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Plant Care Guide >> Outdoor Shrubs >> Heliconia psittacorum
Heliconia psittacorum is one of the most popular type of Heliconia, probably due to the fact that it is one of the easier Heliconias. It is also one that resembles most to the birds-of-paradise. It is an exotic, which blooms abundantly all year long. The flowers also make good cut flowers. Very beautiful as a potted plant on the patio in a decorative container.
Common name:

Heliconia, Parrot's beak

Botanical Name:

Heliconia psittacorum cv. Golden Torch

Family:

Musaceae

Foliage:

It has long pointed leaves which shiny green with a red edge. The leaves look similar to that of a banana.

Flowers:

Yellow bracts surround the true flowers. Each erect bloom has 4 to 8 golden or yellow bracts.

Light:

It needs to be grown in full sun.

Temperature:

The plant requires a hot atmosphere.

Soil:

Heliconias prefer freely draining soils with high organic matter.

Humidity:

The plant requires a high humidity area. It can be grown well next to a water body.

Watering:

Allow the top 2 inches of the soil to dry out before watering again. Chances of the plant rotting are very high if the soil is kept too wet.

Pest and Problems:

The most common pests are mealybugs, scales and nematodes. The mealybugs and scales can be controlled with an insecticidal soap.

Nematodes are small worms that attack the roots. Due to nematode problems, heliconias require replanting every few years from healthy rhizomes. The roots must be removed to prevent the spread of nematodes.

Growth habit:

It is a fast growing plant, which forms clumps and grows up to 10 feet tall.

Fertilizing:

Heliconias are heavy feeders and tend to exhaust the soil in which they grow. Fertilize with a complete garden fertilizer at least every two months.

Pruning:

Dead leaves and old stems that have finished flowering should be removed

Propagation:

Division of rhizomes is the usual propagation method of Heliconias.

Landscaping Utility:

Heliconias are generally used as accent plants in the garden or can be planted in a group. Heliconias as a group impart an unmistakable tropical look to the garden. As the plant forms large clumps, sufficient space should be given for it to grow.

Uses:

Accent plant, container plant

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