Heliconia are grown for their beautiful, brilliant colorful flowering bracts. Breathtaking and unusual flower heads (bracts) rise from clumps of banana like leaves, sometimes very large or slender. Their height may on some species vary from as small as 2′ to 25′ depending on variety. Heliconia are actually highly modified leaves and bracts, their colorful bracts may be erect, pendulous or spiraling with bracts in the shapes of bird’s beaks, lobster claws or fan shaped and colors of reds, pinks, golds, oranges and splashes of a mixture of colors. Some heliconia are an excellent choice for container plants that can be grown indoors for the winter and moved outdoors for the spring and summer. Rhizomes should be planted in a well draining soil with the very tip protruding out of the soil. Water thoroughly and let dry out somewhat between watering. If kept too wet, there is a good chance they may rot. Average temperatures should be least 60° F. Some varieties are much more hardier and can take cooler temperatures. They require bright light and are heavy feeders of any well balanced fertilizer.
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