Lobster claw plants are tropical flowers that astound and amaze with their forms and colors. The scientifically name is Heliconia rostrata and they have large, brightly hued bracts that cluster up a stem. The Lobster claw plants are also called parrot flower and they has inconsequential tiny flowers covered by the showy bracts. Lobster claw plants are native to Central to South America and they are hardy in the United States in USDA plant growing zones ten to thirteen. Continue reading to learn more about Lobster claw plants info, care and growing tips.


Lobster Claw Plants Info  

Lobster claw plants are a group of plants that may grow up to fifteen feet tall in nature but likely only to three to six feet in a home landscape. The Lobster claw plants are not at all frost hardy, and therefore not suited for growing outdoors where cold temperatures are common. The thick bracts really make excellent cut flowers with a long vase life. The leaves are also glossy, green, oval, and paddle shaped. The plant grows in an upright habit with the flower stems in the center. The flower bracts are arranged in terminal racemes, which may be held erect or pendulant. The Lobster claw plants may be found in red, orange, or yellow, usually tipped with a bright gold splash. The flowers do not appear until the plant is about 2 years old. 

 There are actually 3 main species of lobster claw: which are the giant, the hanging or the mall lobster claw. The Lobster claw plants grow and propagate from underground rhizomes, which can be easily broken apart and used to start a new plant.


Lobster Claw Plants Growing Conditions

This plant actually thrives in either partial shade or full sun locations. The soil must be well draining, and also fertile and moist. The potted Lobster claw plants will do well in a mixture of equal parts soil, fine wood mulch and peat moss. Slightly acidic soil is actually the best. The Lobster claw plants grown in alkaline soil may exhibit iron deficiency in the form of yellowing to white leaves. Lobster claw plants are moderately drought tolerant but best results will ensue with consistent moisture. Ideal Lobster claw plants growing conditions are humid and warm, similar to a tropical rainforest. The plant can thrive in sunny indoor conditions provided an adequate humidity is supplied.   


Lobster Claw Plants Care

This plant is actually a perennial that will arise every year from the rhizomes. The new stems will develop after the old plant has flowered, creating a continuous display of the flowers over the years. Keep in mind that freezing temperatures can damage or kill the rhizomes. The plants actually need fertilizing in spring for best flowering and again every 2 months until fall. You can cut back spent flowers and leaves as they occur. If you want more of the Lobster claw plants in your garden, you can dig up the rhizome, and then cut behind recent growth. Dig out the growth and cut the stem back to about one foot. Wash the rhizome very well and then plant it in a small pot with the eye near the surface of the soil. Make sure you keep the pot in shade and moderately moist until the first sprout. Then move the plant to protected sun and then care for the new Lobster claw plant as usual. 

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