Bird of paradise (Strelitzia) is an exotic tropical plant with flamboyant blooms that resemble the head of a colorful bird. A large, dramatic plant that can grow as tall and wide as 5 feet, bird of paradise is generally unsuitable for most indoor environments. However, dwarf or pygmy varieties that grow approximately 2 to 3 feet tall at maturity are ideal for the home environment, and will bring a bit of the tropics indoors.
Place bird of paradise where the plant will be exposed to at least eight hours of bright sunlight per day. If light levels are low during short winter days, supplement with a grow light.
Mist the foliage of the bird of paradise every day during spring and summer. Mist the plant two or three times every week during the winter months. Wipe the plant occasionally with a soft cloth to keep the leaves dust-free.
Keep the room moderately warm with temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees F and about 55 degrees at night. Don't allow temperatures to drop below 50 degrees F.
Feed bird of paradise twice monthly between March and September using a general purpose liquid fertilizer for indoor plants. Feed the plant only once every month during fall and winter.
Move the plant outdoors in a sunny location during the summer. Time outdoors will increase the chances that the bird of paradise will bloom.
Repot bird of paradise only when the plant becomes root bound and growth slows, or when the plant begins to require water more often than usual, as bird of paradise does best when the roots are slightly crowded. Move the plant into a container just one size larger. Fill the container with a high-quality, peat-based commercial potting soil.