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How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant (Strelitzia Plant)

How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

Meet the Author and Your Future Designer: Julio Arco is a passionate architect with years of experience in architecture, interior design, urban design, and housing. He studied at prestigious universities across North America and Europe. 


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How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

About Bird of Paradise Plant

Native to South Africa, Strelitzia, also known as the bird of paradise, is a well-known tropical flower that has a tight relationship with banana plants. These are named because they resemble the same-named tropical bird. It is simpler to cultivate than many tropical plants and makes a sturdy, rapidly-growing houseplant.

It may be moved outside during the spring and summer and thrives for approximately half the year. This plant usually blooms in late winter or early spring, but it is capable of blooming at other times of the year if appropriate conditions are present.

These plants have no trunk and develop leaves that emerge directly from the earth. When exposed to windy conditions or brushed against in a crowded hallway, this plant’s 12 to 18-inch-long leaves might develop lesions or turn brown along with their tips. This plant is toxic to cats and dogs if ingested, so it is essential to keep this plant out of reach of pets.

Despite its toxicity, it is a beautiful addition to any home that can be successfully grown inside. However, it can grow up to 5 to 6 feet tall, which is its most significant disadvantage. These plants require three to five years to grow and bloom.

Their flowers emerge above the foliage in warm regions for a stunning show, making them suitable for mass plantings or as a single specimen. The key to good development inside is bright, direct sunlight, consistent watering, and warmth. Early in the spring, prior to the onset of new growth, feed the plant with compost and fertilize it weekly throughout the growing season.

Grow the plant in a container that can be taken outside during warm summer and brought back inside during cold winter. Although they take some time and effort to grow, these beautiful plants are well worth it!

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How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

Strelitzia nicolai, Indoor Plant

Selecting the Best soil for Bird of Paradise Plant

For plants that are kept in containers, either a compost mixture or a potting mix that is rich and drains well should be used. If you are going to be using a pot, check to see that it has a sufficient number of drainage holes that will allow water to run through the soil and out of the pot.

The container should also be large enough so that the roots have plenty of room to grow, and it should be deep enough to maintain the plant. Be sure to regularly check the soil to see if it needs watering, and don’t forget to fertilize the plants on a regular basis. With a little bit of care, your potted plants will thrive.

How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

Strelitzia nicolai, Indoor Plant

The Best light for Bird of Paradise Plant

In order to bloom beautifully, this plant requires bright light, including some exposure to direct sunlight. On the other hand, it must be protected from the direct midday sun during the summer, as this causes the leaves of younger plants to become charred. A room that faces either east or west through its windows is ideal for positioning.

Stay away from rooms that only have a window facing north. It will also do best if kept between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and given moderate humidity–neither too dry nor too wet. Positioning your plant in an environment with these factors will help ensure that it blooms beautifully.

How to Water Bird of Paradise Plant

Any plant parent will tell you that one of the most important things you can do for your plants is maintain a consistent soil moisture level. Native to South Africa, this perennial is well suited to warm climates and can be found in many gardens across the world.

Though it is a relatively low-maintenance plant, it requires some care to ensure it thrives. One important factor in maintaining a consistent level of moisture in the soil. This houseplant loses moisture through its large leaves, meaning that it needs to be watered regularly, especially in the spring and summer.

However, it is important not to overwater the plant, as this can lead to brown, crunchy leaves. Underwatering can also cause problems, with the farthest leaves turning yellow from the center of the plant.

How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

Strelitzia nicolai, Indoor Plant

How to Fertilize Bird of Paradise Plant

This plant is a real powerhouse when it comes to growth! It requires a lot of food to really thrive, so make sure to fertilize it in the spring with slow-release pellets and then once a week with liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season. Once it’s established, this houseplant will be strong and vigorous, putting out new growth quickly.

But all that growth means that it will also need regular pruning to keep it looking its best. So get ready to give this plant the care it needs – it will definitely be worth it in the end!

