The easiest way to get a tropical feel in any garden is to introduce a few plants like the lobster claws or Heliconia spp. With stunning flowers to display, it can become an exclusive feature of your garden. They do prefer things on the warmer side though, so will grow best in subtropical areas. There are over 200 cultivars on the market.


How to grow heliconia in a garden

  1. Choose a spot in the garden with semi-shade or a south facing garden should work fine but protection from harsh afternoon sun is required. Enrich the soil with Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone with Seaweed
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots but be gentle with the rhizomes.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised bed around the stems. This will help the water to drain out easily reducing the chances or rhizome rot. Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, woodchip or pea straw, keeping it away from the main stem.
  5. Feed during the growing and flowering season with Yates Thrive Rose & Flower Granular Plant Food. TIP: For an added boost, apply Yates Thrive Natural Fish & Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate.
 
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How to grow heliconia in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least twice the size as the selected plant. Position in semi-shade to full shade and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix.
  2. Remove the shrub from the container and gently tease the roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, woodchip or pea straw, keeping it away from the main stem.
  5. Feed every 1-2 weeks with Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food. TIP: For an added boost, apply Yates Thrive Natural Fish & Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate.
 

Growing tips

  • Heliconias can be grown from rhizomes in your garden bed. 
  • Ensure to choose rhizomes that have new 'eyes' or buds popping up or wait till the dormant rhizome develops new eye. 
  • You can harvest the flowers as cut flowers and place them in your flower vase with some water, which should keep them fresh for a few days.
  • Heliconias are great for planting under trees or canopies as they can handle the competition for nutrients and they do not interfere with tree roots. 
  • If you're going to try growing in a warm temperate area, position them in an area where they receive morning sunlight and shade from the afternoon sun.
 

More Plants

Flax

Flax (Phormium spp.) are highly versatile plants which can grow well in swampy or dry conditions. Great for large pots or en-masse in garden beds.

English Daisy

English Daisy flowers come in single or double forms in colours of pink, red and white. Ideal in pots or in the garden as a border plant or en masse.

Echinacea

Echinacea is a hardy herbaceous perennial with large fragrant pink daisy-like flowers. Used for therapeutic purposes and as a delicious tea.

Virginian Stock

Bright pink, purple, and white blooms prolifically cover this flowering annual in spring and summer. They're easy to grow and are perfectly suited to garden beds, borders and pots.


Recommended products

Yates Premium Potting Mix

A premium potting mix, ideal for all potted plants and shrubs, including ornamentals, fruit trees, vegies and herbs.