Bird of Paradise
4.6 out of 5 (70 experiences)
About Bird of Paradise
The highly sought after bird of paradise has been cultivated for nearly 250 years. Their showy flowers resemble a bird in flight, and give them their name. These majestic plants are pictured on the 50 cent rand in their native South Africa and are the floral emblem of Los Angeles. In the wild, they’re pollinated by sunbirds, a group of small birds with brightly colored and iridescent feathers. 🦜
Also known as
How to care for Bird of Paradise
How often to water your Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.
Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
Water 0.5 cups every
Check the growing potential in your area
A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.
Select a city to check sunlight intensity
Finding light for Bird of Paradise in your home
Bird of Paradise may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.
Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.
Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Bird of Paradise in your home 🏡.
How to fertilize Bird of Paradise
Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.
By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.
To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Bird of Paradise after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.
Bird of Paradise is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!
Bird of Paradise prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
Bird of Paradise may have difficulty thriving and will drop leaves 🍃 without ample sunlight. Place it less than 3 feet from a window to maximize the potential for growth. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.
Bird of Paradise is not safe to consume. If you, a family member, or a pet has ingested any amount of plant material contact Poison Control, US (800) 222-1222, or your veterinarian. If you have children, cats, or dogs in the home, we suggest keeping this plant out of reach.
Bird of Paradise doesn’t require additional humidity. Plants absorb most water through their root system rather than their leaves, so the best way to provide humidity for your plants is through watering the soil.
Bird of Paradise does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!
Bird of Paradise should be repotted after it doubles in size or once a year, whichever comes first. Fresh potting soil has all the nutrients your plant needs, so as long as it’s refreshed yearly, you shouldn’t need to use fertilizer. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!
It’s common for Bird of Paradise to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.
Bird of Paradise is native to South Africa.
Yes, you may see your Bird of Paradise bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.
Bird of Paradise is a clumping plant, meaning new growth will emerge from the soil around the parent plant.
USDA Hardiness Zone
Bird of Paradise can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10a-12b. Find your local hardiness zone here.
Bird of Paradise can be propagated by division into new individual plants.
- Check to see if there is more than one plant. In some cases they may still be beneath the soil surface. If you feel confident, you may remove the soil to check for baby plantlets below!
- If there are multiple plants growing, unpot the plant and gently tug the plants apart, being careful not to disturb too many of the roots. They may be connected by large root segments which you may need to break to free the plantlet.
- Pot up the new plant in well-draining soil
- Repot the parent plant back into its original pot
Yellow leaves aren’t always a reason to panic, and can be a normal part of a plant’s life cycle. Unless brand new leaves are turning yellow or all the leaves change color at once, it’s likely just your plant shedding old leaves.
Overwatering and root rot are the most likely cause of problems in Bird of Paradise, since they are sensitive to wet soil. The leaves may also appear to be curling or drooping. Less often, yellow leaves are caused by underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.
Replace soggy soil with fresh, dry soil and download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!
Care Summary for Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise
0.5 cups every 9 days
< 3ft from a window
Repot after 2x growth
Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.
What other plant parents say
You need to be gentle with the leaves if you don’t want the edges to split, but this is such a gorgeous plant. I was told it ia a very slow grower, but if you get it on a good water schedule with a decent amount of light (mine is right in a North facing window) you should get at least a new leaf every quarter. I’ve had mine 6 months and am watching my second set of two new leaves emerging. It is amazing watching these small spears slowly come up from the middle of the plant and eventually start to unfurl their leaf.
Okay so my birds of paradise plant has amazed me ! I’ve potted her in citrus, palm & cactus soil from Miracle gro since I’ve got her and she’s done great! I feel like I’m very all over the place when watering and she does pretty good ! And sun light ?! She can almost go without I had her in a hot humid garage for a hurricane came back and she sprouted a new leaf in ONE WEEK from being in there ! She get repotted probably every 2.5-3 months and when she does I find she’s ready to grow a new leaf ! She’s come so far and she’s fairly easy to care for ! Only con is finding cheap & cute pots for her as she grows
Such an elegant plant! I keep mine in the sunniest part of my room and water it frequently. One thing i will say is the leaves are very fragile. When i got mine it had many tears and holes which are unfortunately not fixable, but even the new leaves it puts out will rip or tear if not unfurled correctly. Make sure to mist unfurling leaves regularly to avoid that
Love love love bird of paradise. I have a large one and they’re so pretty when their leaves grow big. They are a little finicky about their soil, water, and temps (considering they’re exotic plants that I’m growing in NH!), but once I figured out what it needed it is super easy and beautiful!
Very finicky and needs soooooo much direct sunlight (in front of a south facing window). I guess that would be indirect since the light is filtered through the window. Either way, I use a grow light with it. It loves lots of humidity so spray those leaves twice a week and use a pebble tray. This is how I’ve been able to keep it alive indoors.