Strelitzia (or Bird of Paradise) Care Guide

Strelitzia or Bird of Paradise is a large-leaved exotic known for flowers that resemble a gorgeous tropical bird. As the plant matures, its leaves split with slits – an adaptation that allows the wind to pass through. Typically you will find these days white bird of paradise indoors and the orange bird of paradise planted outdoors. Please note both can be planted outdoors in proper zones.

Fuss Factor*: 3

Light: Does well in various light levels, from direct sun to low indirect light. For these beauties to flower, they will need full sun. When placed in a shady location, flowering will be reduced. For optimum growth, select a light, bright location.

Watering Frequency: Prefers moist, not wet soil. Allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry before rewatering. Watch out for “tipping,” or when leaf tips dry out and turn brown. This is caused by using tap or hard water which produces a chemical “build up.” Best to use filtered or distilled water. 

Soil: No special requirements, but does best in well-draining organic soil.

Humidity: These are tropicals, so high humidity is preferred. Try misting several times or week, or position the plant near a humidifier in winter’s drier months. Grouping houseplants together and placing them on pebble trays with water also increases humidity during the winter season.

Pests: Can be affected by aphids, white flies, and mealy bugs. Treat with sprays of insecticidal soap.

Cautions:

  • Overwatering causes yellow and browning leaves with leaf drop
  • Seeds are toxic if ingested

Zones: Outdoors in warmer zones 9-11

*Fuss Factor: We grade our plants on level of care from 1 to 5.

  1. Low Maintenance Marvels – great choice for new plant parents
  2. Easy to Care For, Easy to Love
  3. Relatively low maintenance, but will need some regular attention
  4. Apply TLC, you’ll love the results
  5. Recommended for Helicopter Plant Parents – Labor intensive, but so worth it