Bird of paradise (or BOP) is one of the most iconic houseplants around. With their giant foliage that can reach a height of up to 20 feet and their elusive flowers that resemble beautiful birds, this plant is unmistakable. This plant hails from South Africa, and is a great statement addition to any collection.
Easy Care Facts:
BOP prefer bright light, but can handle medium light conditions as well. They will grow faster with more light.
In the growing season, keep your BOP moist (nut not wet). BOP prefer to dry out between watering in the winter. Water when the top 2 inches of soil are dry. Water less during winter.
Utilize fertilizer Spring-Fall (local weather depending). Fertilize about once every other month using a high quality fertilizer at half strength.
BOP do enjoy higher humidity, but will settle for misting. Utilize a humidifier especially in the winter to increase humidity.
The ideal temperature in the day is 65-80 degrees.
BOP are moderately toxic to people and pets. Consumption can cause stomach issues. Children who eat too much can develop dehydration from the foliage.
Tips and Tricks
BOP are known for having beautiful flowers that resemble exotic birds. To encourage the flowering, it takes a lot of work, but it is completely worth it. First your plant must be mature (at least 4 years old). Make sure to not repot frequently, as this plant prefers to be root bound. Next make sure your plant is in a bright, sunny window. The more light the better, as you're trying to emulate sub-Saharan conditions. A minimum of six hours of full sun is required. Make sure to follow the above watering directions and fertilize regularly in the growing season. Even with the perfect conditions, it may take a few years to get your plant to bloom.
You don't have to repot your BOP as frequently as other houseplants. They prefer to be root bound, and even require it if you want it to flower!