How to Care for White Bird of Paradise Plants


The white bird of paradise (Strelitzia alba) is a larger tree form of the more familiar bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) with its bright, orange blooms. White bird of paradise is a much larger plant, growing to heights of more than 18 feet, with leaves as long as 3 to 4 feet. The blue and white blooms grow high in the tree and are often difficult to see. Although white bird of paradise is a warm-weather plant that won't tolerate cold, caring for a white bird of paradise is no different than caring for a regular bird of paradise plant.

Step 1

Plant white bird of paradise in full sunlight. Although the plant will grow in partial shade, full sunlight will bring out larger blooms. Plant bird of paradise in well-draining soil in a location where the plant will be protected from strong winds, as wind can tear the large leaves.

Step 2

Water white bird of paradise generously throughout the winter months. Plenty of moisture during the winter will promote more blooms during the summer. During the summer, keep the soil evenly moist, but not soaked.

Step 3

Spread 3 to 4 inches of composted mulch such as dry, chopped leaves or shredded bark around the base of the white bird of paradise, but don't allow the mulch to pile against the trunk. Mulch will retain moisture, provide nutrients to the soil and help to control weeds.

Step 4

Feed full-grown white bird of paradise plants every three months. Give each large clump 1 lb. of slow-release, granular fertilizer, applied according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 5

Prune spent blooms and dead leaves occasionally to keep the plant looking healthy and neat. Prune any leaves that are torn and tattered by wind. Otherwise, white bird of paradise requires no pruning.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic mulch
  • Slow-release, granular fertilizer


  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: White Bird-of-Paradise
  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Bird of Paradise
  • University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension: Bird-of-Paradise
Keywords: bird of paradise, white bird, Strelitzia alba

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.