How to care for your Bird of Paradise

Use these instructions to care for a Bird of Paradise. This guide will tell you how to water your Bird of Paradise, its light, temperature, and humidity preferences, and any additional care your plant might need to help it grow.

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LIGHT REQUIREMENTS

The Bird of Paradise can handle light levels from direct sunlight to low indirect light. However, it will flourish in a sunny spot.

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WATER REQUIREMENTS

Keep the soil moist, but not soggy during the spring through fall. In the winter, allow two inches of soil to dry out between waterings. The Bird of Paradise cannot handle ‘wet feet’, meaning its roots should not sit in wet soil. It’s best to keep your Bird of Paradise on the dry side.

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HUMIDITY PREFERENCE

Your Bird of Paradise appreciates the occasional misting, which also helps remove the dust from its glossy dark leaves.

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OPTIMUM TEMPERATURE

Average indoor temperatures of 65-80 degrees are just fine for the Bird of Paradise. It does most of its growth in warmth and heat. Therefore, its growth will slow during the cooler winter months.

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PLANT FOOD

Your Bird of Paradise is a hungry plant because of how quickly it grows! During the spring and summer fertilize once a month with an all-purpose liquid feed. No fertilizer is necessary during the winter when plant growth naturally slows.

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ADDITIONAL CARE

Your Bird of Paradise likes a salt-free diet, so make sure you are using good water. You may need to switch to distilled water if you notice the leaves are turning brown. However, first try letting your tap water sit uncovered overnight to allow for the chlorine and fluoride to evaporate.

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TOXICITY

Toxins are found in the leaves and can adversely affect humans and pets if consumed. Mild mouth and stomach irritation may occur.

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What's a Bird of Paradise?

Botanical Classification: Strelitzia nicolai

About

The Bird of Paradise is considered the queen of the indoor plant world. This large, upright plant adds a rich, tropical flair to your space as its glossy, banana-shaped leaves fan out. It is relatively hardy and adapts to a wide spectrum of light conditions from direct sun to low, indirect light, but will flourish in a sunny spot.

Water and humidity are important to keep your Bird of Paradise healthy. It needs consistent watering to keep the soil moist, but never wet or soggy. In addition to careful watering, it will benefit from regular misting to boost its humidity. The Bird of Paradise is native to South Africa where it receives a lot of light and warmth.

When grown indoors, there will not be enough light to trigger the plant to produce a bloom. However, the majestic foliage and graceful stems make a statement on their own.

Fun Fact

The breaks and slits in your Bird of Paradise’s leaves aren’t necessarily a cause for concern. These slits occur naturally in the wild to help the plant become more aerodynamic in wind and rain. 

Pictured Left: Bird of Paradise
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Let the top few inches of soil dry out before watering and never let water accumulate or sit in the saucer. Yellowing leaves could indicate your Bird of Paradise is getting too much water.
- Plant Mom

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