Bird of Paradise Care

A Beginner's Guide for Bird of Paradise Plant Care (Strelitzia)

Bird of Paradise Plant Care Guide

Family: Strelitziaceae
Common Name: Bird of Paradise, Crane Flower, Banana Tree
Botanical Name: Strelitzia Nicolai ‘White Bird’

This ultimate statement indoor plant -- Bird of Paradise -- takes plant styling to a new level! Massive leaves form over time with the proper care, creating a tropical focal point, but the flowers are perhaps the most stunning feature of this well-known plant. The gorgeous flowers resemble a bird, the origin of this houseplant’s unique name. Sorry to say that most strelitzia will not bloom indoors, but we are really here for the foliage! When provided with the proper care, the Bird of Paradise can be a fast-growing houseplant that may soon outgrow its setting. Learn how to care for these magnificent creatures! If you are a visual learner, then check out our Bird of Paradise Care Video!


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! We suggest to find a setting that will provide at least 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight each day. It is possible for strelitzia to survive in lower light, but it will produce smaller leaves and will not grow quickly. You can plant your Bird of Paradise outdoors, but remember to acclimate them by placing them in the shade for two weeks before relocating them under full sunlight!


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°F 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 50°F at night.


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. Learn how to increase the humidity for you indoor plants!


Fertilize using a diluted complete liquid fertilizer every other week during the growing season. Alternatively, you can top dress the soil with a 1" layer of organic compost. Scratch the compost into the uppermost layer of the soil and then water thoroughly!  The Bird of Paradise can grow somewhat quickly and providing additional nutrients can help the plant and reach its full potential.

Growth Rate

Bird of Paradise is a fast-growing indoor plant and can grow higher than your ceiling! Expect them to grow 2'+ a year in the right setting.

Pet Friend or Foe

Bird of Paradise is toxic. Foe!

Pro Tips

  1. 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.
  2. 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, if ever indoors!
  3. 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.

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