The bird of paradise is sometimes referred to as the crane flower because its orange and blue bloom looks similar to a bird in flight–and it can grow up to 5 feet tall. Its leather-looking leaves do not fall off, making the bird of paradise a low-maintenance plant for patios or near pools where fallen leaves can be a nuisance. It blooms intermittently year-round, but if the temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for any period, the plant must be kept in a container so that can be moved indoors.
Starting Your Plant
Plant the bird of paradise in a location that receives full sunshine or areas that have minimal shading. Dig a hole that is approximately twice or three times the size of the root ball. Place the plant in the soil so that the root ball is at the same level as the surface of the dirt. Use well-drained, organic soil for the bird of paradise to thrive.
Check the soil periodically; it should still feel slightly moist when it is time to water again. It likes a moist, although not soggy soil, during the warm spring and summer months, but during the fall and winter month, you can allow it to get slightly dry, according to the Gardening Know How website.
Weed and Pest Problems
Placing mulch around the base of the bird of paradise will prevent problems with weeds and help your plant to thrive. Avoid placing the mulch near the stem area, this may cause root rot, leave at least two or three inches clear of mulch around the stem, according to the University of Florida Extension’s website.
Feeding the Plant
During the warm growing season apply an organic fertilizer, such as blood meal or manure, every three months.
Keep all dead or diseased-ooking leaves trimmed from the plant in order to keep it attractive and healthy looking. Leaving them on could lead to fungal diseases.