myself I was going to try P/T and excersize first before I called the neurosurgeon. The problem was it advanced so fast, I couldn't handle it. The numbing had spread up my leg into my hip. One morning I woke up and my entire leg was numb. That was it...I calleed the nuerosurgeon and got right in.

To make a very long story short, 2 years ago I had that disc replaced. At the time, they didn't find it necessary to put a cage, screws, and rods in to support that new disc. The neurosurgeon told me that it isn't always necessary and he had told me that many of his patients were fine without needing it. What really upset me thought was that if he had put that in when he had replaced that disc I probobly wouldn't have needed this 2nd surgery!!

Now, they did find another disc L-5, S-1 was herniated and the doc said that this could be a source for my pain I was experiencing this summer(please pardon my spelling errors. I am VERy sleep deprived today and my pai n medicine is just kicking in right now making me even more loopy..LOL!).

The doc told me that this procedure would hopefully help alleviate most of the pain by adding support to the artificial disc. Also this surgery was supposed to help alleviate the pain with the L5 S1 disc.

Now, the swelling I had today is still there BUT it is going down. I know that it was my fault. THe doc's orders were to not drive for 2 weeks and not to ride in a car for the first week. I broke the riding in car request last night. I just was going stir crazy Toni and I had to get out.

I really aprreciate the concern but there is no fever. The incision isn't infected, in fact I was on keflex 600 mg 4x's a day for the first 3 days. Thankfully I have a nurse for a mother and she has been very helpfull lately.

How large is your S.nicolai? Is this the very tall variety that bears the white and blue flowers? I saw this in Tampa 2 years ago. I want to say it was around 18ft tall.

If you could find a flowering S. reginae, would you consider throwing out yours that isn't blooming? IF mine EVER produces offsets, I would send you one. Your such an awesome person! I really need to go to hamlets(where I bought my blooming BOP) and see what they still have.

FYI, I did get pics tonight. Now I just need to get them posted. I have them on my IPAD but I have to go to Tim Horton's so I can use there WIFI...I know I can get it here, I'm just lazy...LOL!

BTW...I did show you the pics of it blooming 2 years ago right?

Take care, and I am off to bed now. Meds are in full effect..LMAO!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 9:04PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew....

What the heck are you doing?

Toni had it right!!! WTH... Please call the doctor if it doesnt go down by morning ...This is something that you dont want to mess with....

Life is to precious...

Please feel better Andrew...

Hi Toni!!!

Mi MIKe!!!

Please ANdrew... call the doc..K?

Thinking of you while im in BWI

Ill callu tomorrow... : ) did u just call me? I missed the call.... : (

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 9:41PM
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Hi Laura,
No hun..I didn't call ya. I have really been down in the dumps today. Just not my usual self. This recent set back just threw me for a loop. I checked again on those incisions and now it looks like 2 more are swollen! Yeah I know I need to take this serious, and I will call the nuerosurgeon tomoroow. I talked to my mom and she also thinks it is just swelling from over doing it yesterday.

I will keep you all posted. I just hope tomorrow is a better day. I am so uncomfortable, sleep just doesn't seem like it will be in the cards.

I have been trying to see if there are any tropicals I can buy right now, without Jose finding out and killing me...LOL! I really would like a crown of thorns, a variegated gollum or hobbit jade, and the yellow gardenia that Mike has. Logees is selling the gardenia for only $8.95. Maybe I can buy this and that will help to pull me out of this depression.

I will be fine you guys. Please don't worry about lil ol me! I love ya all and take care. I cannot sit here any longer my back is really getting sore, to the point where it feels like the skin is going to rip open!

Man, what I wouldn't do for a nice new fragrant tropical...OR PLUMERIA LMAO!

Laura, if you do call me tomorrow, could you try to call late afternoon? I am hoping to sleep the entire night and then most of the whole morning. I know my body needs it!


    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 11:51PM
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Goodness! I finally got a sec to say hello guys and gals!

You should see what I did with my plants, pond, backyard, and other things before winter. I am just so happy I was able to stand to do it.

Andrew: I am feeling so bad for you and your back. If I lived closer, I would come out there and help you for sure, in payment of a BOP buddy, one that for sure flowers. I have always wanted one that did something. I have one 6 feet tall and green, that's it.
Andrew, I think I will be visiting that place soon or even get you one at a discount if I can talk Brian into it. I would even have him pick it out himself so that it is pest free. Let me see what I can do:-)
Please, just take care of that back and beg someone to help if you have too, not that anyone would anyway, well at least in my case I had to ask or I never saw anyone.
Your friends have to realize how important your plants are to you before they even offer.
Relax and realize you have many good friends here willing to help:-)

Hello Laura! I wrote you last:-)

Toni! You better watch yourself too! Your knees have to be strong to lift all that you do:-)


    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 4:59PM
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Hey Mike,
Thanks for the kind offer of helping to take care of my plants. Honestly, all the plants that do require my care and attention, are upstairs and are easy for me to care for. Now, Jose has offered to move the larger and heavier tropicals such as my huge gardenia, my passionfruit vine, and my large mango tree. He brought up some of the tropicals that I accidentally mixed in with the tropicals that were in the basement. These are my plumerias, brugs, and others that are going to be dormant for the winter.

