Bird of Paradise
Named for their avian-like flowers, the bird of paradise is one of the most popular houseplants to grow. It can be a vigorous grower if given enough light with the potential of reaching heights around 6 feet tall. The impressively large, glossy leaves make a bold statement in any interior space.
LIGHT: The plant will need to get at least four hours of southern, western, or eastern exposure. Though they can tolerate medium light conditions, the bird of paradise will not thrive long-term without adequate sunlight, so we always recommend placing them in bright light.
HUMIDITY: Normal room humidity will do, but these do best in higher humidity. Apply extra humidity with a humidifier, pebble tray, or mister to keep the splitting to a minimum.
WATERING: Bird of paradise plants enjoy moist (but not soggy) soil, so allowed to dry out slightly between waterings. Allow the top 2″ -3″ of the soil to become dry between waterings.
PROPAGATION: Bird of paradise is best propagated by plant division. Cut a piece of rhizome with a sharp, clean knife. Each division should have at least 3 leaves with attached roots. Put each division in a small, clean pot with a well-draining planting medium and water deeply.
- Bird of paradise can be cleaned up and trimmed at any point, but serious pruning should wait until early spring. The goals of bird of paradise pruning are to remove old plant matter, thin the leaves, and take out damaged stems.
- Fertilize bird of paradise plants every two weeks during the growing season and once a month in the winter. Use a mild water-soluble fertilizer, like fish emulsion or houseplant fertilizer.
- Wipe down dusty leaves with a moist cloth or paper towel to make the leaves shine and help the leaves absorb more light.
- If your plant gets bright yellow leaves, it may be over-watered, rotted, or pot bound. Allow soil to dry out and repot with new soil.
- Bird of paradise are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Signs of poisoning will include labored breathing, eye discharge and digestive discomfort.
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