Your plant care can be a challenge for even a seasoned gardener. It’s a step-by-step, how-to guide for growing the Bird of Paradise, the world’s most popular houseplant. This is one of the easiest plants to grow, and it’s one of the most rewarding. The key is to provide the plant with enough light, heat, and water, while preventing insects and disease from ruining your efforts.
This beautiful tropical vine has a deep-green foliage, a wide variety of colors, and a beautiful bloom that looks something like a bird’s crest. But there’s a lot more to this plant than just a beautiful flower. These vines have a history of use by native tribes in Central America, Africa, and Asia, where they were used for food, medicine, and ceremonial purposes.
In this article I’m going to walk you through step by step the process of how to grow Bird of Paradise. We will talk about what you need and what you shouldn’t do.
- 1 What Is A Bird Of Paradise Plants
- 2 Care Tips for Bird of Paradise Plants
- 3 How to Grow a Bird of Paradise Plant
- 4 Prune The Bird Of Paradise Plant
- 5 Re-Potting Birds Of Paradise
- 6 Why Doesn’t the Bird of Paradise Flower?
- 7 Pests and Diseases
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 FAQ
What Is A Bird Of Paradise Plants
A Bird of Paradise Plant is a type of plant. Birds of paradise are flowering plants, some of which are found in tropical areas. They are one of the world’s most popular exotic ornamental plants. The plant is also known for its spectacular Paradise flowers, which can range in size from three inches long to over six inches long. There are several different types of birds of paradise. The most famous are the two-headed parrot, whose head is surrounded by a bright red ring. The coloration of Paradise flowers is due to the different chemicals in the stamens and pistils. The plant grows in Madagascar and Zimbabwe. Bird of Paradise received its name in honor of Charlotte-Sophia Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of King George III, Princess of Mecklenburg. The queen was aloof from public affairs, but was a lifelong patron of the sciences and the Royal Botanic Gardens in London.
Image credit: f-f.flowers
Care Tips for Bird of Paradise Plants
At home, the bird of paradise is quite easy to grow, as it is characterized by its unpretentiousness and undemanding care. Since it grows best under bright, diffused light, it is recommended to put it on a western or eastern window. Do not allow the bush to get direct sunlight.
Paradise Plants are heat-loving, but during the dormant period in the wintertime it should be in the cool. At other times of the year, it grows and develops well at residential temperatures. In the warm season, if possible, it is recommended to move outside (in the garden or on the balcony), but you should choose a place that will be reliably protected from gusts of wind and direct sunlight.
During the spring and summer period, watering should be moderate but frequent. Make sure that the soil mixture in the container is always slightly moistened. But do not overdo it with watering, as systematic stagnation of liquid in the root system can harm the plant. In winter, watering is carried out approximately once every 10 days. For watering should be used filtered or well-drained water, the temperature of which is close to room temperature.
In room conditions, such a plant needs slightly higher air humidity. In this regard, on hot days, the leaf plates should be rubbed with a moistened sponge or sprayed with a sprayer.
Bird of Paradise Plants are fed during flowering and throughout the growing season once every 1.5 weeks. To do this, use both mineral fertilizers and organics, and they should be introduced into the substrate alternately. After the end of flowering, the plant is not fed for 2-3 months, while the resting period is observed. Before moving the bush to a cool room, where it can rest well, it is cut off all the pedicels.
How to Grow a Bird of Paradise Plant
Growing from Seed
Seeds should be prepared for planting and soaked in warm water for two days to stimulate their activity. After the seeds swell, you need to remove the remains of the fruit from them.
Soil is better to purchase in specialized stores, but you can also make yourself. To independently prepare the necessary substrate, you will need peat, compost and sand. Mix all components in a proportion of 1:1:1
The container for the bird of paradise can be mastered independently, but purchased pots will also work perfectly. In the store you should choose a small pot. The main thing is that it had a hole for drainage, otherwise the water will stagnate, and the roots will rot.