Im glad to hear your happy with all the gardening that you got done. That's such a good feeling. Just be carefull with that ankle!

Mike, that would be great if you did go and visit that place! If you do, PLEASE let me know and I will send you for a Brufelsia? I probobly butchered that plant's name right? I'm talking about the 2 you just posted pics of here. You said it was one of the most fragrant tropicals you own now.

As far as the BOP, email me and I will see what I can still do, all right?

Take care,

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 10:29AM
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Andrew. Once a disc has problems, you can bet others will, too.
Take it from someone who has the same, exact,same problem.
First it was one, bulging disc, then 3, now 8.
Some are herniated. Also, Osteo Arthritis and something called Arachnoditis, sp. They said Arach was caused by surgery.
NEVER again will any doctor touch my spine! Unless they find another tumor, and even then, I'll have to rethink the problem.

Numbing of the leg/s are due to the spine. When this numbing thing happened to me, I assumed there was something wrong w/my leg. The numbing traveled..foot then leg, leg then foot. Weird feeling, right?

Then my leg would tingle. Finally went to a doc..he took a regular X-ray..couldn't find anything. Went to a Chiropractor. BIG MISTAKE. Finally after the third doc, 'they acted like it was my imagination,' the last doctor ordered an MRI. That's when they found a tumor and one slipped disc..Because of the tumor they couldn't care less about the disc.

This happened in 1994. After surgery, most pain stopped, but returned less than half a year. Went back to the doc, frightened the tumor returned, 'but not planning on a second surgery.' It was my disc causing numbing and pain.

Well, the last MRI detected 8 slipped/herniated discs.
Thank God no doctor suggested pins and metals.
Do you have any metals now? If so,, do they get cold in winter?

You poor guy! Take care of yourself, Andrew. Please relax.
Ironically, I was in the hospital 4 days after surgery. On day 3, they wanted me to stand and try walking..yeah, right, my legs felt like a rubber band. lol. But I wanted OUT of that hospital soooo badly, I kept practicing, w/o their knowing. Someone was supposed to be near in case I fell. lol. By day 3, I walked somewhat..on day 4, I could walk several steps.

At the time I was having problems w/my son, so the day after I got home from the hospital, I was out, running, chasing damn gang bangers. I had 27 stitches..6 or 7 broke that night. Long story.

Anyway, do what the doc tells you..One thing about pain meds..when you take one, the pain feel in'fall' ible. lol. Not really funny, but pun intended.

You asked if I'd rid my Bird for a new one..NOPE.
Andrew, my plants mean a lot to me. I was given that Bird long ago. Some time in the early to mid-90's.
Both Birds need repotting, especially reginae. Nicoli kept tipping over all summer long..It's very top heavy, potted in light soil.

When/if I'm lucky enough for either Bird to flower, I'll be thankful.
BTW, what type and how often do you fertilize? What about sun?
I read, alternate, one month, w/All Purpose, second month, Flowering fertilizers. I used to fertilize by alternating, then got lazy..Now, the only ferts they've been getting are a slow-release specifially for Birds. Well, it's supposed to be, lol.

Andrew, NO, you never sent pics of your Bird in bloom!!! Do you still have the pictures? I'd love seeing them.
But if you have to stand/walk/drive to send pics, wait until you're better. Please.

How are you feeling today? Tues, Nov 22, 2011? How's the swelling? Go down?
On a scale from 1-10, 1 being the least, what range is your pain?
Oh Andrew..I really feel sorry for you. Do you have someone to help? Cook, etc? Are you using a walker/crutches?

Mike, I saw your question to me at the last minute.

Yep, my knees are bad, but I CANNOT give up..if that was to happen, I might as well pack it in.
Now, when plants need work, or worse, hauling in and outdoors, I take my time.

The heaviest plant I have is that large Jade. Plus it's in a clay pot.
Guess I'll be separating trunks afterall. Too many lazy ppl in my household, :(.

BTW. how's the foot? hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 2:02PM
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Hi Toni,
WOW! I never knew how similar our back problems were. So you really do get it(how much pain I am having and how miserable it is to live with.), if you haven't had back troubles before, you cannot possibly understand what we have gone thru(IMO).

