can you grow birds of paradise inside

If you’ve fallen in love with bird of paradise plants but live in a cold climate, you can grow these tropical beauties indoors as houseplants.

Given enough sunlight and the right conditions, the plant will put on a vibrant display of flowers, lending an atmosphere of tropical bliss to the interior of your home.

Here in Alaska, I could sure use a little tropical flair inside my house during the dead of winter. Even if the flowers don’t bloom as prolifically as they would outside, you’ve got luscious, green, banana-leaf-like foliage to enjoy all winter.

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In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know to grow bird of paradise successfully indoors.

There are five species of bird of paradise, in Strelizia genus, and not all of them are suitable for growing indoors.

Larger species like S. nicolai or S. alba grow up to 30 feet tall, which makes them difficult to grow in your home unless you live in a mansion with an enormous, well-lit foyer.

Since most of us don’t have this luxury, make sure you choose the common bird of paradise, S. reginae, which only grows up to six feet tall.

If you purchase a plant at the store that’s in a nursery planter, the first thing you’ll need to do is to repot it.

Find a pot that’s at least 12 inches wide and deep if you have a smaller plant. In the case of a larger plant, choose a container that’s at least 34 inches deep and wide.

You’ll need to make sure that there are holes in the bottom for drainage, and since you’re growing it indoors, you’ll need a draining dish to make sure water doesn’t leak out all over your floors.

I love this 16-inch, black onyx colored planter from Amazon. It’s self-watering, is made of a durable resin, and it matches lots of decor styles.

To repot, fill the container with two parts potting soil and one part perlite to improve the drainage, carefully lift your plant from the nursery planter and and place it in the new planter.

Don’t plant your bird of paradise too deeply. Exposure of the top of the roots can help to encourage flowering.

After transplanting, water the plant until you see drainage trickling into the drainage dish and set it next to the sunniest window possible.

If you’re bringing your outdoor plant indoors for the winter months, learn how to pot it up in our guide to winter care for bird of paradise.

Caring for Your Indoor Plant

Because bird of paradise plants cannot withstand oversaturated soil, you must be careful when watering them.

Let the top two inches of soil to dry between waterings to prevent wet feet. The plant will go semi-dormant during the winter, necessitating less frequent watering.

Additionally, avoid high-salinity water at all costs as it can scorch the leaves. Use filtered water, gather rainwater, or allow snow to melt if necessary.

can you grow birds of paradise inside

Bird of paradise plants can receive more fertilizer when grown indoors than when they are in a garden.

In the spring, you can fertilize once a week and in the summer, every two weeks, using a balanced 10-10-10 (NPK) liquid fertilizer. When growth slows down in the fall and winter, avoid fertilizing them.

In the summer, when daytime highs regularly reach 70°F, you may decide to move your plants outside into a sunny or partially shaded spot.

Take care to gradually expose the plant to the sun to avoid sunburning the foliage. Over the course of a week or ten days, leave it outside for an hour one day, two hours the next, and so on, until it spends the entire day outside.

can you grow birds of paradise inside

When the daytime high falls below 60°F, bring the plant back in.

If you don’t have at least eight hours of sun shining through your window during the wintertime, you may want to invest in a quality grow light, like this one from Amazon, and hang it over the foliage.

Turn it on for three hours before sunrise and three hours after sunset, or until the sun no longer shines through the window. This not only keeps the plant happy but also increases the likelihood of flowers.

If you’d like, you can repot into a slightly bigger container and replace the topsoil every year.

Remember that mature bird of paradise plants bloom more profusely if they are somewhat root bound. This means that keeping the plant in the same container for a few years will encourage flowering. Using a hand trowel, carefully remove the top two inches of soil, then replace it with two inches of fresh potting mix.

Last but not least, avoid using a leafshine product on these plants. This could damage the natural finish of the leaves. Every week or two, use a damp towel to remove any dust from the leaves to keep them looking tidy.

Watch out for pests like aphids and spider mites. Using neem oil or insecticidal soap, you can remove them manually.

Birds of paradise are susceptible to scale, mealy bugs, and spider mites, but these pests are easy to spot and address. Simply wipe the leaves with a soft cloth or warm, soapy water. Avoid alcohol and spray pesticides as they can harm the finish on the leaves.

It should come as no surprise that birds of paradise like bright sunlight because they are tropical plants. Ensure that the location of your indoor bird of paradise receives the maximum amount of light. The only time this isn’t the case is in extremely hot environments, like sun rooms, where bright, indirect light works best. If the leaves on your plant are turning yellow, try exposing it to more light.

Birds of paradise do best with a regular watering schedule. During the growing season in the spring and summer, keep the soil moist, but during the dormant fall and winter months, let the soil dry in between waterings.

Water that has a high salt content could burn the leaves. If this is the case with your water, consider using rain water, when possible, or distilled water to water your bird of paradise. Birds of paradise do well in typical household humidity, but they may benefit from intermittent misting during dryer winter months.

Birds of paradise are large, relatively easy to grow plants that lend a bold tropical flair to any indoor space. With proper care, a bird of paradise can grow to over six feet tall, even indoors. Its broad, arching leaves make a dramatic, graceful statement in your home. Here’s how to care for birds of paradise to keep them at their best.


Where is the best place to put a Bird of Paradise indoors?

Since birds of paradise are tropical plants, it’s no surprise that they enjoy bright sunlight. Place your indoor bird of paradise in a spot where it will get the most light. The only exception is if it’s very hot, such as in a sun room; in that case, bright, indirect light is best.

Can you get a Bird of Paradise to bloom indoors?

In growing areas where winter temperatures drop below freezing for extended periods of time, growing bird of paradise indoors is the only option. To get plants to bloom inside, place them in very bright light and let plants become crowded in their pots.

How often do you water indoor Bird of Paradise?

How often to water your Bird of Paradise. Bird of Paradise needs 0.8 cups of water every 9 days when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5.0″ pot. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.