Bird-of-paradise (Strelitzia reginae), sometimes referred to as "crane flower," is an herbaceous plant native to South Africa. It bears a blue and orange flower that resembles a bird in flight. The flowers bloom throughout the year and the bloom lasts up to two weeks. With its stiff, upright leathery leaves, the plant is a handsome addition to any garden and makes an attractive houseplant. Bird-of-paradise is easy to care for.
Locate the bird-of-paradise plant in a spot that receives at least four hours of direct sunlight daily. The plant does best in light that comes from a southward direction.
Water the plant to keep the soil moist during the growing season of spring and summer. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering during the fall and winter months.
Mulch the bird-of-pardise plant. The University of Florida suggests mulching around the base of the plant to retain moisture, stabilize root temperature and reduce weeds. Apply mulch 3 to 4 inches deep, leaving a 2-to-3-inch gap between the stems of the plant and the mulch. Use pine needles, chipped bark, gravel or crushed stone as mulch materials.
Fertilize the plant with a slow-release granular fertilizer, a 10-10-10 balanced liquid fertilizer or organic materials, such as manure or blood meal. Fertilize every three months during the growing season at a rate of 1 lb. of fertilizer for every full-grown plant.
Keep the bird-of-paradise plant in temperatures above 50 degrees F. According to the Guide to Houseplants website, the ideal temperature range for the plant during the spring through fall months is 60 to 75 degrees F.
Mist the plant daily in dry conditions.
Soggy soil conditions may cause the leaves of the bird-of-paradise to turn yellow and die.