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Heliconia Rostrata is a flowering plant which resembles the bird of paradise and therefore it is known as false-bird of paradise. They are native to South American countries of Peru, Colombia, and Costa Rica. They belong to the family of Heliconiaceae.
Heliconia Rostrata plant is also known as the lobster claw plant. These are one of the best exotic plants to have in your landscape. These are also called as the false bird of paradise plants. They are native to Peru, Colombia, and Costa Rica.
Rostrata has a basic need of water and fertilizers. The plant doesn't require any special attention. Prune the plant as well as its companion to provide them with sunlight. This is easy to grow but it is a moderate maintenance plant.
Water your Rostrata regularly and especially during the summer time so as to keep the soil moist. Water the plant with 2 to 3 cups of water.
Provide a well-draining soil which is high in organic matter and nutrients. Let the soil dry out between the watering. You can ensure that the watering is done properly by checking the soil; if the soil is dry up to 2 inches, then do the watering.
Avoid waterlogging the soil as this will rot the plant.
Make sure your Rostrata is planted under the shade of other shrubs and tall trees, as they require light shade during the time of scorching heat. The plant requires around 6 hours of sunlight daily.
The plant requires bright and direct sunlight but make sure it is not overexposed.
The average temperature required by the rostrata is around 20 to 35°C. They require quite a hot ambiance.
The flowers are red in color with bright yellow color around the edge thus they are referred as the golden torch flowers. They bloom from spring to fall. You can also feed the plant with high potash fertilizers or warm months during their blooming period.
The average height of the plant is around 2 to 5 feet tall.
The plant can be propagated by rhizome division or seeds. Make sure you divide the lobster claw in the spring before its new growth. Then you can replant the rhizomes in the soil around 2 to 3 feet apart.
In case you live in a frost region then the Rostrata would adapt well to the container growing. Add some coarse sand to make the soil aerated and have an airy mix. Make sure you bring your plant indoors or cover it during the frost as the plant can't resist to frost like conditions.
Around the base of the plant add 2 inches of mulch to preserve the fertility and moisture of the soil. Use compost for mulching as they are ideal for growing the lobster claw. Fertilize the Rostrata once in a month during their growing period. you can also use an all-purpose fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Make sure you fertilize the around the base of the plant and not around the foliage. In case you get the fertilizer on the foliage then rinse it off immediately.
The plant is prominently used for ornamental purposes.
Heliconia Rostrata is prone to bacterial infections and pests. Aphids affect the plant and feed on the underside of the foliage. You can get rid of them by spraying appropriate insecticides and fungus control pesticides. These plant sucking parasites can also be removed with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol.