Exotic Tropical Heliconia Plants

Exotic Tropical Heliconia Plants

Heliconia plants make bold statements in gardens with their unusual flowers. Heliconia is a genus of tropical flowering plants that are notable for the presence of large brilliantly colored bracts, or highly modified leaves, which hide the narrow flowers. They have a distinctive appearance that evokes the tropics for many people. Some nicknames for heliconia include wild plantains, lobster claws, and false bird of paradise. The heliconia is named after Mount Helicon in Greek mythology, which was the home of the muses, who were nine goddesses of the sciences and the arts. Within the genus, most of the heliconia species share common characteristics. These plants range in height from 1.5 to 15 feet (0.45 to 4.5 m) tall. The thick, stiff, vibrant green leaves are often compared to banana leaves, with an oblong shape and a length that often exceeds 3 feet (0.9 m).

When used as landscape plants, heliconias needs full to partial sun, and should be planted in well-drained soil. Soil rich in organic materials is preferable, and fertilization with a granular or soluble balanced fertilizer is recommended. It needs to be watered frequently, but shouldn’t be over watered because excessive saturation can cause the roots to rot. In areas where temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 degrees Celsius), they should be kept as houseplants rather than planted outside.

Backyard Garden With Heliconia Plants

Backyard Garden With Heliconia Plants

Heliconias are a tropical beauty that you can grow for their beautiful foliage and exotic flowers.

Outdoor Garden With Tropical Heliconia Plants

Outdoor Garden With Tropical Heliconia Plants

Most heliconia species do not tolerate cold weather and will suffer injury when temperatures fall below 13C. The general climatic conditions required for healthy growth are warm and humid.

Backyard Garden With Wooden Fences And Heliconia Plants

Backyard Garden With Wooden Fences And Heliconia Plants

Most varieties of heliconias will grow well in full sun, where others require partial shade. They tend to grow taller if grown in shadier areas.

Backyard Garden With Green Grasses And Tropical Heliconia

Backyard Garden With Green Grasses And Tropical Heliconia

Heliconia plants are known for producing colorful leaves, or bracts. The actual flowers produced by these tropical plants can be found within the bracts themselves.

Outdoor Tropical Heliconia Plants In The Garden

Outdoor Tropical Heliconia Plants In The Garden

Heliconias are tropical plants related to bananas, cannas and gingers.

Outdoor Patio Garden With Heliconia Plants

Outdoor Patio Garden With Heliconia Plants

The actual heliconia flower is fairly insignificant. What most people would call the 'flower' is actually a group of colourful specialised leaves, called bracts. The true flowers are hidden inside these bracts.

Tropical Garden With Tall Heliconia Plants

Tropical Garden With Tall Heliconia Plants

Heliconia leaves look more or less like banana leaves. They are generally green, but some are tinged slightly with colour (particularly when young) and sometimes the leaves and stems are coloured or patterned slightly.

Colored Flower Heliconia Plants

Colored Flower Heliconia Plants

Heliconias grow from an underground system of rhizomes. Rhizomes are a type of root (the ginger that you buy in the supermarket is a piece of rhizome from the common edible ginger plant).

Bright Red Heliconia Tropical Garden Plants

Bright Red Heliconia Tropical Garden Plants

Heliconia can be propagated, or multiplied, using seeds or by dividing the rhizomes.

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