From five species in the genus, two are grown as house plants
; Strelitzia reginae
(the Crane Bird plant
), which is the smaller one of the two and has orange flowers and the Strelitzia nicolai
(the Giant White Bird of Paradise) also called the Wild Banana with the white flowers. Both require similar growing conditions, with the difference that the Crane Bird handles colder temperatures better.
They can be grown from the seeds; however, it might take at least 3-5 years to flower. Furthermore, the fresher the seeds, the sooner it will flower, because the more they get older, the seeds develop a coating which delays germination. Also, the seed is stronger if harvested from the plant
which is in its first flowering seasons. Get rid of the orange tufts from the seeds, immerse them in lukewarm water for a day before sowing them in the potting soil. The seed should germinate in 2-3 months.
Only when the seedlings grow 3-5 leaves, transplant them to the individual pots. Do not plant
the seed too deep into the soil, because it might delay the flowering process. It is going to require repotting every 2-3 years (springtime is the best time for this
), and increase the container size every time you repot.