Bird of paradise- a beautiful plant with a beautiful name. Scientifically known as Strelitzia, this houseplant is perfect for making a design statement of tropical flair at your home as well as your garden. The only way you can pay for the pleasure of owning a bird of paradise is by nurturing it properly. But how to do that? Let’s have a look at some of the basic care techniques.
As tropical plants, bird of paradise loves being exposed to bright sunlight. If placed outdoors, position the plant to a place where direct sunlight (full sun) is available. In the case of scorching climates, partial shade conditions are ideal.
As houseplants, they should be facing a southern window. However, if the light exposure is too extensive, set them slightly away from the window so that the bright yet indirect light reaches the plant.
Strelitzia is capable of storing a large amount of water in its gigantic leaves. Water with high salt content should be avoided, whereas rainwater or distilled water is optimal. In this regard, one thing to make sure of is to keep the soil moist at all times, no matter what.
In growing seasons (summer and spring), bird of paradise should be frequently watered. Allow the soil to dry before watering again. In dormant fall and winter seasons, sporadic watering is applicable, and that should only be done when the soil seems too dry.
Bird of the paradise blossoms profusely in the temperature ranges of 65°-70°F (18° – 21°C) in the daytime. At nighttime, 50°F (10°C) temperature is suitable for the plant. It is not cold-tolerant at all, so strictly keep the temperature in check.
Strelitzia works best in high humidity, but it can adapt to normal room humidity. Make sure to maintain the temperature above 60°F (15°C) and keep misting the air with water in case of extreme parched environments.
Bird of paradise plants enjoy heavy feeding; they produce a lot of foliage when they’re growing, so they demand loads of fuel for that. Fertilize your BoP with a bone meal for slow release and an all-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength for monthly feeding.
In the active growing seasons of summer and spring, feed your plant every month, while in the resting, dormant fall and winter seasons, little to no feeding are fruitful.
BoP rarely blooms flowers indoors, so its toxicity rate is not as high as when it’s placed outdoors, where the plant grows flowers. Regardless, it should be kept away from children and animals. It can be mildly irritating, especially the sap of the plant.
Ingestion of its flowers and seeds causes dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and drowsiness in humans. High doses of ingestion can lead to nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness in animals.
Bird of Paradise not only radiates joy with its vibrant color and tropical vibe, but it effectively circulates and purifies the indoor air. Its large slender green leaves achieve this circulation.
BoP ought to be repotted every spring or summer into a somewhat larger pot depending on the plant’s size. A 3-4ft tall plant will thrive well in a 10-inch pot and 5-6ft in a 14-16-inch pot. When repotting, provide new soil to the plant, trimming away some roots and foliage.
BoP is a quick-growing plant that needs to reach a specific size before it allows itself to bloom. Therefore, once it reaches maturity, make it pot bound to encourage blooming.
Clean the leaves regularly to enhance the appearance of your plant. As mentioned earlier, the bird of paradise prefers high humidity, so fill up a bottle of water and spray whenever you feel like the plant appears parched or withered.
Drying, curling, and yellowing of the leaves are common issues among bird of paradise plants. These can be caused by lack of soil moisture and humidity, poor water quality, and low temperature.
Strelitzia commonly suffers from root rot that results in yellowing foliage and wilting mealy bugs that lead to stunt growth, and leaf blight that causes discolored patches on the leaves. Long periods of these diseases can cause the plant to die.
Owning an alluring yet low-maintenance plant has its perks. One can’t help but love and care for the beautiful, tropical bird of paradise. Having said that, why not go and check whether your plant is still healthy or not.