Jungle Plants


Heliconias are tropical plants originally found in South America and the islands of the Pacific. Their common names include “Wild Plantain,” “False Bird of Paradise,” and “Lobster Claw.” Heliconias are evergreen plants with prominent leaves, which are oblong and can reach up to ten feet in length. However, the plants also have distinct flowers that form as bright colored bracts, which many misinterpret as true flowers. These are generally yellow, pink, or red in color. With proper care, heliconias can reach anywhere from two to twenty feet. Consequently, they are most commonly used in landscaping, which affords them plenty of space to grow. When situated outdoors, they can sometimes experience winter wilting. However, these hardy plants will bounce back when the temperature rises again.

Heliconias can be grown either in large pots or free gardens. However, if left in a garden bed their growth can become uncontrolled. Thus, it is important to keep their expansion in check. The ideal foundation for a heliconia plant is a mildly acidic soil, which should be kept moist at all times. Heliconias require ample water, and should be watered before the soil runs dry. Additionally, these plants thrive particularly well when provided with organic mulch. However, they require little additional nourishment and need only be fertilized once per year. They are also not picky about sunlight, and you can place heliconias either in direct light or a partially shaded area. However, those grown in the shade will actually be taller. With regards to temperature, heliconias cannot survive below fifty degrees Fahrenheit. So, they should be kept in a fairly warm area.