Strelitzia Reginae Guide: How to Care for “Bird of Paradise” Flower

Our Guide to Strelitzia Reginae - Everything you will ever need to know! Tips for growing and caring for "Bird of Paradise" Flowers
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Want a spectacular focal point in your garden or home? You absolutely need to get some Bird of Paradise flowers! 

Strelitzia Reginae, a.k.a the Bird of Paradise plant, is a tropical flowering plant that simply screams out for attention no matter the environment it is in. Its unique and eye-catching appearance is an absolute must-have in any garden or sunny interior room.

Bird of Paradise is a very colorful flower with a very vivid color pallet that includes green, orange, yellow, and blue. It’s a joy to have it around in your home or garden. What’s more, besides its striking appearance, this flower is also not that difficult to grow. In fact, it is easier to grow than many tropical plants.

Strelitzia Reginae is a rapidly growing plant that will very quickly fill your garden or home with joy. All it needs to bloom and make you happy with its bright colors is a warm climate and a few basic growing needs.

Ready to learn more about how to grow and care for Bird of Paradise flowers? Read on!

About Bird of Paradise

  • Bird of Paradise is a herbaceous perennial that belongs to the family of Strelitziaceae. It is native to South Africa, and it is also called Crane Flower.
  • Strelitzia Reginae got its name of ‘Bird of Paradise’ thanks to its resemblance to the brightly colored birds native to Papua New Guinea and Australia.
  • Thanks to their spectacular and dramatic appearance, you can use Bird of Paradise plants as focal points in the landscape. Or, if you want to have these beauties inside your home, they will compliment your interior design and mesmerize your guests.
  • The Strelitzia plant can be successfully grown both indoors and outdoors as long as it is provided with the ideal growing conditions. Yet, keep in mind that this flower can reach up to 5 to 6 feet (1,5-1,8 m) tall. So, if there’s not enough room inside your home to accommodate it, it’s best to plant it in your garden if your area conditions allow it.
  • Bird of Paradise loves very sunny spots where it gets full sun. Direct sunlight encourages blooming in late winter to early spring. Yet, the plant can also adapt to partial shade. Our recommendation is to place it in a spot of your garden or home where it will get at least a few hours of full sunlight every day.
  • Since it is a tropical South Africa-native flower, it’s no surprise that Bird of Paradise prefers warm conditions. Average home conditions can be adequate as long as the plant gets some attention.
  • Strelitzia is not cold-hardy, and the minimum temperatures it can withstand during the winter are between 46-59°F (8-15°C). In winter, Strelitzia typically needs these cooler temperatures to rest.
  • When it comes to watering preferences, Bird of Paradise prefers to have its soil continually moist throughout the year. However, make sure the soil is not waterlogged. Bird of Paradise will tell you whether it needs more or less water.
  • Strelitzia Reginae is sensitive to a few pests like aphids, scale, and mites. If you spot an infestation with these pests, get read of them with insecticidal soap.
  • This flower is also susceptible to Botrytis Cinerea, known as gray mold. If you notice dark spots covered by a layer of gray and yellow on your flower’s leaves or flowers, remove them immediately.
  • Despite its friendly appearance and colors, Bird of Paradise is actually an extremely toxic flower. Ingestion of its flowers or seeds can cause symptoms like dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and drowsiness. So, no matter if you grow your Bird of Paradise indoors or outdoors, make sure you place it somewhere out of your kids’ and pets’ reach.
Strelitzia reginae
Strelitzia reginae

Bird of Paradise Features: An Overview

  • Bird of Paradise is a herbaceous evergreen perennial that can grow up to 5-6 feet (1,5-1,8 m) tall.
  • The flower features a clump of broad oval, long-stalked gray-green leaves that grow from an underground stem. Its leaves resemble the leaves of banana plants. In fact, Strelitzia is a distant cousin to the banana plant, which is the largest herbaceous flowering plant.
  • It can take up to three to five years before the flower first blooms. Afterward, in late winter to early spring, Bird of Paradise produces orange or yellow and vivid blue flowers that resemble the crest on a bird’s head.

Growing Bird of Paradise

Despite its dramatic and unique appearance, growing Bird of Paradise isn’t that complicated. So, don’t get intimidated by your flower’s exotic look!

There are a few basic growing needs this flower has to thrive. What’s more, this plant also has its ways to tell you what it needs in order to be healthy and happy. As long as you provide it with what it needs to stay healthy and bloom, your Bird of Paradise will allow you to enjoy its happy colors and exotic flair.

