how to clean birds of paradise leaves

PRO TIP: Trim away older leaves on the Bird of Paradise, as they droop over time and develop more splits. New leaves always emerge from the center and keep the plant full and balanced.

The Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai) boasts a stunning display of large tropical leaves that in the wilds of southern Africa can reach up to 20 tall! In human spaces, theyre more likely to stand anywhere from 3’- 8’ tall, but still rank among most houseplant fans favorites due to the remarkable size of their rich foliage.

Choose a location for your Bird of Paradise away from air vents and drafts where the plant will get at least four hours of southern, western, or eastern exposure. Though they can tolerate medium light conditions, the Bird of Paradise will not thrive long-term without adequate sunlight, so we always recommend placing them in bright light.

If you are unsure about lighting conditions in your home or office, we have a guide for how to measure light in your space.

Bird of Paradise plants are often confused with banana plants, but while bananas have a spiral leaf growth pattern, Bird of Paradise plants have an alternate leaf growth pattern.

PRO TIP: In the winter months when less sunlight is available due to the elliptical orbit of the sun, Birds of Paradise go through a “resting” period and require less water. October – February you can dial back the amount of water given provided you don’t have the plant near a dry heat source. In general it is better to adjust the amount of water given rather than the frequency of watering.

Always be sure to assess your plant’s watering needs upon receiving it. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first to ensure it isn’t moist right beneath the surface. A soil probe is a very handy tool for both checking the soil moisture deep within a planter and can also be used to aerate overly wet soil.

Birds of Paradise enjoy moist (but not soggy) soil, and being allowed to dry out slightly between waterings. Try not to let the soil dry completely through the pot, but also avoid overwatering. Allow the top 2″ – 3″ of the soil to become dry between waterings, but below that should remain moist. These plants do particularly well in our self watering containers.

The splits in the leaves of the Bird of Paradise are natural, and allow light to access the lower portion of the plant. Keep your plant away from drafts, and apply extra humidity with a humidifier, pebble tray, or mister to keep the splitting to a minimum.

Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides and dont be afraid to prune discolored or broken leaves. It is important to dust the leaves of Bird of Paradise plants often so the plant can photosynthesize efficiently. To dust, use a mister and microfiber cloth to throughly wipe down each leaf and take the opportunity to inspect the undersides of the foliage to keep an eye out for pests.

Note if you are using a container made from organic materials to pot your Bird of Paradise in, we highly recommend using a waterproof saucer underneath to protect your floors, as humidity may accumulate beneath the pot and can damage wood floors and carpeting.

Remember each plant is a unique living thing and may have varying needs, especially in their individual locations. Pay attention to the condition of your Bird of Paradise and its watering needs and you will have a long and happy relationship.

How to Care for a White Bird of Paradise

We can understand why the White Bird of Paradise has caused a tropical stir in the plant community—it is unquestionably a fan favorite. The long, arching leaves of the Strelitzia nicolai are a real showstopper, leaving their mark in any space. No other plant seems to match the elegance this striking plant brings to your home, making it a must-have. The White Bird of Paradise gets its name from its leaves, which resemble the shapes of a bird’s head. However, because it is an indoor plant, it rarely blooms unless certain conditions are met. Nonetheless, its beauty is unparalleled to any other plant. Let’s dive into our White Bird of Paradise care guide and see what it takes to give this unusual and lovely plant a long and healthy life!

This plant comes in two different sizes. A three-foot, four-and-a-half-foot, and fourteen-inch plant with a ten-inch grow pot This is one of our largest plants, and because of its size, it’s perfect for those who want to use it as a real statement piece for any home, whether it’s a large space or a corner. This plant instantly transforms the appearance of any space it is in and gives it a tropical feel.

