Bird of paradise is a wildflower plant. It is naturally found in many parts of Latin America. Crane flower and Strelitzia are two commonly used names.
The beauty of the bird of paradise plant is its crane-like flowers. Nowadays this plant is famous all over the world. It is the second most common houseplant in Europe.
Growing and caring techniques are simple even beginner growers can grow this plant.
Below is the complete growing guide, everything is included in this guide. Just read it to the end and make notes if you can’t remember the steps.
After reading this guide you will be able to grow, care and propagate birds of paradise flower plants.
About the Bird of Paradise Plant
It is an evergreen bushy plant. The size of the plant depends on the species, some are medium height, stay around 4 to 5 feet. Whereas others are tall and grow up to 26 feet in height.
The leaves of the birds of paradise grow like a banana plant. They are a leathery oval shape with a grey-green top surface.
Under normal growing conditions, leaves can grow 10 to 25 inches in length with a total width of 4 to 18 inches.
The best thing about this plant it looks stylish and beautiful even when it is not blooming. The reason is its leaves. They appear on the vertically grown stalks. These stalks are attached to the main root ball.
You can use these divisions to propagate Strelitzia.
Popular species of bird of paradise plant
There are many spices that are widely grown as a houseplant. But two of them look extraordinary. These are Orange and white birds of paradise.
White Birds of Paradise
It is also known as a wild banana or Strelitzia Nicolai. If this variety is grown in the best growing environment. Then white birds of paradise can grow up to 15 feet tall and spread about 10 feet.
This huge tree-like size is only possible if you give it a growing environment like its natural habitat.
Due to its large size, you cannot grow it inside your home. It is best suited for outdoor gardens and large parks.
In the blooming season it grows beautiful purple flowers and white bracts.
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Orange Birds of Paradise
This is the favorite species of indoor growers. Its sizes stay between 3 to 5 feet depending upon the care and maintenance techniques.
You can easily grow this plant in a plant container and to full fill, its light needs, place it near a sunny window.
The orange + purple flowers look very beautiful with bright green stalks.
The leaves will grow 7 to 8 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide. To grow it dense you must fertilize it in the spring and summer seasons.
How do you care for the birds of Paradise plant?
Your birds of paradise plant do not need special care treatment. You can keep it healthy and thriving for years just by supplying it with sufficient light, fertilizers, water, and humidity.
The warm climate and correct room temperature are two important factors that directly impact its overall health.
To grow it disease-free keep the growing area clean and trim it every year to get rid of dry and dead leaves and flowers.
Follow the below caring techniques to keep it alive and healthy for many years.
Birds of Paradise Light Needs
Plenty of indirect bright light is required to grow it without facing many problems. Find a place in your home where your birds of paradise can get a sufficient amount of indirect bright light.
In case you don’t have such a place then you can place your plant next to the east or west-facing window.
Because there it can get morning and evening sunlight. This technique is full proof to grow light-loving plants.
This plant needs 5 to 6 hours of bright light per day in all seasons.
In a low light environment, your plant will neither produce flowers nor grow dense (bushy). To encourage nice bloom, you can take the help of grow lights.
These lights are specially made to grow plants in the absence of sufficient sunlight. Go to Amazon and buy any brand LED grow light.
LEDs are cost-friendly, consume less electric power, release less heat and emit a full spectrum of light.
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Bird of paradise feels comfortable as long as the potting soil does not hold water for a long period of time. In simple words, you need to use well-draining and lightweight soil.
This type of soil has the best-draining powers that allow extra water to drain through the draining holes.
The best soil will be general-purpose potting soil that is made to grow all types of houseplants. You just need to add some nutrients to it.
For that, you can use organic compost. Compost gives a good amount of nitrogen to the plant. This nitrogen supply is necessary to make green stems and leaves.
This soil has ingredients like perlite and loam. They prevent the compaction of soil after the watering session.
For best results, keep the soil pH between 5.5 to 7.0 pH. Birds of paradise can grow in neutral soil but when you keep the pH on the acidic side.
This increases the nutrient and water absorption rate. As a result, your plant grows wide and strong with lots of flowers every year.
The watering sessions are directly linked to the room temperature and health of your plant. Plants growing in bright light need more water.
Because the high amount of light increases the rate of water evaporation. The potting soil becomes dry in a short time and you need to water frequently.
The general safe practice is watering birds of paradise just one time in 7 days in spring and summer. In winters due to cold weather, the evaporation rate slows downs and your plant needs water at the interval of 10 to 15 days.
To play safely in all weather conditions, the water you plant when you feel the top 2 inches of the potting soil are dry.
Excessive water in the plant pot results in root damage. to prevent root rot, you should slowly reduce the watering session as the temperature starts dropping down.
In winter do not water your plant before checking the potting soil condition. If your home air has a good amount of moisture then your plant will need very less water.
To keep it healthy and to encourage flowering you need to fertilize your plant with quality fertilizers. The plant has a large root ball that absorbs nutrients at a faster rate.
To keep the soil fertilized the use of nutrient supplements is advised.
To reduce your expenses, you can use general-purpose houseplant liquid fertilizer. This solution has all the essential nutrients.
Just dilute it in the clean water and give it to your plant. Nutrient boosts in the spring season speed up the blooming process. As a result, your plant produces a bunch of excellent flowers that last longer than normal.
To prevent overfertilization issues you should read the instruction that is written on the fertilizer bottle.
Each nutrient bottle is different from one another. Some brands made highly concentrated nutrient liquids that need to be diluted in a bucket of water.
Temperature & Humidity
The perfect temperature range is 60 to 75 degrees F. When the room temperature drops below 50 degrees F. Your birds of paradise start suffering from cold.
The best practice is to place the plant in a warm room in the winter season. Do not use the heater to give warmth to the plant.
This will dry the plant and its leaves in a short period of time. Dryness in the winter season due to artificial heat can damage the plant’s internal tissues.
If you are living in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12 then you don’t need to worry about the temperature.
The standard humidity is sufficient to keep it healthy. The range is 35% to 50%. Above 60% is not good for its health.
To measure the room humidity, use the hygrometer, and to increase it use a plant humidifier.
If this method is not possible then you can mist some water on its leaves on dry days.
Because it is a slow-growing plant you do not need to repot it frequently. Jut uses a large pot that can support its large root ball.
I have a container with 2 gallons capacity for this plant.
The new pot must have drain holes at the bottom. Asper the size of the pot it must have more than 3 holes.
It is best to use terracotta or clay plant pots. They help to reduce the chances of overwatering.
At the time of repotting your birds of paradise plant, you must use the fresh soil. This will put new strength in your plant.
I find seed propagation is the best technique of propagation. Your plant produces seeds once it gets matured. But it takes 4 to 5 years for birds of paradise to get mature and to produce seeds.
Only mature plants produce flowers and seeds.
Take the seeds and saw them in a pot and mist some water. To speed up the germination process place the pot in a warm and humid place.
Do not let the direct sunlight fall over the pot. This will burn the seed and reduce the chances of germination.
Keep the soil slightly moist by misting the water to reduce the germination process time.
To grow birds of paradise plants you need to give them plenty of indirect light. fertilization is a necessary step to encourage blooming. Keep the room temperature under control and your plant will grow perfectly fine.
To reduce the challenges, keep eye on the humid level and room temperature.
For more information on this topic, you can send us an email with pics of your plant.