How to grow & care for Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise plants are tropical beauties with big leaves and flamboyant, colourful flowers that resemble birds. They can be grown easily outdoors in tropical or sub-tropical climates. In cooler regions they are well suited to growing in warm protected spots or even indoors as feature houseplants.
Top 5 steps to growing Bird of Paradise
- Bird of Paradise prefer a warm, humid climate or a warm protected spot
- Depending on the species you’ve chosen, some Bird of Paradise can grow very tall - so consider this when planting them.
- Bird of Paradise prefer a rich, moist soil and like a sunny to part shade spot.
- Bird of Paradise can be grown in large pots filled with a premium potting mix
- If you want to grow Bird of Paradise as an indoor plant, they’ll need a bright spot with plenty of direct sunlight.
- A Bird of Paradise plant
- A suitable pot
- Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix
- Scotts Osmocote All Purpose Controlled Release Fertiliser
- Scotts Osmocote All Purpose Pour+Feed
- Scotts Osmocote Compost Premium Soil Improver (if growing in-ground)
- Garden trowel or shovel
Growing in the Garden
Bird of Paradise can be grown outdoors in warm, humid climates that are frost free - some species will tolerate a cooler climate if grown in a warm, sunny, protected spot.
Dig a planting hole twice as wide as the original nursery pot and the same depth. Loosen the soil at the bottom of the planting hole and mix Scotts Osmocote Compost Premium Soil Improver through the original soil at the bottom of the hole. Gently remove the Bird of Paradise from the nursery pot and position it into the planting hole and backfill around the root ball with the soil you removed from the hole.
Water in your new Bird of Paradise plant and mulch around it to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
There are 5 species of the Bird of Paradise plant, collected together in the genus Strelitzia. Some species of Bird of Paradise you might like to grow:
Strelitzia alba, also known as Streltzia augusta, white-flowered wild banana, cape wild banana or white bird of paradise. As some of the names suggest, the flowers of this species are entirely white.
Strelitzia caudata, also known as mountain strelitzia or wild banana.
Strelitzia juncea, also known as African desert banana, rush-leaved Strelitzia, or narrow-leaved bird of paradise.
Strelitzia reginae, also known as crane lily, crane flower, bird’s tongue flower, or isigude. Usually a bright orange and blue flower, although it is possible to buy a yellowed flowered cultivar ‘Mandela’s Gold’. The most common species found in our gardens.
Strelitzia nicolai, also known as white bird of paradise, giant bird of paradise, wild banana, and blue-and-white Strelitzia. The largest species of Strelitzia, the huge white and blue flowers can reach up to 45cm in length.
Growing in Pots
Bird of Paradise can be grown in large pots, at least 400mm wide by the same depth. Make sure your pot has plenty of drainage holes, as they don’t like wet feet. Half fill your pot with Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix and gently remove the Bird of Paradise from the nursery pot and position it into the potting mix, backfill around the root ball with more potting mix.
Water your new Bird of Paradise in well, but allow the surface of the potting mix to dry out between waterings. Position your potted Bird of Paradise in a bright, sunny and warm spot either indoors or outside.
Fertilising & Care
- Feed with Scotts Osmocote Controlled Release Fertiliser: All Purpose at the recommended rate in early Spring and again in late Summer
- For an extra boost during the growing season, feed with Scotts Osmocote All Purpose Pour+Feed
- Apply Scotts Osmocote Compost Premium Soil Improver around your Bird of Paradise each year before topping the area with mulch
- Although Bird of Paradise are often described as drought tolerant plants, younger plants will benefit from regular watering to help them establish a strong, healthy root system.
- Remove any spent flowers or dead foliage to encourage new growth.
Pests & Diseases
Bird of Paradise are relatively pest and disease free!
The Bird of Paradise gets its name from its brightly coloured flowers that look like a bird in full flight - can you see it?