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How to Care for a Bird of Paradise Plant

By Willow Sidhe ; Updated September 21, 2017
Bird of paradise flowers appear in late winter or early spring.
Bird of paradise image by Jan Ebling from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

A South American native, bird of paradise cannot tolerate cold temperatures. The plant performs best indoors as a houseplant in most areas of the United States. Once classified a member of the banana family because of its broad leaves, the ornamental flower earned the plant its own family, Strelitziaceae. Bird of paradise blooms in late winter or early spring, producing bright, attractive flowers in shades of blue, orange and white. The plant requires only basic care to thrive and produce flowers year after year.

Grow bird of paradise plant in a location that receives bright sunlight for optimal flower production or partial shade for the most attractive foliage. Maintain a regular temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 50 to 55 degrees F at night.

Water the plant once every three to five days, or whenever the soil feels slightly dry. Soak the soil thoroughly at each application, and then drain away excess moisture to avoid rotting. Reduce watering frequency to once every week during winter.

Mist bird of paradise plant once each day during winter, when indoor air is dry. Fill a spray bottle with lukewarm water and mist the plant during the early morning hours so excess moisture can evaporate before evening.

Feed the plant once every two weeks during spring and once every week during summer to provide proper nutrition. Use a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer, following the application and dosage instructions on the package for the best results. Do not fertilize during fall or winter.

Repot bird of paradise plant once every one to two years, or whenever the plant outgrows its current growing container. Increase the size of the pot by about 3 inches and provide a fresh, moist potting mix to ease the shock of transplanting.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Fertilizer
  • Container
  • Potting mix

Tips

  • Grow bird of paradise outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11 only. Plant in a location that receives partial shade and has fertile, well-drained soil. Feed once a month using a balanced 6-6-6 NPK garden fertilizer and water once a week, or often enough to keep soil slightly moist. Prune away damaged leaves and flowers in spring.
  • Place bird of paradise plant outdoors during summer in a partially shaded location if desired. Remember to return it to its original location before the temperature drops below 60 degrees F.

About the Author

 

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.