How to Grow Bird of Paradise

Growing a Bird of Paradise can be a rewarding experience for any gardening enthusiast. This tropical plant, known for its large leaves and stunning, spiky, colorful blooms resembling birds in flight, thrives in indirect sunlight and requires weekly watering.

How to Grow Bird of Paradise
Growing Bird of Paradise

To ensure optimal growth for your Bird of Paradise, maintain high humidity by misting your plant every other day or placing it on a saucer of pebbles with added water.

As a bonus, this plant prefers tight quarters, so there's no need to repot and disturb the roots frequently.

With patience and proper care, you'll soon have a beautiful, thriving specimen to admire in your home or garden.

About Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise, scientifically known as Strelitzia, is a tropical plant native to South Africa.

This low-maintenance herbaceous perennial is known for its striking and colorful flowers resembling an exotic bird's shape, giving it its common name.

There are several species of the Strelitzia genus, such as Strelitzia reginae with orange and blue blooms, Strelitzia nicolai producing white flowers, and S. alba featuring white and blue flowers.

These tropical flowers thrive in warmer climates and add an eye-catching touch to any garden with their vibrant foliage color and unique appearance.

Planting Bird of Paradise

To start planting your Bird of Paradise, select a pot with excellent drainage and fill it with a well-draining, fertile potting mix.

Ensure the pot is spacious, providing ample room for the plant's root ball to grow comfortably.

Plant the rhizome or young plant in the soil, positioning it so the top is just slightly above the surface. Water the soil thoroughly after planting.

Place your Bird of Paradise where it will receive at least six hours of full sun daily, although it can tolerate partial shade.

Maintain a consistent watering schedule, allowing the top inch of the soil to dry out between waterings.

Fertilize your plant weekly during the growing season using a balanced fertilizer.

Monitor the soil's pH, ensuring it remains between 6.0 and 7.5, and adjust if necessary.

Caring for Bird of Paradise
Caring for Bird of Paradise

Caring for Bird of Paradise

Sun and Temperature

Ensure your Bird of Paradise receives plenty of sunlight, ideally from south- or west-facing windows when growing indoors.

These plants thrive in warmer climates, such as hardiness zones 10-12, and appreciate full sun and partial shade.

Water and Humidity

Your Bird of Paradise requires consistent watering, maintaining moist soil during summer, with decreased watering in winter.

Aim for high humidity, as these plants are native to tropical and subtropical areas of southeastern Africa.

Soil and Fertilizer

Use organic potting soil and ensure it has proper drainage.

Add a general-purpose fertilizer once a month to support healthy growth in the spring and summer.

There is no need to fertilize in winter when plant growth naturally slows.


When your plant outgrows its container, repot it to provide more space for root growth.

Be gentle when handling the root ball, and utilize fresh potting mix in the new container to encourage a healthy environment for your Bird of Paradise.

Pruning and Propagation

Prune your Bird of Paradise to maintain a clean appearance by removing spent flowers and dead leaves.

For propagation, divide Strelitzia reginae or Strelitzia nicolai rhizomes with a sharp knife, ensuring each division contains a healthy stem.

Propagate during repotting for efficient plant care.

Troubleshooting Plant Problems

Growing Problems

To ensure healthy growth of your Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae or Strelitzia nicolai), provide enough light, temperature, and humidity.

These plants thrive in full sun, temperatures between 50-54°F (10-12°C), and increased humidity.

Some common growing issues include leaflessness, root rot, curled or yellowing leaves, brown edges, and failure to bloom.

Address these by feeding the plant adequately, providing direct bright light, and watering once every 1-2 weeks.

Pests and Diseases

Pests that may trouble your Bird of Paradise include mealybugs, scale, and spider mites.

Monitor your plant and treat infestations with insecticides or natural remedies like neem oil.

For diseases like bacterial wilt and Armillaria, remove and dispose of infected plant tissues and replace the infected soil with fresh, disease-free soil.

Regular maintenance and checking of your plant's health can help prevent the spread of pests and diseases.


To grow a healthy Bird of Paradise plant, remember to provide the right conditions, including indirect sunlight, weekly watering, and a warm environment with temperatures of 65-70°F (18-21°C).

By being patient and properly nurturing the plant, you'll eventually be rewarded with stunning, avian-like foliage that adds a touch of tropical paradise to your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal soil for Bird of Paradise growth?

The ideal soil for Bird of Paradise is well-draining and rich in organic matter. A mix of equal parts potting soil, perlite, and peat moss provides necessary nutrients and maintains proper moisture levels.

How can I propagate Bird of Paradise from seeds?

To propagate Bird of Paradise from seeds, remove the orange tufts and store them in a plastic bag with fresh compost in the fridge for two weeks. Soak the seeds in room-temperature water for a few hours, nick the seed coat with a knife or sandpaper, and then plant them in the soil.

What are the steps for growing Bird of Paradise indoors?

First, place the plant in a bright location with indirect sunlight for growing the Bird of Paradise indoors. Water it weekly, ensuring consistent moisture levels while avoiding overwatering.

How do I plant a Bird of Paradise in a pot?

When planting a Bird of Paradise in a pot, choose a well-draining container and fill it with potting soil, perlite, and peat moss. Place the plant in the center of the pot and gently pack the soil around it, leaving enough space for good air circulation and growth.

What type of fertilizer should I use for my Bird of Paradise plant?

For a Bird of Paradise plant, use a water-soluble fertilizer with a balanced formula such as 20-20-20. Fertilize every two weeks during the spring and summer growing seasons to promote healthy growth and vibrant blooms.