Bird of Paradise

I have a bird of paradise in my house that is about three years old and is up to the ceiling. It’s by a window that gets the morning sun, and I feed it every week with a liquid feed. I have three new plants starting to shoot out. I read somewhere that they should be root bound to flower, and mine is very root bound, but I have never gotten a flower off of it. Can you please tell me why?

Sue, it sounds like you’re doing just about everything right! But just to be sure, lets look at a few basic points about Strelitzia reginea or the bird of paradise.

I too have heard that root bound bird of paradise bloom better, maybe that is because it takes between four to six years for the plant to mature. Expect blooms in the spring and sometime late summer.

While this plant is a splendid houseplant, these tropical beauties can be found growing outdoors where temperatures don’t regularly drop below 28 degrees. So if freezing isn’t a threat these plants can grow into massive clumps reaching 30 feet in height or more. Of course they won’t grow that large in a container.

Like so many houseplants the Bird of Paradise doesn’t like to be over watered so keep soil slightly on the dry side. It will always respond best when placed in full direct light.

Feeding it is important too and I recommend a well-balanced solution of liquid fertilizer a couple of times a month during the growing season. Just hold back on feeding during the fall and winter.

Most of us are familiar with the orange flower but I happen to like the white Bird of Paradise. There’s nothing like this to give any flower arrangement a tropical if not exotic flare.

Now just think, if you give your houseplant all the tender love and care it needs and have plenty of patience you can produce beautiful flowers like these.