Bird of paradise blooms into a splash of colors to give your home a lovely tropical vibe. The key to a successful bloom for bird of paradise is plenty of sunlight, water, and minimal micromanagement during summer. If you are growing your birds of paradise indoors, take them outside as soon as it is warm enough.
Birds of paradise will bloom at least once every year. Summer offers prime conditions for birds of paradise to bloom into its full colorful brilliance. With each successful annual bloom, you can expect between 30 and 36 fresh flower spikes.
How often does a bird of paradise bloom?
A healthy, mature bird of paradise plant often blooms once in late winter and may extend to spring.
Birds of paradise flowers can last long and stay on the plant for about four weeks while still looking great. The plant will stop blooming in the summer when it will develop new leaves.
The plant blooms well if it gets full sun and enough plant food. It flowers even better when slightly pot bound.
You can expect the plant to bloom again in the winter if all growing conditions are encouraging. I’d recommend that you get rid of any dead flower heads in spring to make the plant tidy and beautiful.
Why won’t my bird of paradise bloom?
Improper bird of paradise care is the main reason why the plant may fail to bloom. If you don’t provide the plant with the right requirements such as light and fertilizer, it may not bloom at all.
Here are reasons why birds of paradise may not bloom:
Lack of sufficient sun is a significant reason why your bird of paradise plant won’t bloom. Expose your plant to at least four to six hours of full sun. They should be moist throughout summer but left to dry out between watering.
Put it near a south-facing window with direct sunlight if the plant is indoors.
Overwatering your bird of paradise plant can prevent it from blooming. You encourage new foliage instead of a flower on your bird of paradise plant when you overwater or underwater your plant. To avoid and prevent this problem, do not water a mature plant already established in the ground except when there is a drought.
The roots are too deep in the soil
For a bird of paradise plant to bloom better, ensure you have the roots near the top of the soil. Do not bury the roots too deep as it may delay the flowering. If you grow your plant in a pot and keep it slightly root bound, it will bloom more easily.
Too much shade
The bird of paradise plant blooms well in full sun, though some may bloom in partial shade. In full shade, the plant may not flower at all.
Put your plant in an area protected by a building or wall on the north and your plant facing south for a better result.
How to make a bird of paradise bloom
It takes about two to three years to grow a colorful blooming bird of paradise plant successfully. It will take three to five years when grown from seeds.
Here’s how you can help your strelitzia plant bloom:
1. Move the plant in full sun
Bird of paradise plants need at least 4 to 6 hours of full sun a day to bloom. In winter, the plant is always dormant and won’t bloom. Still, the plant will need partial sun during those months. Keep the plant environment above 50°F to help it bloom in summer.
2. Water the plant regularly
The amount of water needed for a bird of paradise to bloom depends on where you place your plant. Plants in brighter, warmer spots need more water than those in darker areas. Water after the topsoil at least 2 inches deep when it’s dry.
They still need regular watering to bloom and thrive.
3. Feed the plant with fertilizer
Strelitzia plants have a remarkable appetite for feeding. The plants need a balanced fertilizer like a 1-1-1 in liquid form every two weeks. Fertilization is not required during the three or four months of winter.
Feed the plant adequately to encourage it to bloom but avoid using bloom buster fertilizers. Letting the plant bloom naturally is the best way to maintain sustainable blooming durations and frequencies.
I’d highly recommend organic fertilizers and some general landscape fertilizers for feeding the plant. Some great organic foods for the plant include manure, blood and bone meal, and sewage sludge.
I’ve also seen great results with Osmocote Smart Release fertilizer as it makes the plant grow healthy and bloom faster.
4. Maintain temperature at 65–80°F
If the temperature is below 50°F outdoors, move your plant inside your house. At this point, no bloom will last. Ensure you put it in direct sunlight for it to bloom.
To encourage your plant to produce flowers, maintain an indoor temperature between 65 and 80°F. In short, try and mimic the plant’s native conditions for it to grow healthy and happy.
Bird of paradise plants are native to the coastal areas of South Africa and grow in tropical climates with stable temperature ranges where they get good air circulation and humidity.
5. Use a larger pot for the plant
Bird of paradise plants need to reach a specific size before they flower. Put a 3 to 4 feet tall plant in a 10-inch pot to grow well. Use a pot one size larger than the current pot when repotting your plant in the spring. Leave your plant potted when your plant matures so it can bloom.
Allow it to grow undisturbed so that the roots can intertwine inside the pot. If you must repot your plant after it has matured, wait at least a year of blooming as the roots adjust to the new pot.
6. Allow the plant time to mature
Birds of paradise take at least 3 to 5 years for their roots to grow before they bloom. No technique will make your plant bloom if the root system is not mature.
Continue with the usual care schedule until the plant is mature enough to bloom.
7. Propagate the plant sooner
A mature bird of paradise plant produces offsets that can be cut and potted. Although propagation can be challenging, try growing new plants from seeds like the flowers in which they are created. Propagating by division is best to make your bird of paradise plant bloom as it will focus energy on itself.
Adult birds of paradise plants produce smaller plants known as pups at their bases. Separate one of the young pups from the adult one and repot it in an inch larger pot. Put the plant in bright indirect light for a few months until it is well developed, then move it to a place with full sun. The pup will bloom in two to three years.
Pro tip: Strelitzia plants begin to flower when they mature, usually after 3 to 5 years. You can buy a mature plant if you are looking to get faster blooms.
Can a bird of paradise produce flowers indoors?
A bird of paradise can produce flowers indoors when provided with sufficient sun, proper temperature between 60 and 80 degrees, and adequate fertilizer. Plants grown in pots will produce flowers well if kept slightly pot-bound, so, avoid repotting too often as it inhibits the production of flowers.
Insufficient sunlight is the main reason why a bird of paradise plant won’t bloom. This plant requires at least 4 to 6 hours of direct bright light. Take your plant outside during summer, place it in a sunny spot, and take it back inside before the temperature drops in early autumn.
It is also a good idea to keep the soil moist throughout summer. However, allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Fertilize your indoor bird of paradise plant during its active growth for at least two weeks using a liquid fertilizer.
Also, shallow plant your indoor bird of paradise in well-draining soil to produce flowers. Roots near the soil will help the plant bloom.
When should birds of paradise bloom?
Birds of paradise plants bloom in late winter and spring. You can expect the plant to start producing flower buds in September and then blooms from October to December. If kept in favorable conditions, strelitzia plants usually take 3-4 years to bloom. Do not disturb the roots of the plant by repotting. If you repot the plant, it may not bloom again for at least two to three years.
How long do the blooms last?
Each bird of paradise flower can last up to about two to three weeks. The colorful bloom can last up to two weeks after you cut them from the plant. After that, they wither and die.
A bird of paradise flower consists of various striking shades of blue, orange, and white, resembling an exotic bird’s beak.
- Arizona State University: Strelitzia Reginae
- Sydney Park Brown and Robert J. Black, University of Florida: Bird of Paradise Seed to Bloom