Bird of Paradise - Plant
Sure to attract everyone s attention when it blooms, the Bird of Paradise plant is one of the most spectacular flowering plants that can be grown in the home. It may be slow growing, but its needs are very simple. Once the plant is mature enough to bloom, you ll be amazed as its flowers emerge, looking just like an exotic bird with orange and purple plumage.
Even when this plant isn t in bloom, it offers very attractive leaves that resemble those of a banana plant. The bird of paradise plant, Strelitzia reginae, is native to subtropical areas of South Africa. For years, it was considered a collector s plant because it was difficult to find a nice specimen. With modern growing practices, bird of paradise plants are available more often, but are still much prized. They begin to bloom when they are 4-5 years old and live on for years and years.
When selecting a bird of paradise plant, look for a full, healthy-looking plant with lots of new growth. Plants that are slightly crowded in their pots will bloom better.
|Common name||Flower colours||Bloom time||Height||Difficulty|
|Strelitzia, Crane Flower or Bird of Paradise||The unique flower has vivid colors and a statuesque profile that is unmistakable.||-||4 to 5 feet tall with a 2- or 3-foot spread.||Easy|
Planting and care
|Provide bird of paradise with some afternoon shade to protect it from the hottest part of the day, especially in areas with sultry summers. A nearby shrub, tree, fence or wall can give the plants shade.||Grow bird of paradise in soil that drains well. Root rot can occur if the soil retains too much water. For a potted plant, use a high-quality potting mix. Outdoors, incorporate 2 or 3 inches of compost into the soil at planting time.||The soil should be kept moist all spring and summer but should be allowed to dry out slightly between waterings in the fall and winter.||Average indoor temperatures are fine. Try to avoid temperatures below 50ÂºF.||Feed your bird of paradise every other week during spring and summer and once a month in fall and winter with a liquid such as Schultz s Instant Plant Food or a water-soluble fertilizer.|
- Monitor a bird of paradise for pests, such as aphids, scale and mites. If you see a lot of pests, treat before they do significant damage.
- Insecticidal soaps work well but make sure you apply it to the undersides of the leaves, as insects tend to gather there.
- Remove plant debris under a bird of paradise to help keep insects at bay.
Culinary use: NA
Ornamental use: NA
Medicinal use: NA