Care of Large Bird of Paradise Plants


The bird-of-paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae), also known as the crane flower, produces exotic blossoms that resemble the heads of regal birds. A native of South Africa, this plant grows into a 3- to 5-foot clump area with semitropical climates. Like many types of delicate plants, bird-of-paradise plants require warm climates for outdoor survival. These plants make attractive houseplants in cooler areas and, with adequate care, often grow into large, striking houseplants.

Step 1

Check the soil near the roots of your large bird-of-paradise plant. The soil should feel slightly moist during the active growing season and slightly dry during dormancy. Look for the appearance of roots above the surface of the soil or extending through the drainage holes. These conditions require repotting your bird-of-paradise plant. Like all large houseplants, these plants require pots large enough to maintain the maturing size of the plant.

Step 2

Transplant your large bird-of-paradise plant into a pot that is about one-third larger than the current pot. Use a rich, well-drained potting soil when transplanting. Place a layer of soil on the bottom of the pot, allowing enough room on top to keep the surface of the rootball about 1/2 an inch below the rim of the pot. Gently remove your bird-of-paradise from its old pot and place in the new one. Fill in the sides with your potting soil. Dampen the soil immediately after transplanting.

Step 3

Place your potted bird-of-paradise plant in an area that provides adequate exposure to full sunlight. Although this flowering plant tolerates a little shade, it produces abundant blossoms in bright locations. If you can safely do so, move your large plant outdoors during the warm, summer months. Keep it in a location that provides protection from strong winds and bring back in before the weather begins to turn cold in the fall.

Step 4

Fertilize your large bird-of-paradise plant to replace depleted nutrients in the soil. This hungry plant rapidly removes existing nutrients as it grows and matures. Use a fertilizer formulated for flowering houseplants, and apply this food according to the label instructions. Reapply your fertilizer about once every three months during the active growing season.

Step 5

Water your large bird-of-paradise regularly to maintain a slightly moist environment. Insert a fingertip into the soil near the base of your bird-of-paradise. The soil near the depth of the roots should feel a little cool and damp to your finger. Place a layer of light mulch over the surface of the soil in homes and buildings with arid conditions. Do not pile the mulch against the stems of your bird-of-paradise plant. Allow about an inch of air space between the stems and the circle of mulch.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Potting soil
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • University of Hawaii: Bird-of-Paradise
  • University of Florida: Bird-or-Paradise
  • "Botnica's Gardening Encyclopedia", Susan Page, 2001

Who Can Help

  • Texas A&M University: Caring for Plants in the Home
Keywords: bird-of-paradise plant, large houseplant care, bird of paradise

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.