Birds of paradise are named so because their blooms resemble a bird. They are one of the brightest and most colorful flowers in the world today. They are often the focal point in medium-sized tropical floral arrangements, but they do not last long once cut. Although the most popular bird of paradise is orange, yellow and blue, there are other varieties as well. They are typically found in tropical climates, but will do well when grown indoors. They can be grown from seeds or by splitting existing plants.
Provide plenty of sunlight. They need lots of light to grow.
Keep the soil moist during the summer and spring months. During the fall and winter, you should allow the soil to dry out between waterings, however, you do not want the soil to become so dry that it dehydrates the plant. Watch for signs of dehydration such as wilting blooms and loss of color. Make sure you are following a schedule for watering to help your bird of paradise establish a good root system. You can reduce watering after it is firmly established.
Keep your bird of paradise indoors if you live in northern states or any location where the outdoor temperature will drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They need warmth.
Feed your plant during the summer and spring months. Use a water-soluble fertilizer or a plant food. Only feed your plant every other week. Provide your plant some extra nutrients by adding a peat moss based potting soil. Begin your fertilizing prior to new growth in the spring.
Use pruning shears to cut back your plant during the fall and winter months. Only prune your plant once a month during this time.
Repot your plant, as necessary, every spring. When birds of paradise are young, they grow quickly and will require additional room to grow. Once they have reached a slower growing stage, you will only need to repot every few years.
Divide your plants once they have reached maturity. You can determine a plant has reached maturity once it has gone through two seasons of blooming. Carefully split the plant in two and replant both pieces in separate pots. You should be aware that when you divide your bird of paradise, it will not bloom again for one to two seasons.
You can use a floral preservative. They can be found at your local garden supply store.