Bird Of Paradise Plant Care
Bird Of Paradise,  Plant Care

Bird Of Paradise Plant Care

Welcome to our guide to bird of paradise care. In general a bird of paradise plant is a great houseplant, just make sure they get plenty of indirect sunlight.

Bird Of Paradise Plant Care Summary

Light needs:Medium to Bright indirect sunlight.
Watering needs:It should be dry a finger depth down from the top at least, before watering. Check it once a week.
Fertilizer:Use a balanced fertilizer once a month in the warmer months.
Soil:Well draining compost with plenty of organic matter.
Humidity:Will do well in humid environments, but will do just fine in normal household humidity too.
Temperature:Will do fine in household temperatures, do not le them get below freezing.
Where to buy: Try our list of the best rare plant shops.
Other names:Strelitzia, crane flowers.
Common issues:Over watering and underwatering.

Bird Of Paradise Plant Care

Welcome to our Bird Of Paradise plant care guide. Birds of Paradise have become popular recently and rightly so – their tall elegant shape work well in outdoor and indoor spaces – and they are easy to care for in a home environment.

See also: Bird Of Paradise Propagation, Croton Plant Care, Houseplants Poisonous To Cats, Zz Plant Care, Norfolk Island Pine Care.

Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.

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Bird Of Paradise Light Needs

How much sun does a bird of paradise need?

Birds of paradise can flower, but for this sort of growth they need a lot of light, if you live in a colder climate some direct sunlight is good too. BOPs will do ok in a range of light conditions from relatively low light to bright indirect sunlight.

Tip: give it as much light as possible to encourage growth, the closer to the window the better.

How Often to Water A Bird Of Paradise Plant

Water a bird of paradise every 1 or 2 weeks – more in the growing season. But each time check it is dry first – it should be dry a finger depth down from the top at least, before watering.

Bird Of Paradise Fertilizer

What is the best fertilizer for bird of paradise?

A balanced fertilizer (1:1:1 or 20:20:20) – this means they have equal amounts nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Use it in the growing season, but sparingly as you can sometimes get brown leaves from over-feeding. So monitor it and if in doubt dilute the fertilizer slightly more than before.

Bird Of Paradise Soil

A well draining compost with plenty of organic matter will suit your BOP well. They do not want to get waterlogged.

Strelitzia reginae (photo source: Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA, CC BY 2.0

When To Repot A Bird Of Paradise

A good time of year to repot a Strelizia is in spring. They can stop growing so much once root bound, but they may flower more easily and pup (grow more baby plants) if the roots are crowded. If your bird of paradise has stopped growing, and you want the plant to grow bigger then repot it up a few sizes in spring time. This is also a good time to split off any pups and plant them up separately (see our guide on Bird Of Paradise Propagation for more on this).

Bird Of Paradise Humidity

As with a lot of easy to care for tropical house plants they will do well in humid environments, but will do just fine in normal household humidity too.

Bird Of Paradise Temperature

BOPs are South African plants originally and will thrive in household temperatures. In hotter months they can also do well outside, be careful of leaf burn in direct sunlight though. They will also tolerate cold down to freezing (0 degrees C).

Bird Of Paradise Vs Travelers Palm

The travelers palm has blade like leaves which grow from the same point. Bird of paradise have more rounded leaves which grow on stalks.

How To Propagate A Bird Of Paradise

You need to propagate them by division, stem cuttings will not work.

Follow these steps:

  1. You need a plant that has split into more plant or put out a new ‘pup’ plant at the base.
  2. Remove it from it’s plant pot and take off as much soil as you can.
  3. The tubers are often really big and packed tightly, but you need to try to separete off a smaller plant with as little damage as possible. You may need to cut the tuber with a knife. Just be as careful as possible.
  4. After separating out the pups, leave them for half a day or so for the wounds to heal over.
  5. Pot the plants up separately and water them in.

Bird Of Paradise Plant USDA Zone

They do well outside and can live year round outdoors in zones 10-12.

