Heliconias were once considered to be of the Musacee genus, due to their resemblance to banana plants; in fact they have large leaves, up to 100-150 cm long, on long erect stems or carried by thin petioles, oval, slightly waxy, they form shrubs or large clumps; from March to October they produce large, very showy inflorescences, shaped like a panicle, consisting of stiff, waxy bracts, among which small flowers bloom. The bracts are of various colors, from silver to bright red, from yellow to fuchsia. The inflorescences of heliconia they bloom at the apex of the stems, or even carried by thin arched, pendulous stems. These plants produce a fleshy rhizome, are used as houseplants, but also in summer flower beds or as cut flowers, since the inflorescences resist for weeks. These plants grow naturally in tropical America, some Pacific islands and Indonesia.
The ability to cultivate a plant also depends on the multiple care and attention that it is able to give to it. A fundamental aspect to take into consideration is the exposure, ie the position in which the plants are placed in the house or in the garden. Most species of heliconia they like very bright locations, even sunny ones, they fear the sudden changes in temperature and light, so they tend to grow in a bright place, but away from direct sunlight, moving them to the sun gradually during the warm months. They fear the cold, so they are grown in the apartment, although it is possible to grow them in the garden during the hottest months of the year when temperatures allow.
As for irrigation, during the vegetative period water periodically, when the soil is dry, avoid the excesses of watering that could cause the rhizome to rot. During the vegetative period, provide fertilizer for flowering plants, every 15-20 days. In winter we water only sporadically. In order to best cultivate our plants, it is very important to choose the most suitable type of soil. Each species needs particular soils capable of providing the necessary sustenance to the plants as each variety has specific needs. To cultivate our heliconias, use a mixture of universal soil, soft and light, with an equal amount of sand, to increase drainage. Remember that the rhizome should not be placed too deeply in the ground, but only slightly covered.
Reproducing our plants is not difficult, it is enough to know the main reproduction methods and have patience. If we want to get new heliconia seedlings, we must also know that the multiplication must be done during the fall season, by division of the rhizomes. Practicing this division, remember to leave some well-developed roots for each portion practiced in such a way as to have a greater chance of success.
Heliconia are plants that are generally not attacked by pests or diseases. To avoid the development of fungal diseases, it is good to prevent using specific anti-parasitic products in the period before flowering.