How to Grow and Maintain The Birds of Paradise

How to Grow and Maintain The Birds of Paradise - Patricia blog

The Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia Nicolai) is famous for a spectacular display of huge tropical leaves that can grow to be more than 20 feet tall in the wilds of southern Africa! They’re most likely to grow between 3 feet and 8 feet tall in human environments. Yet, they still rank among the most popular houseplants due to their lush foliage’s impressive size and the variety of colors it contains.

Growing Birds of Paradise plants requires suitable soil, the right conditions, and lots of patience as they take a long time to develop. To maintain these plants, you must establish a balanced pattern of watering. Also, check you have the correct Placement, Temperature, and Humidity, Proper Watering, Proper Fertilization, Proper Pruning.

Step By Step Guide in Planting Birds of Paradise Plants

Birds of Paradise plants require little maintenance and are relatively simple to grow. It is important to note that developing Birds of Paradise from seed is time-consuming and can take three to five years.

Purchase a potted Birds of Paradise plant from a florist or garden center and grow it indoors or in a garden by following the instructions below:

Step 1. Plant the Birds of Paradise in soil that is rich in nutrients and drains well.

If you want to grow the Birds of Paradise in your garden, pick a healthy, well-draining soil and cover it with mulch to preserve moisture, decrease weed infestations, and supplement nutrients.

Step 2. Fertilize the soil where you intend to plant the plants. Increase the amount of
fertilizer in the soil to enhance blossoming.

Apply manure or a slow-release fertilizer every three months to the garden during the growth season while the plant is still developing.

The Birds of Paradise in a container should be fertilized every two weeks with liquid fertilizer or every two to three months with slow-release pellets if it is grown in soil.

Step 3. Keep the plant’s roots exposed at all times. To encourage flowering when
planting in soil, leave the top of the root exposed for a short period.

Step 4. Place the plant in a brightly lit area.

Full sun is ideal for the Birds of Paradise planted in the garden, though it can survive in partial shade as well as full sun.

Because it is an indoor plant, make sure it is next to a window where it will receive lots of natural light.

Step 5. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering’s.

Water the plant continuously for the first six months, and then only when the soil seems dry to the touch beyond that period.

If the adult Birds of Paradise are overwatered, they will develop root rot, so only water it with three inches of water when the soil is completely dry. Yellowing of the leaves can also be caused by overwatering.

Maintaining Birds of Paradise

Colorful Bird of Paradise Flower Blossom
Colorful Bird of Paradise Flower Blossom

Always remember to assess your plant’s watering requirements as soon as it is received. First, check the moisture level in the soil to make sure it isn’t too wet right beneath the soil’s surface before giving your plant a drink.

In addition to checking the soil moisture deep within a planter, a soil probe can also be used to loosen and aerate overly wet soil, which can be very beneficial.

Birds of Paradise prefer moist (but not soggy) soil, and they appreciate it when the soil is allowed to dry out slightly between waterings. Keep the soil from drying out completely through the pot, but avoid overwatering as much as possible.

In between watering, allow the top 2″ – 3″ of the soil to dry out slightly, but the earth below that should remain moist. These plants thrive in self-watering containers, and they are particularly attractive.

Birds of Paradise leaves have natural splits that allow light to reach the lower portion of the plant, which is beneficial. Make sure your plant is not exposed to drafts and that it receives adequate humidity from a humidifier, pebble tray, or mister to avoid splitting.

Rotate your plant regularly to ensure even growth on all sides, and don’t be afraid to prune away any leaves that are discolored or broken.

It is necessary to dust the leaves of Birds of Paradise plants regularly for the plant to photosynthesize as efficiently as possible.

When dusting, use a mister and a microfiber cloth to thoroughly wash down each leaf, taking the chance to check the undersides of the leaves for pests while you’re doing it.

Please keep in mind that if you are using an organic container for potting your Birds of Paradise, we highly recommend placing a waterproof saucer below to protect your flooring. Humidity can build beneath the pot and cause damage to wood floors and carpets.

Keep in mind that each plant is a distinct living entity with specific requirements, which may change depending on where they are located.

Pay close attention to the health of your Birds of Paradise and the amount of water it requires, and you will enjoy a long and fruitful relationship with it.

Essential Factors to Consider When Growing Birds of Paradise


The Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia Nicolai) plant is distinguished by a spectacular display of huge tropical leaves that can grow to be more than 20 feet tall in the wilds of southern Africa! In human environments, they’re more likely to grow between 3′ and 8′ tall.

Yet, they still rank among the most popular houseplants due to their lush foliage’s impressive size and the variety of colors it contains.

Place your Birds of Paradise away from air vents and drafts in a spot where it will receive at least four hours of southern, western, or eastern exposure each day.

They can handle medium-light circumstances, but they will not grow over the long term unless they receive sufficient sunshine thus we usually recommend planting them in solid light.

Temperature and Humidity

The extreme humidity that the Birds of Paradise enjoy is ideal. If your home is very dry, you may want to have a spray bottle on hand to spritz it.

When it’s cold outside, try to keep the temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not a cold-tolerant plant, and it recovers from frost damage at a snail’s speed.

Proper Watering

Plants require constant watering during the first six months after planting to help them establish themselves in the landscape. Make an effort to strike a balance between being too wet and too dry.

The presence of yellowing leaves indicates both an excess of and a lack of water. Before you water, check to see if the soil is dry by gently touching it.

Once plants have become established, water them deeply throughout the growing season, allowing the soil to dry between waterings. Water only when the soil is completely dry to the touch during the winter months when growth slows.

Proper Fertilization

Begin fertilizing a month after the plants are planted. During the growth season, fertilize your plants once every three months using the fertilizer of your choosing.

