How to Grow Bird of Paradise in Containers

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The bird of paradise is a tropical plant that thrives in warm regions that stay above 40 degrees F. Bird of paradise needs full sunlight and seems to prefer being somewhat pot-bound in a container. Nurture your bird of paradise throughout the warm months and then, when the weather cools below 50 degrees F, you can move the container to a warmer location. With careful tending, the bird of paradise will reward you with striking blooms.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need:

  • Bird of paradise plant
  • Granular fertilizer (3-1-2 chemical ratio)
  • Potting soil
  • Bucket
  • Newspaper
  • Mulch (shredded leaves, bark, wood chips or pine needles)
  1. Place the bird of paradise plant in a location with as much direct sunlight as possible when the overnight temperatures will stay above 50 degrees F.

  2. Provide even moisture for the bird of paradise. Check the soil in the morning to assess moisture levels. At the first sign of the soil drying, pour room-temperature water over the soil. When the bird of paradise is outdoors in the direct sunlight, you may need to water every day. When the bird of paradise is indoors, you may need to water only once or twice each week. In exceedingly hot weather, the bird of paradise may need water in both the morning and evening.

  3. Fertilize the bird of paradise every 2 to 3 months throughout the active growing season. Mix the granular fertilizer into the soil around the base of the plant. Stop fertilizing the bird of paradise in the autumn and winter.

  4. Allow the bird of paradise to become somewhat crowded in the container. If you see roots growing out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the container, repot the bird of paradise to a container that is 2 inches larger. Remove the plant from its current container and remove as much of the soil from the roots as you can. Place the potting soil in a large plastic bucket and add hot water to saturate the soil. Spread the soil out onto newspaper and allow it to dry for several minutes. Loosen the roots around the bird of paradise plant and place it into its new container. Add the old potting soil and any additional potting soil needed to fill the container. Water the transplanted bird of paradise generously.

  5. Trim away old leaves and stems to keep the bird of paradise attractive and healthy.

  6. Add mulch around the base of the bird of paradise in the container. Keep the mulch from touching the stem and use approximately 2 inches of mulch.

  7. Move the bird of paradise inside to a sunny, south window when the temperatures dip below 50 degrees F again. Make sure the bird of paradise receives at least 4 hours of sunlight at its indoor location.

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