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PLANT SPOTLIGHT: Bird of Paradise

Birds of Paradise are large, relatively easy to grow plants that lend a bold tropical flair to any indoor space. With proper care, a bird of paradise can grow to over six feet tall indoors, and if given the right conditions can produce beautiful, ornate flowers. The trick to successful growth indoors is bright light with direct sun, regular watering, and warmth. Learn more about caring for this statement-making houseplant below!


  • Light: Bright, indirect light to full sun (though be sure to acclimate it slowly to prevent leaf burn). The plant will need some direct sun if you want it to bloom, but avoid midday sun which is the harshest. If it has grown in a less well lit spot previously, be careful to expose it to full sun bit by bit so it won’t burn. Should you move it outdoors for the summer, place it in partial shade first and edge it out into the sun gradually.

  • Soil: A rich, well-draining soil that still retains some moisture, and be sure your container has proper drainage. Because the bird of paradise enjoys well-drained, humus-rich soil, an organic potting mix should work well.

  • Water: Keep the soil moist in spring and summer during the growing season - the plant may require water every 1-2 days, but allow the soil to dry between waterings in the dormant fall and winter months. If overwatered, the plant will develop crunchy brown leaves. If underwatered, the leaves farthest from the center will turn yellow.

  • Temperature and Humidity: These plants love humidity and can benefit from a humidifier or pebble tray. Keep your Bird of Paradise in temperatures above 60 degrees.

  • Fertilizer: Fertilize every 1-2 weeks with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted to half its recommended strength during the spring/summer.

  • Pet Safe: No (though most cats don't seem to be tempted to chew it due to the very large upright leaves)

  • Care: Easy


  • Pruning - Even if the leaves look a bit misshapen, refrain from cutting off those that aren’t diseased or dead. A large and fully foliated plant is more likely to bloom than a puny and pruned one.

  • Flowers - Bird of Paradise typically flowers in the late winter or early spring. Plants do not flower until 3-5 years. Birds of paradise flowers last for about three weeks before dropping their petals and dying. To encourage your bird of paradise to bloom, keep it slightly pot bound (frequent repotting can disrupt the bloom cycle), make sure its getting 6+ hours of bright light.

  • Repotting - Repot your Bird of Paradise plant regularly in the first few years, as it grows vigorously, but once it has reached maturity (3-5 years) allow the plant to become slightly root bound (a 5' to 6' plant usually thrives in a 14" pot). When repotting be sure to place the top of the rootball even with the surface of the soil (planting too deep can prevent blooming).

Check out our current plant availability list to see sizing and pricing available at Painters Greenhouse!

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