PRO TIP: Trim away older leaves on the bird of paradise, as they droop over time and develop more splits. New leaves always emerge from the center and keep the plant full and balanced.
The Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai) boasts a stunning display of large tropical leaves that stand anywhere from 3’- 8’ tall. Choose a location away from air vents and drafts where the plant will get at least four hours of southern, western, or eastern exposure. Though they can tolerate lower light conditions, the Bird of Paradise will not thrive long term without adequate sunlight and we recommend always placing them in bright light.
If you are unsure about lighting conditions in your home or office, we have a guide for how to measure light in your space.
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.
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.
Always be sure to assess your plants watering needs upon receiving it. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first. Bird of Paradise like to dry out slightly between waterings, so always feel the soil a few inches down to ensure it isn’t moist right beneath the surface, before giving your plant a drink. Birds of Paradise enjoy moist (but not soggy) soil. Try not to let the soil dry completely through the pot, but also avoid over watering. These plants do particularly well in our self watering containers. Consider aerating the soil of your plant before the initial watering. We compact the soil to avoid shifting during transit, so aerating can help the soil breath and allow for moisture to be released.
The splits in the leaves of the Bird of Paradise are natural, and allow light to access the lower portion of the plant. Keep your plant away from drafts, and apply extra humidity with a humidifier or pebble tray, to keep the splitting at a minimum.
For regular upkeep, dust the leaves often so the plant can photosynthesize properly. When dusting, take the opportunity to inspect the underside of leaves and keep an eye out for pests. Using fertilizer spring through fall will enhance your plants foliage and promote new growth. Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides.
Remember each plant is a unique living thing and may have varying needs, especially in their individual locations. Pay attention to the condition of your Bird of Paradise and its watering needs and you will have a long and happy relationship.
There are two types of standard planters offered by Greenery NYC, those with drainage holes, and those without. Within those two categories are an array of sizes and styles to choose from. All these factors play a role in the quantity and frequency of water given to your plant.
Plants purchased in a pot without a drainage hole, have been set up with a built in drainage system. A layer of hydro stones (porous, absorbent material made of recycled glass) has been placed beneath the soil to act as a reservoir and retain any excess water that flows through the soil. You will need to be slightly more cautious not to pour too much water into these containers as there is no way for the water to escape. We suggest pouring small amounts of water in bit by bit, until you have reached the desired moisture level in the soil.
Always be sure to assess your plants watering needs upon receiving it. Refer to the routine maintenance section for moisture requirements.
Why are the leaves of my Bird of Paradise splitting?
Will my Bird of Paradise flower?
What is this spear emerging from the middle of my plant?
How often should I fertilize my plant?
How often does my plant need to be repotted?
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