Bird of Paradise & Soil PH
Soil monitoring and proper watering techniques will significantly improve the lifespan and health of Bird of Paradise. By following a watering schedule and providing ideal pH conditions the backyard gardener can insure a beautiful bloom.
Bird of Paradise in Bloom
Bird of Paradise is an evergreen perennial plant native to Africa, South America and Hawaii. According the Department of Horticulture at University of Hawaii Manoa, it can grow up to five feet tall and span four feet wide. It is popularly known for its flower, which produces a beak like shape and "hair" resembling a tropical bird.
- Bird of Paradise is the common name for strelitzia reginae. A variety of strelitzia species exist including strelitzia nicolai, a popular landscaping plant also known as giant bird of paradise. In the form of a tree, giant bird of paradise can grow up to 15 feet tall.
- When cultivating Bird of Paradise, consideration must be taken to allow full access to sun for the plant. The roots of the plant will grow best in rich, loamy soils with good drainage and can benefit from occasional fertilization.
In outside beds, Bird of Paradise will benefit from mulching to trap moisture in the soil. Hay, leaf litter, or wood chips in a 3-inch layer will significantly reduce evaporation and maintain a healthy amount of moisture in the soil surrounding the plant.
- Bird of Paradise will succeed in soils ranging from a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. To acquire the soil pH in your home garden consider purchasing a home test kit from a local nursery. A home test kit will is a cheap and accessible way to monitor backyard soil content by simply mixing a sampling of backyard soil in a test tube. The results can be obtained in a number of minutes.
- To prevent root rot, monitor the soil moisture level around the plant. Before watering, probe the soil with your index finger one inch into the ground. If you feel moisture or if your finger soil sticks to your finger consider waiting an additional day before watering.
When watering, soak the plant and its entire root base. Make sure to soak as far around the plant as it’s leaf crown extends above ground. It is better to water heavily and less frequently to promote healthy root growth.