|Bird of Paradise
|Strelitzia Reginae (orange bloom) or Strelitzia Nicolai (white bloom)
|Native to South Africa
|Named after the duchy of Mecklenberg-Strelitz, the birthplace of Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom.
Bird of Paradise Varieties
The Bird of Paradise plants most would identify as Bird of Paradise plants are Strelitzia. However, there is also a Caesalpinia Bird of Paradise which does not resemble the commonly identified BOP. For the sake of this discussion, we will only consider the main Strelitzia cultivars.
Here is a list of popular Bird of Paradise varieties:
Also known as the “wild banana” or the “giant white bird of paradise,” this variety can grow to be quite large (up to 20 feet). The flower has a dark blue bract, a purplish tongue, and white sepals.
The Strelitzia Reginae boasts evergreen leaves and flowers that grow orange sepals and white or bluish petals. The plant is native to South Africa and can grow up to 6 feet tall.
Also known as the Cape wild banana or the white-flowered wild banana, this variety comes from South Africa. The bract on this flower can grow up to 10 inches long and can have different shapes and colors.
The inflorescence on the Strelitzia Caudata appears to have a purple spathe that boasts several flowers in late autumn and early winter. The plant can grow up to 20 feet tall.
Also known as the Narrow-leafed Bird of Paradise, the Strelitzia Juncea produces spathes between 6 to 8 inchyes long. The flowers that emerge from it boast orange sepals and blue petals.
Indoor Bird of Paradise Care Guide
To care for an Indoor Bird of Paradise plant, you will want to ensure the following is available:
Common Problems with a Bird of Paradise Plant
How to Propagate a Bird of Paradise Plant
Propagating a Bird of Paradise is not difficult and does not require any special tools or material. It is achieved by plant division. Propagating Bird of Paradise cuttings should take place in early spring by severing a piece of rhizome with a sharp, clean knife. Sprinkle some rooting hormone on the open cuts. Each division should have a fan with attached roots. Put each division in a small, clean pot with high-quality planting medium. Although the temptation is to water the new division, it is best to give the cuts time to heal before watering. This should take several days. A regular watering schedule should begin after this time of healing.
How Does Bird of Paradise Spread?
Each Bird of Paradise bloom has a seed pod. These pods dry and crack open, releasing the seeds to nature to be settled in the soil.
Bird of Paradise Companion Plants
The following are good companion plants for the Bird of Paradise:
Daylilies are known for their lovely blossoms and keen adaptability. They are high-impact perennials that are so easy to grow that you can neglect them from time to time. There are thousands of varieties with slightly different colors and styles so you can choose the ones that look best with your home. Each flower has 3 sepals and 3 petals atop a leafless stem. They also have long, flat leaves that grow directly from the soil.
Kangaroo Paw Overview
Native to Australia, the Kangaroo Paw perennial is tall and straight with unusual spikes of fuzzy flowers in brilliant colors, including red, orange, pink, purple, yellow, and more. They are relatively easy to care for as long as you can give them the humidity they crave. There are many varieties available and the dwarf plants are perfect for containers. The plants are grown from rhizomes and their flowers are shaped like an animal’s paw. The plant has medicinal qualities that often benefited aboriginal Australians.
Sago Palm Overview
The Sago Palm has an affinity for tropical surroundings and is, interestingly enough, not actually a palm. In fact, it is one of over 200 types of hardy cycads. The plant has an erect, sturdy trunk that can grow up to 20 feet tall in the right conditions. The leaves of the tree are dark olive in color and can grow between 36 and 48 inches long. If the plant is young, it may appear to have a rosette of leaves coming from a short stem. The Sago Palm is a very popular ornamental plant that is showcased in gardens all over the world.
Society Garlic Overview
Native to South Africa, Society Garlic often exudes a lovely fragrance to the area in which it is planted. Once established the plant will produce its clusters of flowers annually. Flowers grow in tubular shapes and vary in color but are typically lavender or pink. They may be variegated with cream-colored or white lines. The grass-like stems of this hardy plant will grow to about a foot tall and will smell like garlic when crushed. Some people will use this plant as a substitute for garlic.
Plants That Are Similar to Bird of Paradise
Plants that are similar to Bird of Paradise include the following:
False Bird of Paradise Overview
The False Bird of Paradise, also known as heliconia, is a fast-growing plant that showcases tropical blooms. While it isn’t as popular as the Bird of Paradise, they do showcase many stunning colors including white, orange, green, pink, blue, yellow, and red. These flowers may bloom anytime during the spring, summer, or autumn depending on the variety. While the plant prefers indirect light, it can tolerate partial shade. Depending on the variety, it can grow to between 3 to 15 feet tall and will spread to 2 to 6 feet wide.
Towering Traveler’s Palm
The towering traveler’s palm can grow up to 30 feet and spread to 18 feet when grown in the right conditions. Interestingly enough, despite its name, the tree is not a palm. It is actually closer related to the bird of paradise and the banana tree. The plant got its name because it accumulates water in its leaf bases that have often been used when parched travelers come across them. The leaves of the plant spread out in a fan shape, similar to a mohawk or the tail of a peacock. If you have a large enough house with plenty of natural light, you can grow this tree indoors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Large Will a Bird of Paradise Grow?
Bird of Paradise plants, depending on the variety, can grow to 20 feet tall! On average, however, these plants are between 5 and 6 feet tall. Because of their height, it is important to place these plants significantly distant from others so as not to limit sunlight.
Is a Bird of Paradise Toxic or Bad for Pets?
Bird of Paradise plants are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. If there is any suspicion that a pet has eaten part of a Bird of Paradise plant, contact your veterinarian right away.
What Kind of Container Do You Need for Your Bird of Paradise Plant?
The Bird of Paradise plant grows very tall. As a result, the container needs to be heavy and deep, with a broad base for balance of the tall plant. There are self watering types, or those that need to have water introduced.