In terms of houseplants, the Bird of Paradise is an absolute Queen. Its quirky, stunning blooms are akin to a brightly colored tropical bird in full flight. Its scientific name (Strelitzia reginae) honors Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and wife of King George III in the late 1700s. This tropical beauty is relatively easy to grow and, with the proper care, can grow to over six feet tall!
Caring for Your Bird of Paradise Plant Outdoors
Only hardy to Zones 9 through 11, we are lucky enough here in South Florida to be able to grow Bird of Paradise outside. Its waxy, banana-shaped leaves grow to approximately 18 inches long, and its stunningly gorgeous blooms include three indigo petals and three mandarin orange bracts. They prefer full sun to light shade, and if you intend to plant Bird of Paradise in a group, be sure to space them approximately 6 feet apart as they grow quite large!
A Bird of Paradise plant needs to be well-watered for the first six months in your garden, and then you can cut back your watering schedule. They do not like wet feet, but you should water a well-established Bird of Paradise once the first inch of soil is dry.
These plants grow quite quickly and thus are heavy feeders, so it is ideal to have them on a regular fertilizer schedule throughout the growing season. However, they do not need fertilizer during their dormancy over the winter months.
Indoor Bird of Paradise Care
Bird of Paradise is quite a popular houseplant for obvious reasons—it’s gorgeous! While we are not limited to growing them indoors in SoFlo, here are a few quick tips for you if you love the idea of sprucing up your home with a Bird of Paradise.
Native to South Africa, the Bird of Paradise thrives in a humid environment. It will enjoy having its leaves misted regularly, especially if you have the air conditioning running inside. While a Bird of Paradise is unlikely to bloom inside due to the lack of sunlight, its foliage is enough reason to enjoy its beauty indoors! They will flourish in a south-facing sunny spot in your home, but they are adaptable and will survive in indirect sunlight. They require consistent watering but do not want wet feet, so never leave your Bird of Paradise sitting in wet or soggy soil.
Signs & Symptoms that Your Bird of Paradise Needs a Little TLC
While the Bird of Paradise is a relatively easy plant to grow, there are a couple of common issues that you might encounter:
Leaves curling on a Bird of Paradise outdoors may be due to a pest problem. Scale, mites, and a form of thrip (Chaetanaphothrips signipennis) are common pests for Bird of Paradise plants.
Curling leaves can also indicate poor soil quality, insufficient watering, lack of humidity, or being rootbound. Transplant stress can also cause leaves to curl, which only lasts for a day or two until it adjusts to their new home.
Brown Edges on Foliage
Brown edges on a Bird of Paradise are usually due to underwatering, lack of humidity, or it’s not warm enough. If you follow the basic care for your Bird of Paradise that we have outlined above, you should be able to avoid the majority of these common problems!
On the lookout for Bird of Paradise plants for sale in Fort Lauderdale? Living Color Garden Center has a brilliant selection in stock that will look beautiful in your landscape or your home. We can also get you stocked up on the proper fertilizer, containers, and anything else you might need to help your Bird of Paradise stretch its wings and take off in full flight!