Before sowing, the soil should be moistened with boiling water. Fill the substrate with water and wait until it flows out through the holes or is assimilated in the drainage. Then wait until the soil cools down a bit and pour a thin layer of sand on top. The seeds should be planted in this layer of sand. If you are not sure of the quality of the planting material, you can plant up to 3 seeds in one container. Warm and nutritious soil will be ideal for the plant. After all the actions, it is necessary to be patient. Usually the first sprouts appear after 3-5 months, but there were cases of active growth and 9 months after planting. If the material is of poor quality or the soil was prepared incorrectly, you can not wait for the sprouts. After the seeds have been planted, the container is covered with glass or polyethylene and placed in a well-lit place with diffused light. It is necessary to close the plant in order to prevent fungus and other bacteria from getting into the nutrient medium.
After sprouting, the plant is transplanted into a larger pot, but before that the soil should be moistened frequently and abundantly. Water the young plant with warm, tempered water. Before transplanting, it is not necessary to feed, since at this stage the plant receives everything it needs from the substrate. Transplant the “Bird of Paradise” in larger containers with a reserve, so that when the plant has grown up, it does not bump into the walls of the container. Eastern and western windowsill is an ideal place for exotic beauty. You can wait several years for the first flowering.
Reproduction by Bush Division and Side Shoots
If the bush has reached the age of 6-7 years, it can be propagated by dividing the bush, and side shoots are often used for propagation. The most successful dividers take root after the end of flowering of the plant. The bush is pulled out of the container and divided into parts, and each division should have at least one shoot. Part of the bush or a side shoot is planted in a pot (the size of the container depends on the size of the division or shoot). During the transplanting, try not to traumatize the roots.
Prune The Bird Of Paradise Plant
Bird of Paradise plants need pruning when they outgrow their shape, have too long stem, or become too big and wide for your space. Pruning is also necessary if the plant has damaged leaves as a result of mechanical stress or improper care, as well as damage from diseases and pests. You also need to cut off the dead leaves and dead stems.
Prune should be done in the summer months, after flowering, when the plant is still actively growing. As with any other tree or shrub, the longer it’s allowed to grow without being pruned, the bushier it will become, the weaker it will become, and the more susceptible it will be to disease and insect attack. By pruning, you can encourage new growth. That is, this stimulates the plant to develop thicker branches and new leaves.
Here are the 7 steps in this step-by-step guide about bird of paradise plant pruning:
- Prepare the trimming tool. For example: sharp knife, pruning saw or pruning shears.
It must be very sharp!
- You need to identify the stems you want to cut. These can be either damaged stems or stems that are too big or too tall, for example. Don’t prune right before watering!
- Pruning should be done where it attaches to the main stem.
- Pruning should be done at the points of attachment to the main stem. Pruning should only be done with a very sharp tool and always at an angle! Do not cut in a straight line!
- The fresh cut should be sprinkled with soil! This will protect the plant and help it recover faster.
- You can then cut off the dry parts (dead foliage, dead stems) to give the plant a more groomed and attractive look.
- After pruning, give the plant a drink of water (or spray with water) to rehydrate it.
Correct and quality pruning is the key to success in creating beautiful and healthy plants.
For pruning Paradise Plants, either pruning shears (hand pruners) or pruning saw are handy, it all depends on how big your plant is. Alternatively, you can use a stationery knife if the branches are not too thick.
Re-Potting Birds Of Paradise
If young bushes are transplanted regularly once a year in the spring, it will have a positive effect on their development. Mature shrubs are only subjected to this procedure once every 3 or 4 years, because their roots are very fragile and can easily break during transplanting.
