Even though a Bird’s of Paradise plant is exotic, they don’t require too much attention. While you commonly find them grown indoors, you can also find them in a garden landscape in warmer climates.
Many growers often think they do something wrong when their plant doesn’t begin to bloom and show the flowers that look like a bird’s head from where it gets its name.
Growing a Bird of Paradise plant has to be a labor of love because it is very different from many other plants and can take years to deliver. (Read Best Tower Planter)
Here, you can find out all you need to know about how to care for Birds of Paradise, the eye-catching perennial from South Africa. You can also find out how to get Bird of Paradise to bloom.
What is Bird’s Paradise?
Fabulous and flashy, a Bird of Paradise blooms and will bring some tropical color to any indoor vase, pot, or garden landscape. Once they blossom, you see it resembles birds in flight or colorful origami sculptures.
The spiky petals of the flower mimic the head of a crane which often leans toward it, being called the Crane flower. Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) loves heat and will thrive best in temperatures above 50 F.
You can find them mostly in USA winter hardy zones of 10 to 12. In colder regions, you can find many gardeners grow their Bird of Paradise in pots to move outdoors once the warm weather arrives. Luckily, the plant is equally at home as it is in containers. (Find out What Zone Am I In For Gardening)
Mature Bird of Paradise can grow from 4 feet up to 6 feet tall and wide. You can also see mature plants producing anywhere up to 36 flower spikes every year.
Do All Bird of Paradise Bloom?
You can find two main types of Bird of Paradise. One is the Strelitzia which is common in Florida, California, and Hawaii. The second is Caesalpinia and presents smaller flowers.
Although there are sub-variants of each, they all flower in a colorful display.
How Long Does a Bird of Paradise Take to Bloom?
Even though the care you need to offer your Bird of Paradise isn’t too extreme, they require more loving attention than other plants. Much of this comes from the amount of time it will be before seeing a flower from your plant.
You can find the Bird of Paradise may take around ten years to maturity, and then it will begin to bloom. Depending on the age of your plant when you received it, you may have quite a wait before it pays off, and your home is full of color.
There are, however, some care tips you can follow to help the Bird of Paradise plant on its way toward full growth.
Here are a few pointers to help you and your Paradise plants
- Lighting: Indoors, you need to be certain your plant has access to plenty of full suns or at least bright light. One thing to be cautious of is the sun hitting one side of your plant, so turn it in weekly for full coverage.
- Watering: Root rot can hit, so let the soil dry between waterings. Wintertime is more crucial than summer as evaporation is reduced. If you use a clay or terracotta pot, this can help your soil dry quicker and help prevent root rot.
- Soil: Soil type has to be designed for use in your pots. Using coco coir in the mix or perlite can help with the right amount of water retention and drainage.
- Humidity: Temperatures need to be above 50 degrees, and they love high humidity, so it is essential to make sure the air isn’t too dry. Misting every other day can help with this, or placing your pot on a saucer of pebbles topped up with water.
- Location: Bird of Paradise grows in thick shrubs, so they like to be in a crowded environment. If you have a large pot, avoid transplanting and let the stems and roots multiply.
- Cleaning: leaves can be large and will collect dust. Wipe them down with a damp cloth on occasions.
How Often Does the Bird of Paradise Bloom?
Although it takes a long time, you can see they can deliver up to 36 spiked flowers per year once it starts. Also, once conditions are ideal, you may find your plant blooming all through the growing season and beyond.
What is the Best Fertilizer for Bird of Paradise?
The best Bird of Paradise fertilizer will be organic such as manure, sewage sludge, bonemeal, or blood meal. It is also possible to use fertilizer granules or slow-release fertilizers if you spread them around your plants every three months or so during the growing season.
The plants are heavy feeders, and it is recommended to fertilize every two weeks through the summer and monthly in the winter. However, overfertilization leads to more abundant foliage, yet with little to no flowering. Learn How To Keep Birds Away)
Other things to remember when helping your plant to bloom are to keep the roots lightly pot bound as re-potting too often can slow the plant’s flowering by up to two years.
Besides, make sure you don’t plant the roots too deep and top-dress the plant with new potting soil once the spring arrives. Roots that are close to the surface can help your plants to bloom.
No matter which way you go, you have a long time waiting until your plants are around ten years old before they begin to flower. However, with the rights amount of sun, you are sure to have one of the most exotic plants you could ever dream of.