Proper watering of your White Bird of paradise plant is one of the most important aspects of its maintenance. It may appear difficult at first, but as you get the feel of it and establish a routine, things should go easily. The White Bird of Paradise needs a lot of waterings to grow healthily and steadily because it is a heavy drinker. When watering the soil, make sure to thoroughly wet it and only allow it to dry until it is slightly damp before applying more water. Purchasing a soil probe to assist you in this process is something we strongly advise. We adore our Soil Sleuth probe, which makes it easier for you to check the moisture content of the soil. The middle of the soil cannot be measured with the finger method, which makes it unreliable for determining whether a plant needs watering. In the long term, it can lessen the frequency of watering your new plant friend, saving you time and energy as well as keeping your plant from drowning.

Dry leaves or leaves with crispy tips and edges are two indicators that your plant is being submerged. Severe leaf breakage, splitting, and withering; additionally, an underwatering issue is easily resolved, so don’t worry too much if it occurs. See our Watering Guide for additional reading on watering advice!

Make sure you are giving your White Bird of Paradise the proper nutrients in addition to water. We prefertilize every plant we ship, so you won’t need to fertilize them again for at least six months after getting your new plant friend. To maintain the health and happiness of your white bird of paradise plant, you should fertilize it every three months after the initial six months.

Although you can definitely have a White Bird of Paradise in Arizona or any other drier state, we might suggest something different for our desert-dwelling plant owners! Floridians, THIS IS the plant for you! This plant also thrives in humid climates!

Your Bird of Paradise should be placed where it will receive at least four hours of exposure to the south, west, or east, away from air vents and drafts. The Bird of Paradise can withstand medium light levels, but they need enough sunlight to survive over the long term, so we always advise keeping them in bright light.

To guarantee uniform growth on all sides, rotate your plant occasionally, and don’t be afraid to trim leaves that are broken or discolored. In order for Bird of Paradise plants to photosynthesize effectively, it is crucial to dust their leaves frequently. When dusting, thoroughly wipe down each leaf with a mister and a microfiber cloth, making sure to look under the leaves to check for pests.

If you choose to use your pot’s drainage hole, be sure to place a Plant Saucer underneath it to catch any overflowing water. We advise watering most plants in ordinary planters once a week. Wet the soil until it starts to collect water in your Plant Saucer. You will need to water more precisely if there isn’t a drainage hole. Although we would love to provide you with a precise amount of water for your plant, the truth is that a plant’s water needs vary greatly based on factors like light exposure and general health. You will have to learn to identify the plant’s thirst from its foliage. The first telltale sign of thirsty plants is usually droopy foliage. If your plant appears to be a little hunched over, it’s likely thirsty. Using a soil probe to measure the moisture content of the soil at the planter’s base is the most effective way to check your plants’ moisture level, drainage hole or not.

10-4-3 fertilizer is a great, gentle choice for indoor foliage. Just combine this with your watering can according to the instructions provided every other week. Make sure your plant gets enough light; if not, it won’t have the energy to process the nutrients, and the foliage may develop burnt tips.

In the wilds of southern Africa, the Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai) can grow up to 20 feet tall! In indoor environments, however, they are more likely to reach 3 to 8 feet tall, but even so, their impressively large and rich foliage makes them a favorite plant for most houseplant enthusiasts.


Should I cut off brown leaves on Bird of Paradise?

The good news is that this disease typically does not cause any long-term damage to the plant. Proper cultural conditions and sanitization practices will help stem the spread of this disease. Remove infected leaves and any infected leaf bits that have fallen onto the soil and be sure not to get water on the leaves.

Should I mist Bird of Paradise leaves?

Although your plant will do just fine in household humidity, increase the humidity around the plant, by misting or using a humidifier, to keep the splitting to a minimum. Avoid keeping your plant in any drafts though.

What is the white stuff on my Bird of Paradise leaves?

Mealybugs are the uninvited guests that throw a white, fuzzy party on your Bird of Paradise. Look for white patches under leaves or in crevices, signaling egg sacs or the bugs themselves. Stunted growth and yellowing leaves are your plant crying for help.