The nature of the potting mix or soil significantly affects the development of your bird of paradise plant. A poor growing media leads to an unhealthy plant, even if you provide optimal environmental conditions.
Loam soil is the best soil for bird of paradise plants because strelitzia plants require well-draining soil with enough nutrients to thrive. The soil should also be slightly acidic or neutral with a 5.5-7.5 pH range to remain healthy and bloom often.
What type of soil is best for the bird of paradise plant?
The best soil or potting mix for the bird of paradise plant must be slightly acidic or neutral and be well-draining but with moderate water retention capacity. The mix should also be nutrient-rich and have beneficial micro-organisms.
Type of soil
Loam is the best soil to grow a strelitzia plant in. It has moderate drainage and water retention, providing the best medium to grow the bird of paradise plant. Loamy soil doesn’t dry completely or become waterlogged.
The bird of paradise plant can thrive in various types of soil. But, the best soil type for bird of paradise must be well-draining and have a good water holding capacity to keep the soil moist and not completely dry.
Pure sandy soil doesn’t make a suitable medium for growing the bird of paradise since it has a poor water retention capacity.
Pure clay soil isn’t preferred either because it becomes waterlogged, encouraging root rot disease on the plant.
However, clay and sandy can be used after adjusting drainage and water retention problems.
Slightly acidic or neutral pH
The soil pH is also a vital factor influencing the successful growth of the strelitzia plant. This plant thrives in slightly acidic or neutral soils, with a pH range of 5.5-7.5.
Test the soil or potting mix pH before planting or repotting your bird of paradise.
The bird of paradise thrives in moist and not completely dry soil. Plants in soils with intense drainage suffer from yellowing leaves, brown spots on the leaf edges and margins, wilting, drooping, withering, and eventually dying.
A suitable soil must be well-draining and remain moist after watering.
Moderate water retention capacity
Overly wet or soggy soils are bad for the bird of paradise.
This plant thrives in moist soils with moderate water holding capacity. High water retention causes waterlogging or sogginess, encouraging root rot disease on the plant. Strelitzia plants with root rot may die if left untreated.
It should be nutrient-rich
Good potting soil should be nutrient-rich to get a healthy plant. Add compost or commercial liquid-based fertilizers to the soil when the plant actively grows to supplement nutrients.
Best soil mixes for the bird of paradise plants
Commercial soil mixes are the best bet when you want to plant your strelitzia fast and efficiently. Below are the seven best soil mixes to grow your strelitzia plant.
1. Soil Sunrise Bird of Paradise Potting Soil
Soil Sunrise bird of paradise potting soil stands out among other potting mixes because of how natural and specific it is. This potting mix is specifically made for the bird of paradise to provide optimal conditions for a happy plant.
The brand uses the best natural ingredients without adding synthetic fertilizers to it. Their practical hand blending technique also helps ensure a fine mix.
Soil sunrise potting soil has a good packaging bag perfect for prolonged storage.
2. FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix
The foxfarm ocean soil mix is an ideal potting soil for growing seeds and divisions for garden and indoor plants, including bird of paradise. It can be used for container gardens, houseplants, established container garden trees, shrubs, and roses. This potting mix has numerous beneficial micro-nutrients to feed your plant for healthy development.
It’s also lightweight and has good aeration. This potting mix’s varying pH of 6.3-6.8 is suitable for growing your bird of paradise plant.
The Foxfarm ocean soil mix comes in a ready-to-use package.
3. Miracle-Grow Performance Organics
The miracle-grow organics mix combines organic and natural ingredients. An aged compost made from organic forest products has also been added to the blend. It’s suitable for growing indoor and garden plants such as flowers, herbs, and vegetables. You can also use it to grow your strelitzia in a pot since it supports containerized plants.
The potting mix feeds your bird of paradise or other plants for three months. It ensures double produce as unfed plants when used on vegetables or herbs.
4. Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix
Burpee organic is an all-purpose potting mix formulated with organic ingredients such as blood meal, bone meal, and coir brick. This combination provides a perfect growing media to promote seeds and root development. Coir brick adds water retention in the mix, reducing watering frequency.
The burpee organic is suitable for containerized strelitzia plants grown indoors and in raised beds outdoors. It can also be used on flowers, vegetables, and herbs.
The burpee organic potting mix starts feeding your strelitzia plant immediately when used. Afterward, it acts as a slow fertilizer, nourishing your bird of paradise plant for the following three months.
5. Wonder soil Premium Organic Potting Soil Mix
Coco coir is the primary organic ingredient in the wonder soil organic soil mix. Other amendment products include perlite, kelp, mycorrhizae, and worm castings. With coco coir, you are assured of good drainage and excellent water retention. The wonder potting mix holds water up to four times its weight, ensuring the soil is constantly moist, reducing the need to water often.
