Bird of Paradise Plant Care
Learn All About Bird of Paradise Care with our Guide
Bird of paradise is known for its beautiful flowers and is named after their resemblance to the tropical bird of the same name. Native to South Africa, it is a close relative of the banana plant and can quickly grow to 5-6 feet tall. Bird of paradise enjoys bright light, direct sun and warmth and will need to mature for 3 to 5 years before flowering.
Caring for your Bird of Paradise
Bird of paradise loves direct sunshine, so place it near an East, South or West facing window. Aim for at least 4 hours of direct sunlight. It is a good idea to move your bird of paradise outside in the warm summer months, but too many hours of full sun may cause damage to the leaves of a young plant if it doesn't have time to acclimatise. Your bird of paradise will tolerate a spot with bright indirect sunlight, but it will not need as much water and growth will be slow, so be careful not to overwater.
Soil & Nutrients
Bird of paradise plants need a lot of nutrients, so make sure that your plant is in a large enough pot with an organically rich potting mix. Good drainage is important so you can keep the soil moist without it going soggy. To keep these hungry plants satisfied, use a liquid fertiliser during the growing season (May to August) or add slow-release pellets to the soil in spring. It is a good idea to re-pot into a larger pot with new compost each spring.
Bird of paradise varieties aren't drought tolerant and their soil should be kept moist, but not soggy, throughout the year. In the hottest months, your bird of paradise may need to be watered daily. Make sure the water drains through the pots drainage holes each time. It is important not to overwater your bird of paradise and it should never sit in a pool of water. Crunchy brown leaves are a sign of too much water, whilst yellowing leaves are a sign your bird of paradise is thirsty.
Climate & Humidity
Bird of paradise plants prefer consistently warm temperatures and are sensitive to temperature extremes. Avoid exposing your bird of paradise to cold or dry conditions. To increase humidity try misting your plant every day, especially if you are running the air conditioning or heating as these can cause the air to dry out.
Bird of paradise is a slow grower and will need 3 to 5 years to mature before it will flower. Keep the leaves clean of dust by wiping them with a damp cloth and prune any dead growth. It is common for leaves to split and this isn't a cause for concern if the leaves are otherwise healthy.