It will take a lot of effort and patience before you can master the art of taking care of a Heliconia flower. But once you see it blooming, you are already harvesting the fruits of your hard labor.
Taking care of the Heliconia flower means taking care of the entire Heliconia plant. This plant is unique from other plants. That is why cultivating and taking care of it is very much different in a special way. Here are the factors that affect the wellness of your Heliconia flower and the Heliconia plant as a whole:
- Soil. Well-draining kind of soil is the best for Heliconia flower. This soil must also be rich of decayed organic matters, especially leaf compost. You can also add some sand to the soil pack if it’s too compact. This will give room for the water and the nutrients to move freely and enrich Heliconias.
- Light. Most types of Heliconia need at least six hours of direct light from the sun everyday. This will encourage the plant to grow more flowers. Lesser sunlight, however, will result to unhealthy leaves and less flowers. But there are some Heliconia plants that are more appropriate in shady areas like the Heliconia Stricta and the Heliconia Pendula.
- Water. Heliconia plants are water lovers. In fact, some of its types like the Heliconia Densiflora and Heliconia Standleyi can grow more healthily in water. But most Heliconia will only need watering twice a day—once in the morning and again in the evening. Water the Heliconia if it’s already dried out of water. Beware of too much watering, though, especially if the soil is not free-draining as this might result to fungal attacks, especially for young Heliconias.
- Fertilizer. More fertilizer for the Heliconia will mean growing it bigger and bigger. Bonemeal is said to be the best fertilizer for this plant. But other fertilizers will work just fine. Not fertilizing it is also okay.
- Space. Heliconia will need at least 4 feet of space. It will need that large space for the growing flowers and leaves.
- Cut. You can encourage more Heliconia flowers to grow by cutting its entire stalk after the first blooms. It may be difficult to cut down the first flowers of your Heliconia but don’t worry because your sacrifice will be paid off with more flowers.
- Maintenance. Always remove dead Heliconia leaves and cut off spent stems. Make sure also that the stems are as close to the ground as possible. It’s also safe to cut some leaves if these become too many for the flowers to be noticeable.
These caring tips are only the common tips that you can do for almost all types of Heliconia plants. But it’s better that you identify what kind of Heliconia plant you have, as it might need a different set of caring procedures. As said, there are Heliconia types that are best in water or best in other forms of soil. You can also ask a professional gardener for some help.