White bird of paradise or Strelitzia Nicolai, originally from South Africa, is a relative of the banana plant. It can grow up to 30 feet high. Because the plant requires moderate maintenance, it does well indoors.
- S. Nicolai has dark-green leaves similar to that of the banana tree. It is known for its white spiky flower with a blue tongue. S. Nicolai needs full to partial sun. It prefers humidity and tolerates some drought.
- White bird of paradise is not to be confused with the bird of paradise (Strelitzia Reginae). Bird of paradise has orange petals and grows up to six feet high. White bird of paradise is also visually confused with the Strelitzia Alba. S. Alba has white petals and a blue tongue, but its leaves are lighter and the plant grows on a smaller scale.
- As indoor plants, S. Nicolai can get scale. Aphids and caterpillars feed on the leaves. None of these seriously affect the plant, and they can be taken care of by timed spraying.
Bacteria and Fungi
- Bacteria and fungi mar the leaves, causing black or brown spots on the surfaces. Leaf-spot disease usually does little more than affect the aesthetics of the plant. Indoors, the disease is spread by insects, people or infected tools. Outdoors, leaf spots are also the result of excessive rainfall during the wet seasons.
- As houseplants, white bird of paradise may get root-rot without proper drainage.