This Bird of Paradise plant care guide will help you get a beautiful and healthy indoor plant. The orange Bird of Paradise is known as Strelitzia Reginae while the white one is known as the Strelitzia Nicolai. Although the Bird of Paradise is an easy houseplant to care for, it can be difficult to get them to bloom especially if you don’t have enough light. They can be grown successfully as indoor plants as well as outdoor plants on patios and porches.
Bird of Paradise Plant Care Tips
Bird of Paradise is one of the plants that can grow very large. They also produce huge banana-like leaves that look amazing. If you can’t get your plant to bloom, you can still enjoy the gorgeous foliage.
When planning to get a Bird of Paradise, consider the space needed to keep the plant happy. It can grow up to 1-1.5 meters high and 0.5-1 meter wide.
Bird of Paradise Care Light
Bird of Paradise plants is generally light-loving plants. They need at least 6 hours of light every day to thrive. The light needs to be bright and direct. If you can provide the plant with straight direct sunlight, the better they will do.
The plant will bloom faster if it has more direct bright light. Place the plant in the brightest spot in your house if you want it to do well.
The Bird of Paradise is one of the plants that you should avoid if you can’t provide them with enough light. It doesn’t tolerate low light well and will not be happy.
Although some plants get their leaves damaged by direct sun, the Bird of Paradise doesn’t. It is one of the best plants to grow outside in a sunny spot. Frequently, check the new growth to determine if the plant is getting enough light.
Bird of Paradise Plant Care Outside
It’s important to note that your plant might get sun damage the first time you put it outside. Although he plant thrives in direct sunlight, the leaves might get scorched the first time.
Most of the plants you buy from stores and nurseries have been growing inside greenhouses. They are used to get filtered light.
If your plant gets brown spots after placing it outside, don’t worry. Although you can’t get rid of the spots, all the subsequent growth will have adapted to the direct sunlight.
Bird of Paradise Won’t Flower?
Some plant owners get frustrated because their Bird of Paradise won’t bloom. If you’re struggling to get your plant to bloom, these are some of the things to check:
- The plant is getting enough light. At least 6 hours of direct bright sunlight every day.
- 3-5 years. They require sufficient time to reach maturity.
- Enough recovery time from being repotted.
- Keep temperatures between 60-80 0 F
Bird of Paradise Soil Requirements
Bird of Paradise Plant Care also includes providing the plant with the right soil mix. When it comes to the soil mix, Bird of Paradise plants love a well-draining soil that is also nutrient-rich.
I normally pot and grow Bird of Paradise plants in a DIY soil mix. The soil mix consists of peat moss or well-washed coco coir, compost and pumice/perlite/coarse sand in the ratio 1/3,1/3,1/3
If you add too much pumice/perlite/coarse sand, the soil will become too porous. The plant roots will not be able to get enough water before it drains out. You will find yourself watering the plant more frequently.
Watering Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise requires thorough watering especially during the hot months and growing season. If you place the plant indirect light, they will use up the water you provide rapidly.
Bird of Paradise Plant Care also includes providing the plant with sufficient water. The plants also have big broad leaves that need large volumes of water to sustain them. You need to stay on top of the watering to keep your plant happy.
During the growing season, you can aim to keep the soil moist instead of allowing it to dry out too much in between watering sessions. During winter, cut back the watering and allow the soil to dry off partially before watering again.
When watering them as indoor plants, you have to avoid overwatering or underwatering. Once you do, you will have happy plants that produce new gorgeous leaves and thrive.
Underwatered plants will get crisp leaves with brown tips. This is the stage just before the plant’s leaves die off.
Fertilizing Bird of Paradise
Birds of Paradise can do well without any special fertilizer. I use the same type of fertilizer I use for all my other houseplants to feed the Bird of Paradise. I normally use a diluted liquid complete fertilizer.
Fertilize the Bird of Paradise once every two weeks during the growing season. Older Bird of Paradise plants can be top-dressed with worm casting or compost. I also add either of the two when I am repotting my older plants.
The plants are heavy feeders and produce a lot of foliage when they are growing and need the energy. You can also use bone meal as a slow-release fertilizer.
The best temperature for Bird of Paradise averages between 60 0 F to 80 0 F. These plants don’t like to grow below 600 F. I wouldn’t recommend keeping them below this ideal range because they won’t be happy.
Birds of Paradise can tolerate various levels of humidity. However, the higher the humidity the better they do, they love a nice warm humid environment.
If you can keep the humidity at around 60% to 70% you should be good. If you are having trouble keeping up the humidity levels in your home, you can get a humidifier.
You can also keep the plants in groups. The plant grows in a Tropical environment when growing in nature. The ideal place mimics the natural environment.
Clean the Leaves
Most plant owners know it’s pretty standard to clean the leaves of their plants. However, most people ignore it or are too busy and never get around to it.
Clean the leaves of your Bird of Paradise if you want it to thrive. The plant has huge leaves that can collect dust easily. Cleaning them helps the plant photosynthesize and make energy efficiently.
Clean the leaves with a wet paper towel or a cloth. Be gentle don’t damage the roots. When cleaning the leaves, you can also use neem oil as a preventative measure against most common pests.
Leaching is necessary when plants experience mineral and salt build up in the soil. The Bird of Paradise requires a lot of fertilizing and feeding which increases the chances of mineral build-up.
I normally leach the Bird of Paradise at least twice a year. This is not standard practice for other plants. Other plants can go for extended periods without the need for leaching.
To leach, the plant, take it and place it under a sink and let the water run through it. If its too big to fit under a sink, place it outside and use a hose to run water through the soil.
Bird of Paradise Pests and Diseases
The majority of the common pests can attack the Bird of Paradise plants. When grown as both house plants and outdoor plants, Bird of Paradise sometimes faces many pests or disease challenges.
They can be attacked by aphids and mealybugs especially when growing in the same space as other infected plants.
Keep an eye out for early signs of pests and control them using neem oil. Some of the signs to look out for include twisting, curling, or stunted leaves.
Problems with Bird of Paradise
- Split Leaves- noticing split leaves is common. The more movement, the plant experiences the higher the risk of leaves splitting.
- Yellow spots on the leaves- Can be caused by overfertilization.
- Droopy and curled leaves-Caused by underwatering
You can repot your plants when you notice they are getting root-bound. Bird of Paradise plants is large growers. Repotting should be done when the plant requires more space to grow.
Remove your plant, break down the roots, and establish it in a bigger pot half-filled with soil mix. Fill the sides with soil and press it down to ensure that it does not grow slanted.
Bird of Paradise Propagation
Propagating Bird of Paradise done by diving the mature plants. The mature plants have suckers that can be divided and established to grow into new plants.
Propagation should be carried out during late Spring. Using a sharp knife, separate the rhizomes into sizable sections. Sprinkle rooting hormone on the rhizomes before establishing them in soil.
Bird of Paradise Poisonous to Pets
The Bird of Paradise plants is toxic to both cats, dogs, and horses. The plant is poisonous and contains hydrocyanic acid in the leaves and toxic tannins in the flowers.
If ingested, the pets can experience tongue and mouth irritation as well as eye discharge and labored breathing.
Bird of Paradise produces huge spectacular foliage. Even if you won’t get your plant to flower and give you the awesome blooms, you can still enjoy the foliage. The plant also brings a tropical feel in any space.
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