I didn't know there wa a fert specific for birds. Could you send me the website info so I could look into it? I may just have to buy myself some.

I primarily used Foliag Pro on my BOP. I just threw out the empty bottle so I cannot give you the specific N P K info on it. Mike would know it though. I will have to buy myself another bottles after the holidays. THis time I am just going tospend the money on a gal. The small bottle lasted me about a year( I was surprised by that!).

The other 2 ferts I used on my BOP were Neptune's Harvest(o-0-1) and Alaska Fish fert(5-1-1), both of which are organic based ferts.

You also collect hoya? There are so many hoya I would like to get my hands on. Right now I have 4. I have a var. carnos, h. lauterbachii(which has never bloomed and I don't think it ever will.) h. samoaensis, and h hellwigiana(I think that's what it is. i have to double check with Aloha tropicals website.

I understand what you mean about being sentimentally attached to certain plants. All the plants that I have recieved on these forums are irreplaceable to me. I could never put a price tage on them.

For example, my 'Psycho' plumeria I got from an awesome guy that I met and becaome friends with on the plumeria forum.

Same with my variegated jade I got from Mike. Not only is it one of my absolute fav jades because of it's appearance but also because it came from Mike, and with out a doubt, I know it came straight from Mike's huge and generous heart.

There are so many more tropicals that I have recieved from friends and just because I didn't list them all(It would take me at least an hour to find them all and then type in all the info!) doesn't make them any less special.

I am goin to have to get going. My back pain on a scale of 1-10 id about a 7.5 right now. I know if I don't lie down and get comfortable, it will shoot up to at least an 8.5 but it will spike to 8 o so every now and then.

My loving partner of almost 10 years lives with me(it will be 10 years on Christmas Day) and he has helped me with everything I need help with. If I didn't have that help, I would be SOL! Thankfully I don't need crutches but I do have a pair in my closet.

WEll my bed is calling me but first I have to make some phone calls and let people know that I sadly wont be part of this years festivities and dinner:( I am really sad and down about that part but thankfully Christmas is right around the corner.

One last thing. I had to request new login info for Photobucket. It has been so long since I have been there that I forgot it. Once I get it, I will check it and see if there are pics of my BOP to post.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 8:37AM
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Howdy Andrew,

How's your back? Less, same, or more pain? When you had your last surgery, after waking from sedation, were you able to move?
That is one thing I will NEVER forget after back surgery.
I couldn't move 1/4", let alone reach for a glass of water or a napkin. I thought I'd never move again. So terrifying.

Disc and other back problems are extremely painful. Not only does ones back hurt, but other body parts like legs and feet. It's horrible.
And the numbness!!!! Sheesh.

I agree..unless someone has back issues, nobody knows or understands how bad the pain really is.
Physical pain leads to mental anguish. There's times, when pain is so awful, I don't want to deal w/anyone.

Yep, I found BOP fertilier several years back..Easy to apply.

Got it on's the link.;hash=item1e5bccd92e

Or if you don't feel like typing out the link, 'it is long, lol,' go to Ebay. Type in 'Fertilizer, Bird of Paradise.' Click on the window arrow to the right of the Search box to 'Home & Garden.' Press enter.
It'll take you to the seller, Wellspring100. Click on Fertlizers.

Hope your partner spent Thanksgiving with you, Andrew.
Did he make a turkey and trimmings? Are you able to eat when your pain is bad??

Do you fertilize year round? Alternate different brands?

Oh yes, I like Hoyas, too, lol. I've been searching for a decent size, reasonably priced, H. Sigallatus.
How tall is your lauterbachii? Don't fret if it doesn't bloom. lol.
A few years ago, I started a thread on the Hoya Fourm, about lauterbachii.
Although some people posted huge specimens, even people who lived in Fl had a hard time getting them to bloom. In fact, one woman in Fl had/s a gigantic lauterbachii, but nary a flower.

Got mine at Logee's. One trunk. I considered cutting the top, but don't want it to die. 'I can't root Hoya cuttings.'

So you have four Hoyas? Is your Carnosa variegated or green? You can find them at reasonable costs on Ebay. Reasonble, unless you order from Thailand..shipping costs are from 15-30.00 plus price of the Hoya.

I agree..All plants are special, but when cuttings/plants are given to us by friends, there's a lot more involved.

I KNOW what you mean about listing ALL plants, lol. It's like writing a manuscript, lol.

Andrew, take care of yourself. Don't overdo it. It's not worth suffering or wasted surgery.

Hope you had a special time yesterday, so, Belated Happy Thanksgiving. hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 4:02PM
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