These brightly-colored flowering tropical plants that look like they belong back in the Jurassic period are closely related to bananas, gingers, and cannas.

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Whether you’ve planted them in your yard or see them in the wild on your daily commute, heliconias certainly liven up the Lake Arenal scenery. Conditions around Lake Arenal are ideal for growing heliconiasÑall of which require ample heat, lots of water, and partial or full sun (depending on the species) to thrive.

Types of Heliconias

With over 100 species of heliconias growing in the tropics, spend some time learning about the different varieties if you’re interested in growing them on your property around Lake Arenal.

Most people think the flowers are the brightly colored parts of the plant, but these are actually called “bracts”. The actual flowers are protected and often hidden by the bracts.Let’s start with the basics. Heliconias are divided into three different types:

  • Psittocorums: These heliconias are typically smaller than the other two types, though a few specials can grow to be two meters tall. Psittocorums flower all year long and grow quickly, making them perfect for landscaping.

    When you have too many in your yard, simply cut them at the stems for a beautiful indoor floral arrangement, transplant them into pots, or move them to other parts of the yard.

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  • Erect Heliconias: The bracts on erect heliconias grow upwards from the stem Many of these plants have bracts that protrude several layers high in a splendid display of pinks, oranges, reds, yellows, and even purples.

    Like their smaller counterparts, the Psittocorums, erect heliconias look gorgeous as floral center pieces around the house, and a single cut stem can last for weeks as long as it’s submerged in water.

  • Pendant Heliconias: Pendant heliconias have bracts that unroll from the top of a long stem, hanging down for one of the most unusual, striking looking plant. Because many of the pendant heliconias are taller and have larger leaves, they are great for hiding fences or creating an element of privacy in your yard.

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Growing Heliconias in Your Lake Arenal Backyard

Liven up your home and garden in Lake Arenal by planting several species of heliconia in your yard. Consider aesthetics as well how different species grow and spread when choosing these plants for your yard. Heliconias have a rhizome root structure that allows new shoots to propagate directly from the root ball.

Some varieties of heliconias will clump together while others can spread quite invasively. Keep an eye on your landscape to ensure your heliconias aren’t growing like weeds.

You won’t need to prune heliconias like you would shrubs, trees, or ornamental plants. However, because each stem flowers only once, it’s best to cut them after they die. Thinning your heliconias will not only keep the area from looking overgrown, the increased air circulation helps with flowering.

Remember, heliconias require plenty of water, so if Lake Arenal has a few weeks without rain, be sure to go give them water to keep them thriving.

If you’re interested in landscaping your Lake Arenal home or looking for a specific species of heliconia, contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the right people.

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What The Heliconia Is That Flower We Saw In Arenal Costa Rica?.

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