Heliconias

 

HELICONIA ANGUSTA - RED CHRISTMAS

 

Grows 3 to 6'. Its upright bracts are mainly red with some green and blooming is from August to March. The leaves are Musoid. Found distributed from Brazil to Venezuela, Costa Rica & Hawaii. Can grow in 20 to 80% shade.  These plants are hardy Zone 8 - 11

      HELICONIA SCHIEDEA -      FIRE AND ICE


 The bold tropical foliage resembling a banana can reach 8' in a season. The durable foliage, however, is much more resistant to wind damage, and looks very clean and healthy.   Showy red flowers, erect bright yellow flower against deep red stalks, in zigzag clusters 12" to 18" tall, but held erect above the leaves instead of hanging beneath the foliage like many other Heliconias these plants are hardy Zone 8 - 11.   Can take 28 f without much damage.

 

  

 
Family:  Heliconiaceae
Genus: Heliconia (hel-ih-KOH-nee-uh)

Heliconias are closely related to bananas - the shape of the leaves is quite lush and dramatic. Some people grow them just for that. However, for most gardeners they are grown for their beautiful, brilliant colorful flowering bracts. The flowers are the main attraction.   Unusual flower heads (bracts) rise from clumps of banana like leaves, sometimes very large or slender. Their height may on some species vary from as small as 2' to 25' depending on variety.
Heliconia are actually highly modified leaves and bracts, their colorful bracts may be erect, pendulous or spiraling with bracts in the shapes of bird's beaks, lobster claws or fan shaped and colors of reds, pinks, gold, oranges and splashes of a mixture of colors.
Some Heliconia are an excellent choice for container plants that can be grown indoors for the winter and moved outdoors for the spring and summer.
Rhizomes should be planted in a well draining soil with the very tip protruding out of the soil. Water thoroughly and let dry out somewhat between watering. If kept too wet, there is a good chance they may rot. Average temperatures should be least 60° F; some varieties are much hardier and can take cooler temperatures. They require bright light and are heavy feeders of any well-balanced fertilizer.
A couple unusual winter flowering Heliconias Holiday, and red Christmas: with their red bracts and white flowers. Growing one of these plants is easy. Add some organic fertilizer in spring and autumn, and keep the moisture up to it. They are the ultimate easy care plant.
It is relatively easy to grow Heliconias. Add organic matter to the soil, and add fertilizer. Then get the rhizomes, and ensure there is a nice new eye on your new shoot to plant it. Cut off excess roots and leaves to stop it dehydrating. Roughly, plant to about the same depth as it came out of the ground. Then cover with not too much soil, water to get the air from around the roots to stop any fungus growing. Then mulch around the plant to stop burning in the middle of the day.

The best time to plant Heliconias is the beginning of the wet season, so they get a big boost from the rains. Fertilize them regularly and in a few months, you will have fantastic flowers in your garden.

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