If you like a tropical flair to your living space, you’ll love the idea of bird of paradise as a houseplant. These leafy beauties grow taller than you are and may even flower indoors if your house gets enough sunlight. To grow an indoor bird of paradise, you must provide the plant many of the same conditions found in its native habitat, including warmth, sunlight and humidity. Read on for tips on bird of paradise houseplant care.
Strelitzia Houseplant Info
Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a popular ornamental plant in California and Florida thanks to its huge banana-tree leaves and spectacular flowers. The brilliant orange and blue blossoms resemble exotic birds and are very dramatic. This is even the official flower of Los Angeles.
But despite its popularity in this country, these plants are actually native to South Africa. They thrive in the coastal brush of the eastern Cape where the climate is mild and wet. If you are hoping for to bring a bird of paradise inside as a Strelitzia houseplant, you’ll need to provide similar growing conditions.
Bird of Paradise Houseplant Care
There’s nothing more exotic than an indoor bird of paradise, but growing a bird of paradise as a houseplant requires sun, quite a lot of it, in order to thrive and bloom. Insufficient sunlight is the top reason that a bird of paradise inside doesn’t bloom.
Place your plant in a site that gets at least six hours a day of sun a day, including hours of direct sunlight. However, if your living room gets very hot midday sun, indirect light during that period will do better. If your climate or house layout doesn’t provide this much sun, consider supplementing with artificial light.
You can move your houseplant outside in summer to profit from even more light. Acclimate it to the stronger light by making this switch gradually. Just bring it in before the weather chills to freezing.
When you opt for a bird of paradise as a houseplant, you need to think about humidity, irrigation and feeding. These plants are evergreen, yet they still go through a period of dormancy in winter. Bird of paradise houseplant care varies between the growing season and the dormant season.
During the spring and summer growing season, water your indoor bird of paradise plant enough to keep the soil consistently moist. Spraying with mist is appreciated in the warm months. Fertilize a bird of paradise indoors with a half-strength water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks during the growing period.
In the dormant period, water less, about once a month, allowing the top 2 inches (5 cm.) to dry out completely between waterings. Do not fertilize at all but spray occasionally to keep the leaves humid.
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.