Bird of paradise is a dramatic, subtropical plant native to South Africa. Slow growing and thus blooming, this beauty is nonetheless well worth the wait. If you’ve managed to get it to bloom you’ve been successful with its care, but what about transplanting bird of paradise? Does a bird of paradise like to be root bound? Keep reading to learn when (or if) to repot bird of paradise.
About Bird of Paradise
There are five species of bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae), named for Queen Charlotte, George III’s wife. It grows wild in the Eastern Cape along riverbeds and coastal bush, an area of mild temperatures and frequent rains.
Often used as a cut flower in the floral trade, bird of paradise is a common ornamental in Southern California and Florida which can be grown in USDA zones 10-12 and with adequate protection in zone 9.
The common bird of paradise can attain heights of up to 30 feet (9 m.) with huge 18-24 inch (46-61 cm.) by 3-4 foot (around 1 meter) long leaves looking much like those of the banana tree. New plants take 4-6 years to bloom.
Bird of Paradise Care
Bird of paradise requires bright light, direct morning or winter sun and southern or eastern exposure with rich, well-draining soil. Birds of paradise need as much sun as possible to bloom and humidity at 30-35%.
Plants should be kept at 55-60 F. (13-16 C.) during the winter months and watered sparingly, only when dry. The rest of the year, allow the soil to dry between watering. If it is outside the plant should be brought in before the first frost, although it can handle a limited time below freezing.
Birds of paradise are heavy feeders and should be fed every 2 weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer.
Should I Repot my Bird of Paradise?
Birds of paradise tend to bloom better and more profusely when the plant is pot bound. If you do repot your plant, it may not flower for a year or two after.
Instead of repotting, top-dress with fresh potting soil each year. Also do not plant bird of paradise too deeply. Leaving the tops of the roots exposed actually promotes blooming.
You can repot your bird of paradise every 2-3 years in the spring if necessary. Transplant bird of paradise into a large pot or tub using either a well-draining medium or soilless potting mix.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.
Victorian Stumpery Gardens: A Traditional Way To Garden Sustainability
A Victorian stumpery garden turns a sun-deprived spot into an enchanting, environmentally friendly wonderland of ferns and shade loving plants.
By Teo Spengler
When To Mulch Your Garden & Why Mulching Early Is A Bad Idea
When to mulch in the garden depends on what you want to achieve, whether it’s protection from the winter cold or summer heat, to add nutrients or to suppress weeds, learn about the best times to lay mulch.
By Bonnie L. Grant