The Bird of Paradise is regarded as the absolute queen of all indoor plants. The glossy, banana-shaped leaves of this large, upright plant fan out to give your room a rich, tropical feel. They can grow 5 to 6 feet tall. Before they flower, these plants must reach adulthood for three to five years. In warm climates, they thrive as specimen plants or in mass plantings outside where their flowers tower over the foliage in stunning displays.
Direct sunlight, frequent watering, and warmth are the keys to successful indoor growth. Compost feeds the plant in the early spring before new growth starts, and fertilizes once a week throughout the growing season. Increase the plant’s chance of survival by growing it in a container that can be taken outside during the warm summer months and brought back inside during the winter.
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How To Care For Bird Of Paradise Plant
For this plant to bloom properly, bright light is necessary, including some direct sunlight. But it needs protection from the midday summer sun, which can scorch the leaves of young plants2. A good location is in a room with windows facing east or west. A room with only a north-facing window should be avoided.
For potted plants, use a compost mixture or a rich, well-drained potting mix. If using a pot, make sure it has enough drainage holes to allow water to pass through the soil and out of the pot.
Keep the soil consistently moist all year long. Expect to water it every day in the spring and summer even though it shouldn’t be waterlogged because of its large leaves, which lose moisture. You can water it until you see water draining from its drainage holes, but watch out that it doesn’t sit in a pool of water. The plant will grow crunchy, brown leaves if it receives too much water. The leaves furthest from the center will turn yellow if submerged.
Temperature And Humidity
For the bird of paradise, high humidity is ideal. In the event that your home is dry, you might want to keep a spray bottle close by to mist it. In the winter, maintain an air temperature of at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes a while for this plant to recover from frost damage because it is not cold-tolerant.
This plant feeds heavily. Give it liquid fertilizer every week during the growing season or slow-release pellets in the spring.
Prior to losing their petals and dying, birds of paradise flowers are only alive for about three weeks. Take away any plant material that is deteriorated or outdated. The leaves should be thinned out in this manner. Remove the leaves by pulling them off or by cutting them with something sharp. Between each plant, sterilize the tools. A leaf should be left intact if it appears to be largely healthy. Use loppers, hand pruners, or a pruning saw in the early spring if your plant has become very large and needs to be significantly pruned back. Hedge trimmers leave ragged cuts, so stay away from them. All leaves and stems can be cut just above the surface. Using long-handled pruners, remove a few selected stems and leaves if the plant continues to be overcrowded.
Potting And Repotting Bird Of Paradise
In order to bloom, the rapidly expanding plant known as the bird of paradise must reach a certain size. In a 10-inch pot, a 3- to the 4-foot-tall bird of paradise thrives. In a 14-inch pot, an average 5- to 6-foot plant does well. Every spring, pot it up into a larger container.
Allow it to be pot-bound once it reaches maturity so that it will bloom. It can be divided once it has reached maturity or bloomed at least once, but you should avoid doing so too often because dense clumps bear the most flowers. The bloom cycle is disturbed by repotting.
Propagating Bird Of Paradise
Sowing seeds and division are the best methods for growing birds of paradise. Compared to seedling growth, the division is simpler and quicker. The best plants to use are mature ones that have bloomed for at least three years. Here is a guide to the strelitzia division.
To propagate by division:
- For in-ground or large plants, you will need larger tools like a shovel and saw depending on the size of your plant (and its rhizome or underground root structure). You can make use of a sharp knife for smaller plants. If you decide to pot the division, you will need a new pot and potting soil that drains well.
- A shovel saw, or knife can be used to divide the rhizome underground and remove any new growth or offshoots at the base of a plant with at least three leaves.
- With a well-draining potting mix, repotted the plant in a fresh container.
How To Grow Bird Of Paradise From Seed
Strelitzia from seeds requires patience to grow. Seed germination can take up to two months. For 24 to 48 hours prior to planting, soak seeds in water at room temperature. Eliminate any stringy orange material. Use a knife or nail file to nick the seed. Approximately 1/2 to 1 inch deep and at least 3 inches apart from other seeds, plant the seed in a well-draining potting mix. Put the container in a warm, shaded area that gets some indirect sunlight (at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep the soil moist but not soggy by covering it with a cloche or plastic wrap. Transplant the seedling to a 6-inch pot as soon as it sprouts and has two to three leaves. Your plant is prepared for a more permanent home once it is 6 inches tall.
How To Get Bird Of Paradise To Bloom
Your plant is ready to bloom when it is at least four to five years old. Maintain it in a pot to encourage flowering. Give it a lot of suns (at least 6 hours of direct sunlight or bright light) and feed it on time. Insufficient light is among the most frequent causes of a bird of paradise’s failure to bloom. Throughout the summer, these plants should also be kept evenly moist, but you should let them dry out in between waterings.
Common Problems With Bird Of Paradise
There aren’t many problems with strelitzia; it’s a fairly trouble-free plant. When its ideal conditions are not met, it is most vulnerable to root rot and insects that feed on the plant. However, if it is not overwatered, fed, and given enough light and air circulation, it can fend off the majority of issues.
Wilting Or Browning Of Leaves
Root rot is the disease that strelitzia suffers from the most frequently. A fungus that causes root rot can take over a plant when its roots are submerged in water or the soil becomes excessively wet for an extended period of time. By allowing the soil to dry out in between waterings, it can be avoided. The smell of rotting meat is another indication that you have root rot. Early detection is key to saving some plants. Root rot can be treated by pulling up the root ball, removing any blackened or moldy rhizomes, using a fungicide as directed, and repotting the plant in a clean container with new soil that drains well.
Underwatering is indicated by curling leaves. More water should be added, and the water should flow freely out of the bottom of the pot, in order to avoid this issue. Make sure the plant doesn’t sit in the water after this thorough watering to prevent the roots from drying out. Additional issues may result from soggy soil.
Yellowing leaves can indicate a number of things. First of all, if a leaf occasionally turns yellow and a plant is mature, the leaf’s normal life cycle may be to blame. However, if a lot of leaves start to yellow, it could mean that the plant isn’t getting enough moisture, needs more nutrients, or isn’t getting enough water if the yellowed leaves are on the outside of the plant. One at a time, increase each of those variables to see if the issue is resolved.
Slits Or Breaks In The Leaves
This plant has broad leaves. It’s natural and normal for your strelitzia to develop slits or breaks in the leaves, especially if your plant spends a portion of the year outdoors. In order to circulate air around its leaves and roots, the plant creates slits. Slitting is made worse by wind and breezes. Mold and other pests are prevented from growing by air movement.
How Simple Are Bird Of Paradise To Maintain?
Although strelitzia is a low-maintenance plant, it does need regular feeding and watering. It’s one of the simpler specimens to maintain and has relatively few pest issues among tropical or subtropical species.
Are Plants Called Birds Of Paradise Toxic?
Ingesting the foliage from a Birds of Paradise plant can irritate people, cats, and dogs. The best course of action is to always keep houseplants out of small children’s and animals’ reach.
What is the growth rate of the bird of paradise?
Slow-growing strelitzia can take up to five years to reach maturity and bloom.
What distinguishes Strelitzia and Caesalpinia from one another as birds of paradise plants?
Despite sharing the name “birds of paradise,” these two plants are very different. Warm, humid climates are ideal for strelitzia. In contrast, Caesalpinia prefers arid, hot environments because it does not like humidity.