Native to the Cape Provinces of South Africa, Bird of Paradise plants (Strelitzia reginae) appreciates a warm, humid environment, a fair amount of water and plenty of light. If you’re unsure about your lighting conditions, placing the plant close to a window is the safest bet. We also have a guide for how to measure light in your space.

Choose a location away from air vents and drafts where the plant will get at least four hours of southern or eastern exposure. Though they can tolerate lower light conditions, Birds of Paradise will not thrive long term without adequate sunlight and we recommend always placing them in bright light.

Birds of Paradise are toxic to pets and humans when eaten, so make sure to place it safely away from animals and small children.

PRO TIP: In the winter months when the sun is further from earth, Birds of Paradise go through a “resting” period and require less water. October – February you can dial back the amount of water given provided you don’t have the plant near a dry heat source. In general it is better to adjust the amount of water given rather than the frequency of watering.

Bird of Paradise plants are often confused with banana plants, but while bananas grow from a central stalk, Bird of Paradise plants have many leaf fronds.

Routine Maintenance

Birds of Paradise enjoy moist (but not soggy) soil. Try to never let the soil dry completely, but be careful not to over water. Generally once weekly watering is ideal, and these plants do particularly well in our self-watering containers.

Birds of Paradise are susceptible to Leaf Spot, a fungal disease. This can be avoided by removing any dead leaves quickly from the plant, and never leaving any leaf debris to rot on top of the soil.

Self Watering Container Instructions

The self-watering planters require a good, solid drenching of the topsoil after they are first placed. This is important, because the roots of the plants need to grow into the reservoir in order to drink from it. Water once a week until the topsoil is moist. TEST: After two weeks, fill the reservoir to the MAX line, and keep an eye on the indicator. If the indicator goes down, it means the plant is ready for reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to water weekly until it does.

RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the indicator goes down, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, almost all plants require a drying out period. Ficuses need to dry out between waterings, so once the reservoir is empty wait 4-7 days before you refill.

From here on out, you should NEVER topwater the plant. If you water from the top, it can drown the plant. In the Self Watering Container, the top layer of soil will eventually become extremely dry and hard, and may even pull away from the edges of the pot. This is not a cause for concern, but simply because the plant is drinking directly from its roots in the water reservoir.

Step 1: Top water for two weeks. The indicator will look empty, like the picture above.

Step 2: Fill the reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line.

Step 3: Watch the indicator over the next day or two. If it goes down on its own, it means the roots of the plant have grown into the reservoir. From here on out, ONLY water in the reservoir.

Additional Care Guides