Care Guide for the Bird-of-Paradise
The bird-of-paradise, Strelitzia reginae, is a slow-growing evergreen perennial related to the banana. Its exotic orange and blue flowers resemble a bird in flight. It is native to South Africa and thrives in tropical and temperate climates.
- The bird-of-paradise prefers temperatures between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. It can tolerate the cold to about 24 degrees Fahrenheit for a short time. However, freezing temperatures will damage the flowers. It will grow well year-round in frost-free climates.
Soil, Light and Humidity
- Birds-of-paradise prefer well-drained, fertile soil. They should be watered frequently during the warm season; during winter, they should only be watered when the soil is dry. They can live in full sun but also perform well in filtered sunlight or a northern exposure; plants in light shade will be taller and produce larger flowers. The plants respond best when the humidity remains around 60 percent.
- The University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture suggests giving birds-of-paradise a slow-release balanced fertilizer four times each year, at evenly spaced intervals. Commercially available chemical fertilizer or composted animal manure made into manure tea can be used. Avoid overfertilizing this plant.