Best Temperature and Humidity for Bird of Paradise Plant

If you live in an area with low humidity, you may want to consider growing this plant. This beautiful plant is native to Africa and thrives in warm, humid conditions. In fact, one of the best ways to care for this houseplant is to keep the air around it moist.

This can be done with a simple spray bottle filled with water. Just be sure not to overdo it, as too much moisture can lead to fungal problems. In addition to high humidity, these plants also prefer warm temperatures.

They will not tolerate frost and should be kept indoors during winter in areas with cold climates. With proper care, your plant will thrive and provide you with years of beauty.

How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

Strelitzia nicolai, Indoor Plant

Types of Birds of Paradise Plant

The orange variant of the Strelitzia reginae, also known as the Pygmaea or Humilis, is a powdery grayer color with a height that barely reaches three feet at full maturity. This species is characterized by rounded leaf blades and is known to be one of the easier variants to acquire.

The Strelitzia juncea, on the other hand, is popularly known as the leafless bird of paradise because of the conspicuous absence of leaf blades. This gives its stems and leaves the appearance of reeds, which can be found in abundance in South Africa.

Lastly, the Strelitzia Caudata is the rarest and most difficult to acquire among all variations. It is commonly known as the mountain bird of paradise because it thrives in higher elevations. It has a tall stature that may reach up to 25 feet and stunning white flowers that make it a sight to behold.

How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

Exotic Tropical Specimen Live Plant

How to Propagate Bird of Paradise Plant

Division and seed sowing are the most effective methods for propagating birds of paradise. Division is simpler and more expedient than growth from seed. Utilize established plants that have previously bloomed for a minimum of three years. Here is how this houseplant is divided.

Depending on the size of your plant (and its rhizome or underground root structure), heavier tools such as a shovel and saw may be required for in-ground or huge plants. For tiny plants, a sharp knife can be used. If repotting the division, you will want a new container and a well-draining potting mix.

Additionally, you can cut the new growth or offshoots at the plant’s base that have at least three leaves and divide the rhizome below ground using a shovel, saw, or knife. Repot in a fresh container with potting mix, water well, and place in partial sun until new growth appears.

Fertilize monthly with an all-purpose fertilizer once new growth begins. 

How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

Exotic Tropical Specimen Live Plant

How to Grow Bird of Paradise From Seed Plant

Starting a new plant from seed can be an exciting process as you watch it grow and change day by day. However, it’s important to be patient when starting this houseplant from seed – it may take two months for the seeds to germinate.

Before planting, soak the seeds in room-temperature water for 24 to 48 hours, then remove any stringy orange matter. The seed must be nicked with a knife or nail file before planting 1/2 to 1 inch deep in potting soil that drains well, at least 3 inches apart from other seeds.

Place the container in a warm location with indirect sunlight (at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit), then cover the soil with a cover or plastic wrap to keep it damp but not drenched. Transfer the seedling to a 6-inch container once it germinates and generates two to three leaves.

When a plant reaches six inches in height, repot in a fresh container with a potting mix that drains well. Watch your plant grow and thrive in its new home!

How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

American Plant Exchange

Bird of Paradise Plant Common Pests and Diseases

Any gardener knows that a healthy plant is a happy plant, and this one is no exception. These beautiful flowers are native to South Africa and are prized for their distinctive shape and vibrant colors. However,it can be subject to a number of problems if it’s not properly cared for.

Aphids, scales, spider mites, and whiteflies can all infest the plant, causing damage to the leaves and flowers. Luckily, you can do a few things to combat these pests. Insecticidal soap can be effective in getting rid of aphids, scales, and whiteflies. Systemic pesticides are also effective, as they’re transported throughout the plant from the roots to the leaves and flowers.

Another issue that can affect this houseplant is gray mold. This fungal disease causes black patches on the flowers and foliage, followed by a gray mold covering. The best way to combat gray mold is to remove the affected parts of the plant and allow them to dry out in the air.

