When you’re looking at plants for delivery, you have a wide variety of options to choose from. If you want a jaw-dropping plant that will add a tropical flair to your space, consider a bird of paradise plant. These plants have long leaves reminiscent of banana plants, but what really sets them apart is their colorful, bird-shaped flowers.
We’re going to cover how to care for potted bird of paradise plants and garden plants. Plus, we’ll even introduce you to a few tips and tricks for caring for cut bird of paradise flowers.
Caring for Potted Bird of Paradise Plants
With large leaves that shoot upward on long stems, the bird of paradise plant is a stunning addition to practically any indoor space. Put one in your living area to start a conversation and add a tropical flair, or add one to your office to add a touch of serenity.
But wherever you place this plant, you’ll want to ensure you provide it with the proper environment and care! Here’s how to properly care for an indoor potted bird of paradise plant.
Choosing a Pot and Soil Mix
If you want to grow a healthy bird of paradise plant, then you need to provide it with the proper home. And that means choosing a suitable pot and soil mix.
Since bird of paradise plants are on the larger side, you should choose a pot that can handle the plant’s large size (and not tip over). A pot that is about a foot tall and a foot wide is generally a good choice. The planter’s material doesn’t matter too much—terra cotta, glazed ceramic, and plastic are all suitable options. However, it is essential that your pot has drainage holes that allow excess water to escape.
When it comes to the potting mix, you’ll want to choose a rich and well-draining mix. Materials like peat moss and compost will help hold water and nutrients while perlite and pine bark fines will increase drainage and aeration.
Bird of paradise plants require lots of bright light to thrive. While they can survive in a dimly lit area, they will likely look stunted or weak. Plus, shaded plants are unlikely to produce flowers.
The best spot for a bird of paradise plant is an area that receives at least six hours of bright light. Bird of paradise plants can tolerate direct light, but they can also thrive in bright indirect light.
Temperature and Humidity
In order to keep bird of paradise plants happy, you’ll need to provide them with warm temperatures and moderate to high humidity. Aim to keep the air temperature between 65–80°F and keep the plant away from both hot and cold drafts. That means placing it away from heating and cooling vents, fireplaces, and frequently opened exterior doors.
The humidity should remain between 40-70%. If your house is on the drier side, you may need to boost the humidity with a humidifier. While you can also try increasing the humidity with a pebble tray or spray bottle, both of these methods will only slightly increase the moisture in the air.
Bird of paradise plants like their soil moist but not wet. Therefore, you should allow the soil to dry out slightly in between waterings but avoid letting it dry out entirely. A good way to check and see if you need to water your plant is to stick your finger into the two inches of soil; if it still feels wet, wait to water.
Factors including light, temperature, soil type, and time of year will impact how often you need to water your plant. However, you can plan on watering your plant about once every one to two weeks. When you water, add enough water to wet the soil fully.
While these plants are relatively hardy, they are sensitive to minerals in the water. Therefore, you may find that tap water can cause leaf edges to turn yellow or brown. If you want to be on the safe side, you can water your plants with rainwater or distilled water.
Caring for Bird of Paradise Plants in the Garden
If you live in a warm region, you may be able to grow a bird of paradise plant in your outdoor garden! These plants are hardy in USDA zones 9–11, which means they can be grown outdoors in parts of Florida, California, Texas, and a few other Southern states.
Before you plant one of these plants in your garden, you’ll need to find a suitable location for it. Bird of paradise plants like at least six hours of sun, but they prefer a full day of sun. As far as soil goes, these plants prefer well-draining and slightly acidic soil. If you find that your soil is compacted or poorly draining, you can loosen the soil with a digging fork and add a bit of compost to increase drainage.
Since these plants can grow quite large, you should plant them at least three feet away from other plants and buildings. This will give the plants adequate room to spread.
How to Care for Cut Bird of Paradise Flowers
Along with being a stunning houseplant, bird of paradise flowers can also be added to bouquets. In fact, they’re one of the most stunning types of tropical flowers! If you order a tropical bouquet or cut a flower off of your own bird of paradise plant, take note of these tips to help your blooms last as long as possible:
Provide a Clean Vase and Fresh Water
Bacteria is one of the main elements that lead cut flowers to decline quicker than normal. Always start with a clean vase in order to prevent spreading harmful microorganisms from one bouquet to the next.
Changing the water on a regular basis can also prevent the buildup of bacteria. Aim to replace your flowers’ water at least every three days, but replacing it every day is a better option. Adding a bit of flower food to the water will also help prevent the buildup of disease and help keep your flowers fresh.
Give the Stems a Fresh Cut
If you had flowers shipped to your home, they’ll likely arrive looking a little bit wilted. And that’s okay! As long as you provide them with the proper care, they’ll perk right back up.
After you unpack your bouquet, grab a sharp and sanitized pair of scissors or pruning shears and cut about half an inch off the bottom of all the stems. Cut the stems at a 45° angle—this will increase the surface area and allow the stems to drink up lots of water.
Mind Your Environment
While bird of paradise plants like bright yet indirect light and warm temperatures, cut flowers are a bit different. Intense sunlight, heat, and cold can all lead the plants to decline rather rapidly. To help you cut flowers last as long as possible, keep them in a cool area out of direct light. You should also avoid placing your bouquet near hot and cold drafts.
Keep Your Plants Thriving
With the right information and a bit of practice, you’ll develop a green thumb in no time. When it comes to caring for bird of paradise plants, remember to provide them with lots of light, keep the soil moist, and place the plants somewhere warm.
Once you’ve learned how to care for these tropical plants, you can move onto learning how to care for other popular plants. Read about snake plant care to learn how to care for another popular houseplant, and check out caring for bougainvillea to get acquainted with one more flowering garden plant.Shop All