First, you need to pay attention to this flower’s lighting requirements. Strelitzia is a very sun-loving plant that needs direct sunlight to encourage blooming. So, whether you plan to keep it indoors or outdoors, you need to find a very sunny spot in your home or garden to keep it.

bird of paradise
bird of paradise

Bird of Paradise flowers can also adapt to partial shade, if you want to help them blooming and produce their spectacular flowers, you should better give them as much sunlight as possible. We recommend finding a place where your Birds of Paradise will get at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight every day. It is worth mentioning that it’s best for them to get partial shade in the afternoon to avoid leaf-burning.

Besides that, you should also take fertilizing very seriously when it comes to the Bird of Paradise flower. This plant is a heavy feeder because it uses a lot of energy and nutrients to produce those lovely flowers. So, you should help your Bird of Paradise with slow-release pellets in springtime. Or, during the growing season, you can use a liquid fertilizer every week to provide it with the necessary nutrients to grow healthy and happy.

Pruning is not necessary with this flower unless you spot leaves or flowers that suffer from gray mold. In that case, remove them to keep your flower’s appearance sharp and healthy.

How to Plant Bird of Paradise

Planting Strelitzia Reginae is quite easy as well. Keep in mind what these tropical plants need to grow healthy, and they will surely thrive and reward you with their spectacular blooms.

What’s really important to remember when planting Bird of Paradise is that this flower is a fast-grower. That means that it will reach an impressive size pretty quickly before it blooms. So, if you want to keep it indoors and you plan on keeping it in a container, make sure you report it yearly, during the spring. Move it to a larger pot to allow its root system to develop properly.

Another thing to keep in mind when planting a Bird of Paradise flower is that it needs well-draining soil. We recommend using a rich, well-draining potting mix for potted plants.

If you plant it outdoors in your garden, you should also remember to choose a spot in your garden or backyard where it will receive at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight every day and partial shade in the afternoon.

Strelitzia Reginae Live Plant, From Amazon

Another vital detail when deciding whether you should plant your Bird of Paradise in your garden or in a container is your climate. Strelitzia Reginae needs warm temperatures to grow healthy. So, if you live in an area where temperatures drop really low during winter, it’s best to plant it in a container that you can either keep indoors all year round or bring inside during the cold months. This plant does not withstand freezing temperatures.

Watering Bird of Paradise

When it comes to watering your Bird of Paradise, the flower will somehow tell you what it needs.

In general, Bird of Paradise flowers prefer their soil to be always slightly moist but not soggy. How frequently you’ll have to water it highly depends on your area’s conditions. For example, if you live in an area where summers are really hot, you may even have to water it daily to keep the soil moist. If you live in a humid region, your Bird of Paradise will surely need less frequent watering.

Now, as we mentioned above, this flower will tell you if you give it too much or too little water. In other words, if you overwater it, its leaves will become crunchy and turn brown. If you underwater it, the leaves will turn yellow. So, pay attention to what your Bird of Paradise is telling you if you’re not sure how often you should water it or if you’re doing a good job or not.

Propagating Bird of Paradise

If you love Strelitzia and want more of its exotic, spectacular flowers in your home or garden, we have good news! The Bird of Paradise plant is really easy to propagate. This flower propagates by dividing its underground rhizome. You can do this when you repot it during its first years of life. To propagate your Bird of Paradise using this method, separate a shoot that contains at least three leaves and move it to a separate container.

Bird of Paradise can also be propagated via seeds, but this method of propagation can take a lot longer. Like all seed-propagations, it may take a few months for the seeds to germinate and for you to see the results.

In Conclusion

Bird of Paradise plant is a must-have in all sunny gardens and homes. Its spectacular and exotic appearance will steal all the attention, making its orange flower a mesmerizing focal point. Plus, it’s really easy to care for and grow.

Are you a fan of Strelizia Reginae a.k.a Bird of Paradise? Share your experience in the comments below!


Miruna is an experienced content writer with a passion for gardening. She is the proud owner of an outdoor rose garden and an indoor collection of tiny succulents. She bought her first succulent 10 years ago - an adorable Echeveria Setosa. Now she owns more than 100 succulents and cacti of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Miruna is a versatile writer and, as you might have guessed, her favorite topic is gardening. Contact

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