This potting mix is suitable for growing strelitzia and other plants indoors and outdoors since it promotes faster growth and firmer roots. It also has a heavy-duty, resealable bag for long-term use.
6. Miracle-Gro Expand’ n Gro Container Mix
The miracle-grow expand container mix is an excellent potting soil for most plants, including a bird of paradise. It can be used directly on the native soil or added to a container for growing house plants.
It has compressed coco coir as the primary ingredient. The coir expands massively, leading to a three times increase in the size of plants than in the native soil. The potting mix also holds up to 50 percent water, reducing the watering frequency when used.
It feeds the plant for six months.
7. Noot Mix Potting Soil
Noot mix combines organic materials such as coco coir, chips, husks, and coarse perlite, perfect for your bird of paradise plant. It’s convenient for use at any development stage of the plant.
It also encourages indoor birds of paradise to grow fast and reveal their exotic beauty. The noot potting soil can be used for other houseplants such as cacti, bonsai, orchids, fiddle leaf fig, palms, fern, monstera, and peace lily.
The addition of vital organic ingredients promotes good drainage and aeration, setting your strelitzia plant root rot free. Besides, this mix hosts beneficial bacteria and fungi, releasing nutrients and strengthening your plant.
Essential in potting soil for the strelitzia
For the soil to be appropriate, it should have at least some compost, perlite, and peat moss. Here are the main components that make the perfect soil for bird of paradise plants:
Peat moss is a dark brown fibrous material made from slowly decaying peat bogs through an anaerobic process.
Peat moss is well-draining and aerating. It’s also lightweight and inexpensive, with a low pH of 3.5 to 4.5. However, it contains fewer nutrients and may need to be mixed with compost to make it nutrient-rich. You may also want to add some lime to raise pH.
Compost is another vital component of any potting mix. It’s usually made from decomposing organic matter such as blood meal, bone meal, and sawdust.
These substances add nutrients to the compost and allow microorganisms to live in them. The microbes later break organic matter in the mix to release nutrients.
Compost is also added because of its good water retention capacity.
Limestone is naturally occurring rock mined and crushed into small particles. Its added to a peat moss-based potting mix to raise the pH.
Perlite is a volcanic rock heated to form finer particles. It has porous spaces, thus increasing aeration and drainage in the potting mix.
Perlite has a neutral pH.
Sand has widely spaced particles and makes a good potting mix ingredient to improve drainage and aeration.
Vermiculite is made by heating mined minerals until they expand to form lighter particles. The fine substances are porous, thus increasing water retention of the potting mix. Vermiculite also adds calcium and magnesium to the potting soil.
Coco fiber is an organic waste material of coconut husks. It is lightweight when dry but dense when wet.
Coco coir has a neutral pH and improves drainage and aeration in the mix. It’s also nutrient-rich and therefore nourishes the soil.
Composted wood chips are a great addition when planting strelitzia. They are porous and thus added to improve aeration and drainage. However, they take up to one year to fully decompose before being used.
DIY potting mix recipe for the strelitzia
Making a homemade potting mix for your strelitzia plant is simple. The main objective is to combine the ingredients in the right proportions to ensure good drainage, aeration, and water retention.
Use a bucket, wheelbarrow, or cart to mix the ingredients.
Here’s how to make your potting mix at home using the ingredients discussed above.
- Measure two parts of coco fiber or peat moss, two tablespoons of limestone (if you used peat moss), one part perlite, one part of the compost, and two cups of sand.
- Mix the ingredients above to form a uniform blend.
- Add water to the mix to make it moist but not overly wet if you want to use it immediately.
- Transfer the mix to your pot for planting.
Can I use cactus soil for the bird of paradise?
Cactus soil is not ideal for growing a bird of paradise because it lacks sufficient nutrients for a healthy strelitzia plant. The bird of paradise plant won’t thrive in cactus soil.
Cactus soil is usually made by combining inorganic substances such as gravel, sand, pumice, and perlite, creating a conducive cacti media. However, a bird of paradise needs nutrient-rich soil made from organic materials such as coco coir, peat moss, and compost to thrive.
However, if you must use cactus soil, increase its nutrient content by adding one part peat moss to one part cacti soil. Alternatively, add compost.
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Bird of Paradise.
- University of Minnesota Extension: Cacti and Succulents.
My name is Alex K. Worley. I am a web geek who loves gardening and connecting with nature. I maintain a small backyard organic garden from which I source most of my green food. I hope to help you learn something new about gardening.