To apply fertilizer correctly, follow the directions on the label. Alternatively, you may mulch with compost, which will nourish both the plants and the soil.

Proper Pruning

Unlike other plants, birds of paradise do not require pruning on a seasonal basis. Using a sharp knife, chop dead leaves and old flower stems down to the ground. This aids in the prevention of fungal infestations.

It is common for a newly planted Birds of Paradise to not bloom for several years after planting. Start feeding a plant to encourage it to bloom as soon as possible.

For the first three weeks, apply liquid fertilizer once a week. The fourth week should not be fertilized. Repetition of this procedure will be necessary until the plant begins to blossom.

Make sure to water the plant thoroughly one hour before you fertilize it. When the plant begins to bloom, it can become completely dry (even extremely dry) before watering it.

Overcrowded plants produce more flowers, so don’t be tempted to split clumps too soon.

Propagating Birds of Paradise

The most effective methods of propagating birds of paradise are division and seed planting. Growing through division is less difficult and faster than growing from seed.

It is preferable to use mature plants blooming for at least three years before planting. Birds of Paradise can be divided into the following ways:

Propagating Through Division

The size of your plant (and the size of its rhizome or subterranean root structure) will determine whether or not you require larger equipment such as a shovel and saw for in-ground or huge plants.

For tiny plants, a sharp knife can be used to cut them. If you plan on potting the division, you will need a new container as well as a well-draining potting mix.

You may also use a shovel, saw, or knife to cut away any new growth or offshoots at the base of the plant that has at least three leaves and divide the rhizome below ground if the plant has one.

Repot in a fresh container filled with a potting mix that drains properly.

Common Pests and Diseases

Keep a watch out for Aphids, scales, and whiteflies in case they attack your plants. If you detect them, use insecticidal soap to control them by applying them to the undersides of the leaves, as described above. In addition, systemic pesticides are effective.

If you apply a systemic insecticide, the plant will transfer the pesticide from its roots to its leaves and blossoms. Botrytis cinerea is a fungal infection that can affect the Birds of Paradise (gray mold).

Flowers and leaves affected by this condition will develop dark spots that a layer of gray mold will eventually cover. Remove the plant’s afflicted sections and allow them to air out for a few hours.

Problems Associated with the Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise is a mainly trouble-free plant and has just a few problems. When the plant’s ideal growing circumstances are not fulfilled, it is most susceptible to root rot and insects that feast on the plant.

However, if it is not overwatered, nourished, and given adequate light and air circulation, it will keep the majority of issues at bay.

Leaves are Wilting or Turning Brown

Root rot is the most prevalent disease that affects Birds of Paradise plants.

When the roots of a plant are submerged in water or the soil becomes soggy for an extended time, a fungus that causes root rot can take over and destroy the plant’s structure. The soil should be allowed to dry out between watering’s if this is to be avoided.

Another symptom of root rot is the presence of a rotting smell in the air. Some plants can be rescued if they are discovered early enough.

Repotting in a sterilized container with fresh, well-draining soil can help to cure root rot.

Pulling out the root ball and cutting away any blackened or moldy areas of the root rhizome will help to heal root rot.

Leaves that are Curling

Curling leaves are a sign that the plant is drowning. It is possible to avoid this problem by providing more water and ensuring that the water flows freely from the bottom of the pot, respectively.

It is important to water the plant well to ensure that all of the roots have water, but it is also important to ensure that it does not sit in the water. Other issues might arise as a result of dripping dirt.

Yellowing of the Leaves

There are various possible explanations for yellowing leaves.

First and foremost, if the occasional leaf turns yellow and the plant is mature, the leaf may be going through its normal life cycle. However, suppose many leaves begin to yellow.

In that case, it may indicate that the plant does not have enough humidity, that it needs additional nutrients, or that the plant is not receiving enough water if the yellowed leaves are located on the exterior of the plant.

Make incremental increases in each of those factors, one at a time, to see if that resolves the issue.

Splits or Breaks In the Leaves

The leaves of this plant are huge. Developing cracks or fractures in the leaves of your Birds of Paradise is completely normal and expected, especially if your plant is kept outside for a significant portion of the year.

Slits are formed in the plant’s leaves and roots to allow air to circulate the plant’s leaves and roots. The wind and breezes facilitate slitting. Mold and other pests are prevented from establishing a home by constant air movement.

Water and humidity are essential in maintaining the health of your Birds of Paradise. It requires constant watering to keep the soil moist, but never waterlogged or damp, as it does in the summer.

Final Thoughts on How to Grow and Maintain The Birds of Paradise

The Birds of Paradise is perceived as the most beautiful indoor plant on the planet. As its shining, banana-shaped leaves extend out from the base of this huge, upright plant, it brings a lush, tropical feel to your environment.

Even though it is quite robust and adapts to a wide range of light conditions from direct sunlight to low, indirect light, it will thrive in a sunny location.

Additionally, it will benefit from regular sprinkling to increase its humidity, in addition to cautious watering. The Birds of Paradise lives in South Africa in its natural habitat, where it receives a great deal of sunshine and warmth.

When planted inside, the plant will not be able to blossom since there will not be enough light available. The massive foliage and exquisite stems make a statement even without any further embellishment.

Does it sound like your kind of plant? It will certainly appeal to many people because of its many attractions. A few Birds of Paradise in the garden will certainly turn a few heads. They look so beautifully tropical and exotic.

Try a stand-out thing; get yourself some of these Birds of Paradise. Then plant them in your front garden for all the world to see. It will be a big attention seeker in the neighborhood!

Jenny Marie
Tribal Writer

Edited By
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

Recent Posts