Where To Buy Bird Of Paradise

They seem to pop up everywhere these days from market stalls to every online shop. Also try Ebay and Etsy.

Other Names for Bird Of Paradise

Strelitzia, crane flowers.

Birds Of Paradise Tree

Some Birds of Paradise grow huge, this Strelitzia Nicolai for example is a huge a bird of paradise tree.

Birds Of Paradise Tree
Strelitzia Nicolai (photo source: Marija Gajić, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia

Bird Of Paradise FAQs and Common Issues

Over watering and underwatering are the most common issues associated with birds of paradise plants. Check if the soil is wet a finger distance down before watering, and check this once a week, watering only if needed. If the leaves are curling then they are most likely underwatered.
BOPs can be susceptible to bugs like mealy bugs and scale, which are easily treated with pesticide or diluted dish washing liquid on the leaves.

Do Bird Of Paradise Grow Fast?

Bird of paradise grow really fast if given the right conditions, they grow upwards quickly, as well as outwards as they divide and create more.

Do Bird Of Paradise Like Misting?

They do better in higher humidity levels, but will be fine in medium humidity. So you are ok not to mist them. Misting only increases the humidity for a short amount of time, so if you want to up the humidity it is best to put them in a higher humidity room, or near other plants, so that the plant is in a more constant higher humidity environment.

Can Bird Of Paradise Grow In Water?

Bird of paradise need to grow in soil, they do not do well in just water.

Can They Take Full Sun?

Bird of paradise can do well outdoors and be acclimatized slowly to direct sun. They burn in full on midday summer sun though, so be careful.

Why Is My Bird Of Paradise Leaves Curling?

Leaves curl due to a lack of moisture, which can be due to too little humidity or water (or both). It is most likely water so make sure your plant is watered well.

Why Doesn’t My Bird Of Paradise Bloom?

BOPs need a lot of light to flower, and they need to be mature. Try to give them as much light as you can and they should flower once they are mature,.

When Do They Bloom?

Bird of paradise flower when they reach maturity at about three or four years old.

Can They Freeze?

Bird of paradise is ok to get down to freezing, but not for long extended period of time. They are known to survive infrequently freezing temperatures.

Is Bird Of Paradise Toxic To Cats?

BOPs are mildly toxic to cats and dogs, especially if they eat the fruit and seeds. They should be ok but seek vets advice if eaten. (Source).

Bird Of Paradise Vs Banana Plant?

The main difference is that the bird of paradise does not produce bananas! Banana plants have wider, bigger leaves that all grow from a trunk. BOPs do not have a trunk, but shoot up from the ground.

What are the different types of birds of paradise plants?

There are at least 5 different types of strelitzias: strelitzia nicolai, strelitzia alba, strelitzia caudata, strelitzia juncea, and strelitzia reginae.

Are birds of paradise easy to care for

Yes they are, they tolerate normal household environments and don’t need any special treatment as far as houseplants go.

Strelitzia Reginae (photo source: Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA, CC BY 2.0

Can I put my bird of paradise outside?

Yes many people keep them outside depending on the time of the year. They can tolerate both direct sunlight (in moderation) and down to the high end of freezing temperatures.

Why are the leaves on my bird of paradise turning brown?

Too much fertilizer or root rot are common reasons for BOPs to brown. Both of these are resolved by being more careful with watering/feeding the plant.

Do they like coffee grounds?

Birds of paradise can be fertilized with coffee grounds in small amounts in growing season.

Why are my bird of paradise leaves splitting?

It is normal for bird of paradise leaves to split sometimes, especially when outside, they split in the wind. They also sometimes split slightly as the new leaves unfurl, it is nothing to worry about.

Do they like direct sunlight?

Yes they do like direct sunlight when flowering and before flowering, but be careful they do not burn and move them back from the window if needed. See the above section on Bird Of Paradise Light Needs.

Do birds of paradise multiply?

Yes, they produce baby plants called pups around the base. They can be divided off and planted separately.

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Hope you found this guide useful, you might like our article on Bird Of Paradise Propagation.

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