Bird of Paradise Plant (Strelitzia reginae) Indoor Care, Propagation, Problems with Remedies


Bird of Paradise Plant (Strelitzia reginae) or Crane Flower is one of the most spectacular flowering plants with vivid bright orange and blue flowers borne on top of tall stalks and surrounded by large leaves which can last for several weeks.

Crane Flower is frost-tender below 100C and is suited for the warmer climates. In the US, the plant is a common landscape feature in California and Florida. It is so popular that it has been choosen as the official flower of the city of Los Angeles.

In colder climates, Bird of Paradise can be grown in containers which can be taken inside during the harsh winter weather where they can be sheltered from frost, as it can damage the flowers and leaves. It is ideal for USDA zones 10-12.

Crane Flower requires adequate space to grow but it is easy to grow and care for. It requires bright light with some sunshine inorder to bloom.

The species was described by Joseph Banks in 1788. The species name, 'reginae', means 'of the queen', in commemoration of the British queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of George III.

Bird of Paradise Plant, Strelitzia reginae

Botanical name: Strelitzia reginae
Family: Strelitziaceae
Common names: Bird of Paradise Plant, Crane Flower

Origin

Strelitzia reginae is an evergreen perennial plant indigenous to South Africa.

Size

Bird of Paradise Plant grows to a height of about 5-7 ft and 3-4 ft wide. The evergreen leaves are arranged in two ranks, making a fan-shaped crown, are upto 28 in. long by about 12 in. wide and are borne on 40 in. long stalks.

Flower

The flowers in Bird of Paradise Plant fan out from the spathe, forming a crane bird-like crest. The plant may take up to 4-6 years before flowering starts but each spathe will produce several flowers in succession.

The common names, 'Crane Flower' and 'Bird of Paradise' refer to the open flower's resemblance to the head and beak of a colorful exotic bird.

Toxicity

Bird of Paradise Plant (Strelitzia reginae) is non-toxic to humans but toxic to pets as indicated by ASPCA.

If ingested it can cause difficulties in breathing and abdominal pains. Keep the plant out of the reach of pets.

Where to Buy

If you would like to add Bird of Paradise Plants to your collection, they are available online.

Strelitzia reginae Care Indoors

Bird of Paradise Plant (Strelitzia reginae) blossoms in bright light with some direct sunshine, cool to average warmth, humid conditions and consistently moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Strelitzia reginae also requires monthly feeding for lush growth. Young plants require annual repotting but mature plants are repotted only when extremely pot-bound as they bloom best when the roots are confined.

Pruning is needed to keep the plant neat and also discourage pest and disease infestations. Keep on reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Bird of Paradise Plant, Strelitzia reginae

Watering

Water Bird of Paradise Plant thoroughly during the growing season and keep the soil consistently moist while allowing the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Use water that is at room temperature to water to avoid shocking this tropical plants.

Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot which is indicated by yellowing and droopy leaves.

Light Requirements

Bird of Paradise Plant grows best under bright light with at least 4-6 hours of sunshine.

Do not expose Crane Flower to direct sunlight before acclimatizing it as it can lead to sunburn marks (brown leaf spots).

Strelitzia reginae can also grow under a grow light where the natural light is not adequate. Take a look at these full spectrum grow lights available on Amazon.

Temperature and Humidity

Bird of Paradise Plant thrives in cool to average room temperature between 13-270C. Keep it away from draughts to avoid crispy leaf edges and wilting.

Bird of Paradise Plant requires humid conditions inorder to thrive. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and also reduce pests infestation.

Fertilizer

Feed Strelitzia reginae with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing season to promote flowering.

Do not feed Crane Flower during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time therefore the plant does not need it.

Potting Mix

The best soil for Bird of Paradise Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal this plant. Buy quality multi-purpose potting mix online from Amazon.

Pruning

Pruning Bird of Paradise Plant involves removal of dead blooms and leaves to maintain the plant neat and also discourage pest and disease infestations. Cut the dead leaves at the base with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.

Repotting

Repot the young Bird of Paradise Plants at the beginning of the growing season in a pot one size larger than the current one.

The mature plants do not require very frequent repotting as the plant prefers to be root-bound to enhance flowering.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining soil to prevent it from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease. Check out these Pots with Multi Mesh Drainage Holes on Amazon.

