The stately Bird of Paradise is a lovely plant with an impressive floral display. Glossy green leaves give this large plant a tropical vibe, but the Bird of Paradise flower and the blooms are the big draw of this beauty. Tufted blooms in orange, blue, and pink hues resemble birds in flight. It can be disappointing if your plant does not bloom, but you can help turn things around and encourage flowers with proper care. Here is what you need to do to help your Bird of Paradise flower.
Bird of Paradise flower when the plant is about three or four years old. Young plants need time to mature before they can set flowers. You’ll need to wait a few years if you recently acquired the plant. Be patient and give the plant time. If you’ve owned the plant for several years and never seen flowers, or if it’s been a while, then the growing conditions may be to blame.
Bird of Paradise Flower
Bird of Paradise flowers feature upright petals and stamens that emerge from a curved flower bract. The long and narrow bract is green with red along the top edges. The petals are typically a bold orange, while the stamens are a bluish-purple.
Bird of Paradise Bloom Cycle
In nature, when the plant experiences ideal conditions, it will continue to bloom all year. As houseplants, Bird of Paradise flower stalks and blooms last for about three weeks. Housepants will continuously bloom during the spring and summer with proper care. A large, healthy plant can produce around 36 flowers per year.
How to Care for Bird of Paradise
Plants only set flowers when they are healthy and happy, so ensure your Bird of Paradise care is suitable. The plant needs proper care and conditions to grow and thrive. Plants not receiving enough sunlight or water will struggle and go into survival mode instead of actively growing.
Light Needs for Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise houseplants need bright indirect light and plenty of it to bloom. Plants need four to six hours of sunlight to set flower buds. Low light is not enough to support growth and flowers. Try to provide six hours of daylight for the best results and to help your Bird of Paradise flower. Observe the plant throughout the day to gauge how much light it receives, and move it to a sunnier location or bring in a grow light if the plant is not getting the light it needs.
How to Water Bird of Paradise
A good watering routine is vital to getting your plant to flower. Water Bird of Paradise plants when the top few inches of soil are dry. These plants’ roots prefer to grow near the soil’s surface, so the roots will be mostly dry when the top few inches are dry. When watering, drench the soil to thoroughly saturate the potting mix and the roots. Allow excess water to drain and empty the saucer or cover pot, so the soil will not reabsorb the moisture.
When to Fertilize Bird of Paradise
Plants in nature receive nutrients as nearby leaves and plants break down and naturally fertilize the soil. Houseplants need your help to get a boost of nutrition. Fertilize your houseplants to help them push out new growth, including flowers. Feed Bird of Paradise houseplants using balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Apply plant food every two weeks during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Bird of Paradise plants are dormant in the fall and winter and do not need to be fed. Let the plant rest during the cold months to prepare for a robust growing season.
Pruning Bird of Paradise
Pruning is necessary to help the plant look good and thrive, but aggressive pruning can cause more harm than good. Remove dead or damaged foliage and remove flowers when they fade. Trim leaves and flower stalks using clean, sharp shears and make the cut as close to the soil level as possible without impacting healthy growth. Removing too much growth may prevent the plant from blooming, so only remove what is necessary.
Tips to Get Your Bird of Paradise to Bloom
Repotting is necessary to encourage flowering with the Bird of Paradise. However, waiting too long to repot or mishandling the plant when repotting can also stress the plant out and delay flowering.
- Wait to repot
- Don’t get deep
- Do not disturb
Let the Plant Become Rootbound
Bird of Paradise flower when they are slightly rootbound. Let the plant get comfortable in its container, and do not rush to upgrade to a larger pot. Repot Bird of Paradise every couple of years. Top-dress the container with fresh soil on the off years.
When it is time to repot, select a container that is just one or two inches bigger because if the container is too big, that plant may not bloom. The plant will direct energy into expanding the root system, and there may not be enough energy left to direct to flowers when the container is too big.
Select a Shallow Container
Bird of Paradise flower more often when the roots are near the surface, so try to find a shallow container that still accommodates the root ball. Plants that are planted too deep may not set blooms. Bird of Paradise will bloom with time, but you’ll need to wait for the plant to become rootbound, which can take years.
Leave the Roots Alone
All plants have sensitive roots, and it’s best to avoid handling or touching the roots as much as possible when repotting. Bird of Paradise plants may not bloom for a few years if the roots are disturbed or handled too aggressively.
Avoid handling the roots when repotting Bird of Paradise plants, and consider getting someone to help since it is a large plant. Have one person lift and hold the plant while the other person swaps out the containers. Avoid setting the plant down and handling the roots to minimize stress on the plant.
Enjoy Bird of Paradise Blooms
Bird of Paradise flowers are stunning. This houseplant is easy to grow and not demanding, but you can help your Bird of Paradise flower by providing plenty of sunlight, fertilizing, and allowing the plant to become rootbound, but repotting when necessary. Analyze the situation if your plant is not blooming and address the issues preventing your plant from displaying lovely flowers.