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Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise

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One of the most spectacular and impactful flowering plants for tropical to semi-tropical zones is Strelitzia bird of paradise. The growing conditions for bird of paradise, particularly the temperature range, are very specific.

Strelitzia reginae, also known as crane flower, is native to South Africa and derives its name from the unusual flowers, which resemble brightly colored birds in flight. The plant needs warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine to produce the characteristic blooms. They are hardy in United States Department of Agriculture zones 9 to 11, but cooler regions can use them in containers outdoors in summer and move them inside as cooler temps arrive.

Strelitzia bird of paradise needs rich soil that is well draining. It blooms most profusely when in full sun. During the growing season, optimal temperatures are 65-70 Fahrenheit (18-21 C.) during the day and 50 F. (10 C.) at night. 

Bird of paradise flowers need a lot of food to develop. Feed the plant in early spring every 2 weeks and once per month in summer with a soluble plant food. Do not plant bird of paradise too deeply in the pot. It is said that some root exposure promotes flowers. Also, a pot bound plant will produce more blooms. When it is time to repot, about every 3 years in spring, only increase the pot size if the roots are extremely cramped.