Propagation

Bird of Paradise Plant (Strelitzia reginae) propagation can be done at the beginning of the growing season from seeds or by plant division at repotting time.

How to propagate Bird of Paradise Plant from seeds

Sow the Bird of Paradise Plant seeds about 0.5-1 in. deep in moist free-draining soil.

Cover the set up with clear polythene to create warm and humid conditions which hastens germination and establishment of the plants.

Place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place and maintain the soil moist thorough out and avoid soggy soil as it can cause rotting.

Germination should occur in about 8 weeks. Allow the Strelitzia reginae to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

How to Propagate Plant Bird of Paradise by plant division

During repotting, divide the mother Bird of Paradise Plant into several sections while ensuring each divison has some roots to hasten establishment.

Pot the sections in moist, free-draining soil in individual pots.

Place the set up in a well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges on the sections.

Ensure that the crown of the sections is above the soil level to avoid rotting.

Allow the new Strelitzia reginae to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

Bird of Paradise Plant, Strelitzia reginae

Strelitzia reginae Problems

Bird of Paradise Plant (Strelitzia reginae) growing problems are caused by cultural faults like improper watering, cold draughts (drafts), low humidity and inadequate light.

Strelitzia reginae problems indoors include brown leaf tips, yellow leaves, drooping, leaf spots, lack of blooms, pests and diseases. Read on for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

No blooms

There are two possible reasons why Bird of Paradise Plant will not bloom (flower). One possible reason is too little light.

Move the Crane Flower to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with some direct sunshine but away from direct hot sunlight or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.

The second possible reasons why the Bird of Paradise Plant is not blooming (flowering) is underfeeding.

Feed the Crane Flower every 4 weeks with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season to enhance flowering.

Drooping leaves and stems

There are four possible causes of drooping leaves and stems in Bird of Paradise Plant. One possible cause is low humidity.

Bird of Paradise Plant grows best in humid conditions. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Learn more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second possible cause of drooping leaves and stems in Bird of Paradise Plant is incorrect watering; either underwatering or overwatering.

Maintain the soil moist during the growing season while allowing the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Cut down on watering during the cold season but do not allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

The third possible cause of drooping leaves and stems in Crane Flower is too high temperature due to exposure to direct sunlight or hot air.

Shield the Bird of Paradise Plant from direct sunlight by use of a light curtain to filter the light and keep it away from hot air vents or any heat source.

The fourth possible cause of drooping leaves and stems in Bird of Paradise Plant is pests and diseases infestation.

Regularly inspect the plant for diseases and pests and take appropriate control measures for these pests and diseases.

The common pests in Bird of Paradise Plant are Spider Mites, Aphids and Fungus Gnats.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.

Brown leaf tips

There are two possible reasons for brown leaf tips in Bird of Paradise Plant. One reason possible reason is that the air is too dry (low humidity).

Bird of Paradise Plant grows best in humid conditions. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to increase humidity. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second possible reason for brown leaf tips in Bird of Paradise Plant is soggy soil (too wet soil).

Ascertain that the pot has a draining hole and the soil is free-draining soil to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Also, lessen watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time.

Yellowing leaves

There are two possible causes of yellowing leaves in Bird of Paradise Plant. One possible cause is soggy soil (too wet soil).

Ascertain that the pot has a draining hole and the soil is free-draining soil to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

In addition, reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time thus the plant does not require a much water.

The second possible cause of yellowing leaves in Bird of Paradise Plant is cold draughts resulting in sudden drop in temperature and too cold temperatures.

Keep the Strelitzia reginae away from cold draughts or place it away from windy doors and windows to avoid sudden changes in temperature.

Brown leaf spots

Brown leaf spots in Bird of Paradise Plant are sunburn marks caused by exposure to direct hot sunlight before acclimatizing the plant.

Gradually acclimatize the Crane Flower before exposing it to the hot direct sunshine outside. Move it to a slightly brighter spot every so often until it can withstand direct sunlight.

Diseases

Bird of Paradise Plant is prone to root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil brought about by poor drainage of the soil.

Ensure that the pot has a draining hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.

Cut down on watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to treat root-rot in houseplants.

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