Image by Gardening Know How
By Heather Rhoades
Bird of paradise plants (Stelitzia reginae) are quickly becoming a popular houseplant and for good reason. The blooms of a bird of paradise plant are bright, unusual and lovely. But if you choose to grow a bird of paradise as a houseplant, you have to remember that the bird of paradise’s natural habitat is outside in a tropical sunny environment. This means that bird of paradise plants have a few special needs.
Bird of Paradise Houseplant Care
First, know that bird of paradise plants need plenty of direct sunlight. Ideally, your bird of paradise plant needs at least 5-6 hours of full sun. If you are not able to provide that kind of sun exposure through the natural light of windows in your house, you may want to consider supplementing your plant’s light intake with an artificial light.
If you are unsure that your bird of paradise is getting enough sunlight, it is very easy to determine. When bird of paradise plants are not getting sufficient light, their leaves will curl in while still remaining green. Not enough light will also decrease how often the plant blooms.
Bird of paradise plants are green year round, but they still have a dormant or rest period. During the warm months of the years, your bird of paradise will be actively growing and blooming, but during the cooler months of the year, the plant will rest, which means it will grow very slowly and will probably not bloom. You need to treat your bird of paradise differently, depending on whether it is in the active or dormant stage. The following tips will explain what to do during each period.
As mentioned, bird of paradise plants come from a tropical region. This means that they need high humidity. During active periods, mist your pant every day. During dormant periods, mist 1 – 2 times a week.
They also need to be watered differently during different periods. During the active period, keep the soil moist. During the dormant period, water only when the soil becomes dry.
During active periods, fertilize your bird of paradise once every two weeks. During the dormant period, fertilize one a month.
One common mistake that people make with their bird of paradise is to repot them too frequently. A bird of paradise will take 3-4 years before they bloom. Once they do bloom, if you disturb the roots in any way, such as by repotting the plant, the plant may not bloom again for 2-3 years. Because of this, it is best to let your bird of paradise stay in the same pot. Do not worry if the plant becomes root bound, as these plants perform and grow best when their roots are crowded in the pot.
Overall, bird of paradise plants make wonderful and lovely additions to your home. With a little TLC and a lot of sunlight, your bird of paradise will be giving you gorgeous flower for years to come.