Bird of Paradise Care
A Beginner's Guide for Bird of Paradise Plant Care (Strelitzia)
Common Name: Bird of Paradise, Crane Flower, Banana Tree
Botanical Name: Strelitzia Nicolai ‘White Bird’
The Bird of Paradise is known for being a bold, statement plant, but it is also a very easy to care for houseplant. Lush leaves that can grow to be rather large given the right care, create a tropical ambience, but perhaps the most stunning feature of this well-known plant are the flowers. The stunning flowers resemble a bird which is the origin behind this houseplant’s unique name. When provided with the proper care, the Bird of Paradise can be a fast-growing houseplant.
Important! Strelitziaceae are poisonous if ingested, so be very careful if you have pets and/or small children.
The Bird of Paradise requires bright indirect light, and lots of it. These plants can grow to be very large, and they require a lot of light to bulk up. They also require a lot of light in order to flower indoors, which rarely happens!
Allow the top couple of inches of soil to dry out before watering and when you do water, saturate the soil until excess water drains through the grow pot. Since this houseplant requires lots of bright light, that may cause the soil to dry out more quickly, so be prepared to water the plant more frequently. Cut back on how often the your Bird of Paradise is watered during the fall and winter months.
Comfortable temperatures between 65-85 degrees are good for Strelitzia Nicolai. As a tropical plant, the Bird of Paradise does not like to be cold, so if you bring the plant outdoors for the warmer months, get it back inside before the overnight lows dip below 60 degrees.
The Strelitzia nicolai can live in average humidity, but increased humidity will help this plant thrive. Place the Bird of Paradise in an area that is naturally humid, or use a humidifier or a pebble tray with water to create the ideal environment.
Fertilize using a diluted complete liquid fertilizer every other week during the growing season. The Bird of Paradise can grow somewhat quickly and providing additional nutrients can help the plant and reach its full potential.
- Splits may form in the leaves of the Bird of Paradise. It is thought that this happens in nature to help the plant sustain high winds. The splits can appear randomly, but they are completely normal and nothing to be concerned about.
- The Bird of Paradise can be propagated through division. Separate the main plant into multiple plants when re-potting. It is worth noting that if you want to promote blooms then you may want to wait to divide the plant. The Bird of Paradise is more likely to bloom when it is crowded in its pot. Newly divided plants may take years to bloom.
- Take time to clean the leaves, either by rinsing the plant off in a sink or tub, or wiping the leaves with a damp cloth. The plant can more effectively go through the process of photosynthesis when the leaves are clean.