I have succeeded in coaxing a Lobsterclaw Heliconia to flower. Finally. It has taken four years and two different types. This particular one is Helconia rostrata, native to South America. I found two years ago at a Master Gardeners plant sale and snapped up. It was doing fine until Hurricane Matthew blew by last year and bent it into 2 plants on an angle. Then I forgot about it for a while and let the dried up leaves hang on the plant instead of trimming them off. Viola, the secret, don’t trim the dead leaves. I read somewhere the flowers are easily cut off during trimming and now I believe it. The other one, a Heliconia ‘Splash’ four years old steadfastly refuses to flower, but it was always trimmed. Now it looks awful and I am hoping for some flowers! The Splash flowers are twice as big as these, apricot with wine colored splashes.
A closer view. The Heliconia is accompanied by a flowering branch of a Sea Grape (Coccoloba uvifera). The Sea Grape flowers eventually form a long chain of blueberry sized ‘grapes’. One of my greyhounds likes to eat them, but I don’t.
The Heliconia bud.