Common Problems With Bird of Paradise Plant

This houseplant is susceptible to root rot and insects in poor conditions. It may avoid most problems if not overwatered, fed, and given enough light and air.

Most strelitzias suffer from root rot. When roots are wet, or the soil is moist, a fungus that causes root rot can overtake a plant. Dry the soil between waterings. Rotted roots stink, and detection early saves plants. To treat root rot, remove burned, moldy rhizome portions and repot in sterilized soil.

Additionally, yellow leaves and leaf tip burn may indicate a lack of humidity, nutrients, or water, so increasing each component may help fix the problem.

Finally, it’s also normal for it to develop slits or fractures in its leaves and roots – these slits allow air to flow and prevent mold and bugs from forming.

How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

American Plant Exchange

When should I repot my Bird of Paradise Plants?

This houseplant is fast-growing andt must attain a particular size prior to flowering. A 3- to 4-foot-tall bird of paradise grows well in a 10-inch pot. Typically, a 5- to 6-foot plant grows in a 14-inch pot, and Repot it each spring into a larger container.

Allow it to become pot-bound once it reaches maturity so that it can blossom. You can divide it after it has developed or bloomed at least once, but you should do so sparingly because dense clusters produce the most flowers, and Repotting interferes with the bloom cycle.

Overwintering Bird of Paradise Plants

If you’re one of the lucky ones living in a warm climate where temperatures never drop below freezing, you don’t have to worry about overwintering your plant. However, for those of us who live in regions where the temperatures do dip below freezing, it’s important to take measures to ensure that our plants don’t perish.

The first step is to trim the stem and leaves to within 12 inches of the ground. Next, we need to mulch the entire stem and rhizome area, followed by a leaf litter and straw layer. Once that’s done, we need to cover and secure the entire area with a breathable row cover material.

And finally, we need to remove the toppings as soon as spring arrives and the threat of the last frost has passed. By following these steps, we can help our plants survive the winter months and enjoy them for many years to come.

How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

American Plant Exchange

How to prune Bird of Paradise Plants

The flowers of the birds of paradise are some of the most beautiful and intricate in the world. Each bloom is composed of dozens of colorful petals arranged in a distinctive pattern. Unfortunately, these magnificent flowers only last for a few weeks before they shed their petals and begin to wither.

To keep your flowers looking their best for as long as possible, it is important to remove old or damaged plant materials on a regular basis. The best way to do this is to simply pull off the leaves or use sharp cutting equipment to remove them between different plants.

If a leaf appears to be in good health, leave it alone. However, if the plant becomes excessively large and overcrowded, you may need to use loppers, hand pruners, or a pruning saw to remove some of the stems and leaves. Using hedge shears as this can produce jagged edges.

You may also trim all leaves and stems down to the soil’s surface if necessary. By taking care of your plants and removing dead or dying material on a regular basis, you can keep your flowers looking fresh and vibrant for weeks longer than if you left them unkempt. So don’t be afraid to get down and dirty with

How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

American Plant Exchange

Care for Bird of Paradise – FAQ

Is bird of paradise plant care easy?

Yes, it is easy once you know what the plant needs. The plant is native to South Africa and thrives in warm, humid climates with plenty of sunlight. It’s important to keep the soil moist but not soggy and to fertilize regularly.

Do bird of paradise flowers indoors?

Yes, it may flower indoors, although this is rare.

Which lighting condition is optimal for my bird of paradise?

To help this plant thrive, it needs bright indirect light to full sun when acclimated. Not suited for low light conditions.

Will my Bird of Paradise flower?

Most often, they will not produce flowers indoors. However, if you want to try to make your mature plant produce flowers, give your indoor houseplant enough light and plant food, and it will flower better if slightly pot bound.

What’s the best soil for my indoor bird of paradise?

The best soil for it is a basic, rich potting soil that retains water; however, drainage should be a top priority.

How to Care for Bird of Paradise Plant

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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