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How To Make Your Plants Happy: Bird of Paradise Care Guide

Drawing of bird of paradise

Light

Requires medium to full sun. This plant thrives and bloom best with maximum sunshine and it can tolerate direct sunlight (though be careful to avoid sunburns). Give the plant nearly full sun in summer and as much as you can during winter.

Water

Keep the soil slightly moist during summer but you can let it dry out between watering during the winter. About once a week in warmer months and adjust accordingly in the cooler months.

Environment

The ideal temperature is 70ºF - 90ºF and the plant can tolerate temperatures as low as 55ºF. It is not a cold-tolerant plant and recovers slowly from frost damage so be sure to bring the plant indoors in winter if you live in a colder climate. This plant prefers humidity. Mist the leaves daily or place near other plants to boost moisture in the air.

Growth

This plant can reach heights of 3'-4' indoors in a 10" pot (can get up to 6' tall outdoors). This plant is a heavy feeder and enjoys fertilizer year round. Give the plant a balanced fertilizer every two weeks from spring to summer and once a month from fall through winter.

Repotting

Repot only when the plant is pot-bound by checking the roots in late winter. Stop repotting when the plant reaches its mature height (a 10" pot is great for the home, a 14" pot if outside with more growing space). Bird of paradise can tolerant pretty much any soil, so any generic potting mix will work great. The bloom cycle may get interrupted when repotting.

Propagating

Plants that have been growing for a few years may be divided up into multiple plants. The plant pups may also be removed and repotted from the plant parent.

Toxicity

Mildly toxic to dogs and cats. May cause mild nausea or vomiting if consumed.

About the Bird of Paradise

Botanical Name: Strelitzia reginae

Nicknames: Bird of Paradise, Orange Bird of Paradise, Crane Flower

The unique bird-shaped flower makes the Bird of Paradise one of the most recognizable plants in the world. While it is a slow-growing tropical plant, the results are well worth the wait. This plant has a very bold and hardy structure with long, oval-shaped leaves growing from the base. Flowers will emerge one at a time consisting of three blue leaves and three orange leaves. The flowers will bloom anywhere from late fall to early spring. Look at the flower at the right angle and you'll see the shape of a bird's head. 
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