However, some flower growers have learned re-potting Bird of Paradise in such a way that its root system is not subjected to stress. To do this, first prepare a special loose and nutritious soil mixture. The container for planting is taken high and at its bottom make a thick drainage layer, it is covered with a layer of prepared substrate. Then carefully transfer the healthy bush to a new pot and leisurely fill all the voids with fresh earth mixture, which is regularly compacted. If the bush has problems with the roots, then it is first taken out of the old pot and carefully remove all the old substrate. After this, carefully inspect the root system and cut out all the diseased areas, and then sprinkle the places of cuts with charcoal powder. Then the bush is planted in a new container.
Why Doesn’t the Bird of Paradise Flower?
Why doesn’t the bird of paradise bloom? The first important factor is the age of your flower. Only plants that are at least 4-5 years old can bloom. However, it can happen that the plant is old enough, but it still does not bloom. To remedy this, a temperature stress is arranged for the flower. To do this, the bush in winter or early spring is transferred briefly to the loggia, insulated balcony or unheated veranda, and the air temperature there should be from 10 to 12 degrees Celsius. Then the bush is again returned to a permanent place, which should be well lit. Then take care of it as usual and wait for Paradise flowers.
Pests and Diseases
Bird of Paradise is quite a resilient plant and is not susceptible to diseases, but some pests or improper care can lead to undesirable consequences. The main enemy of the plant, like many other ornamental plants, is the spider mite. Its presence can be noticed with the naked eye: spider webs appear on the leaves, they look unhealthy and pale.
Yellowed foliage is a signal of low temperature in the room, lack of light and fertilizer. If the plant is growing too slowly, check the pot, it may just be too cramped.
If the edges of the leaves dry out quite often, it means that the room is too dry. Place a humidifier near the bush or remove excess heat sources from the room. It is possible and darkening of the roots, which may be caused by fungus. In this case, adjust the watering regime: the colder it is outside, the less watering. You can try to remove inorganic fertilizers from the diet for a while. During the formation of flower buds, do not move the plant from a fixed light source. This can lead to the death of the bud, which will then need to be removed independently.
There are many species of bird of paradise plant, which can be grown in your home. Here are wonderful tips which will help you to keep the plants alive and well:
- Use fertilizer
- Water regularly and thoroughly
- Keep the soil moist, but not soggy (It is very convenient to use a soil moisture meter for this purpose)
- Avoid direct sunlight on plants
- Don’t expose the plant to drafts
- Keep the plant at an ideal temperature, not too cold or too hot
How do you prune Bird of Paradise?
How do you prune Bird of Paradise? If your plant is producing a lot of leaves but no buds, it might be time to prune. “It’s a bit like a person who eats too much,” says Tim. “A certain amount of weight gain is necessary, but when the weight is not shed, then pruning is often necessary.” In other words, if you have too many leaves, it’s time to cut back.
How often should you prune birds of paradise?
It’s the ultimate plant question. After all, it can take years before you see any flowers! When it comes to pruning birds of paradise, this answer really depends on your goals for the garden. If your primary goal is to show off a single flower, then it’s probably not a good idea to prune them at all. On the other hand, if you want a garden that is lush, robust, and easy to maintain, then you can prune the branches back to a more manageable size each year.
Do you cut off dead Bird of Paradise leaves?
You cut back the old, dead, diseased leaves. But how do you know when those leaves are truly dead? You can’t tell just by looking at them, and even if you could, that wouldn’t be very good information to base decisions on. So how do you determine which branches are too weak to support the weight of a mature bird? This is where the “test branch” comes into play. If you were planning to cut down a mature tree, you’d cut a branch that was at least five or six inches in diameter. That’s the minimum size for a test branch.
Can I cut bird of paradise to the ground?
You can cut the birds of paradise to the ground, but you must be careful that you don't cut to the root of the plant. If you notice that your bird of paradise plant is growing too big you can cut some of the leaves that have grown too much. There is a process which is called "hard-cut" and that means u cut the whole plant to the healthy parts. If you notice that the plant is dry, cut those parts and watch it grow healthier.