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Heliconias provide a dramatic splash of color and textures that stand out in our tropical and sub-tropical landscapes. Their natural range is primarily New World, naturally occurring in South and Central America and extending into the Caribbean Islands. Heliconia 'Perfection'Often called 'Birds of Paradise' which are similar looking and close relatives, but the exotic flowers so brilliantly colored with red yellow, orange, cream, pink, peach, purple, lime, brown, black and many combinations belong to a separate larger class of their own. The impressive leaves are like those of bananas, another close relative, and to our eyes speak of tropical lands which few northern plants can match.

While some dwarf varieties are barely shin high, otherHeliconia 'Perfection'varieties may tower well over head, and others, every size in between. There are many varieties that will do best in full sun, with some preferring shade, but most will tolerate both conditions.

Flowering also varies as some will bloom continuously through most of the year while others put on spectacular seasonal displays.

For the most part Heliconias are easy to grow. They like a regular twice a week watering and rich soil. If you have poor soil you can amend the soil with compost or peat, and then fertilize your Heliconias with a palm tree fertilizer.




Heliconia 'Perfection'

All images and text © Jesse Durko 2011