Bird of paradise plants are Fabulous and flashy, blooms bring sizzling tropical color to a vase or your landscape. This eye-catching perennial in many countries is native to South Africa. The blossoming Bird of paradise plant resembles a bird in flight or an artfully folded origami sculpture. The spiky explosion of petals from the flower buds from the Bird of paradise plant also mimics the head of a crowned crane, giving rise to another common name, crane flower.
Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) craves heat, growing high temperatures over 50 F. Winter hardy in Zones 10 to 12, bird of paradise adapts readily to indoor pots. In colder regions, many gardeners tuck it into a container they can shift outdoors during the summer. Bird of paradise grows 4' to 6' tall and 6' wide. A healthy, mature Bird of paradise plant can produce up to 36 flower spikes each year.
Bird of Paradise Plant Care
Give the bird of paradise a spot in full sun for best growth and most flowers. The exception to that is in the high temperature regions, where partial shade protects plants from strong sun and heat. Plants in full sunlight tend to be shorter with smaller flowers, while part-shade plants grow taller with larger flowers.
Bird of Paradise Plant Fertilizer
Fertile, rich soils with good drainage produce best growth and flowering. Add compost or other organic matter to soil prior to planting. Avoid planting in a spot with poor drainage. Plants tend to fan out as they grow, and more flowers form along the outside edges of the plant clump. Space plants 4' to 6' apart to allow for ample spread and flowering. If planting near a walk or driveway, position the plant 4' to 5' away.
Bird of Paradise Root System
Bird of Paradise plants have a tuberous root system that grows into a tight ball, reaching up to two feet deep. Specifically, the Bird of paradise plant produces rhizomes that grow out horizontally from the root system and produce new plants close to the ‘mother’ plant.