Skip to main content

HappySprout may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Successfully grow a bird of paradise houseplant with these tips

A bird of paradise will bring beautiful greenery — and, if you’re lucky, gorgeous tropical flowers — into your home. They’re native to warmer climates but are regarded as a fast-growing houseplant whose leaves can get up to 18 inches long. As a houseplant, the bird of paradise can get up to six feet tall and is quite the investment. But if you have the space and the time, the bird of paradise will bring an exotic and unique aspect to your home!

A bird of paradise planted outdoors
Jess Vide/Pexels

Where to get a bird of paradise

There are five species of bird of paradise, two of which are the ones you’ll often see as houseplants. A bird of paradise houseplant can easily be purchased as long as you look in the right places! You can call or shop local nurseries in your area to see if they have any in stock. If you’re lucky, you may even come across someone looking to rehome their plant for free! And, of course, there are always plant delivery services like Bloomscape or The Sill. In most cases, they’ll deliver the plant directly to your door, complete with indoor care instructions.

An orange bird of paradise bloom
Thierry Fillieul/Pexels

Are they easy to care for?

The bird of paradise plant’s indoor care isn’t very complicated; however, given that they’re native to tropical climates, you’ll find that they need a lot of bright light to really thrive. It can take up to five years for a bird of paradise to bloom, which will be more likely to happen when given the right conditions. The bird of paradise should be fertilized once at the beginning of the growing season. If you live in a climate that has warmer summers, you can also pot your bird of paradise in a container that can be easily moved to an outside space for warmer days.

What about maintenance?

While the bird of paradise plant isn’t the easiest of plants to care for, it’s not a daunting task if you follow these guidelines.

  • Keep the soil relatively moist while avoiding drowning the plant since it’s native to more humid climates and enjoys a humid environment.
    • check on your bird of paradise daily (which is a good thing to do for all your plants!) so you know when it needs water. You’ll know that your bird of paradise is being underwatered if the leaves farthest from the middle begin to yellow.
    • Distilled water is your best bet, as it doesn’t respond well to chemicals found in tap water like salt of chlorine. It can be quite costly to buy distilled bottles of water to use only for your plants, so you can always buy an at-home water filter for your fridge or let your tap water sit uncovered for a day to allow harmful chemicals to evaporate.
  • Keep an eye on light. Although the bird of paradise houseplant requires a lot of bright light to thrive, it doesn’t do well in midday direct sunlight. This type of lighting is often the harshest and has the potential to burn the leaves. Bird of paradise plants will do best with an east- or west-facing window.
  • Watch out for pests. Bird of paradise plants are vulnerable to aphids, mites, and scale bugs.
    • Insecticidal soaps can be used to control or get rid of infestations; however, be sure to follow the specific directions for the insecticidal soap you choose. If you use too much, it could adversely affect your plant.
A pink bird of paradise bloom
Jean van der Meulen

Getting your bird of paradise to bloom

As with any flowering plant, the only way to encourage a bloom is to give it the best care possible. You’ll want to provide optimal conditions for your bird of paradise, including light, temperature, consistent watering, etc. If you’re lacking light, you can always purchase grow lights for the seasons when the plant is kept indoors. And keep in mind that this plant may not bloom for up to five years when it reaches full maturity.

Give it all the love and attention you can, maintain the growth, and with luck, you’ll get to experience a bright, tropical flower. Worst case scenario, your bird of paradise doesn’t bloom, and you still have a gorgeous leafy green plant to enhance your home.

Editors' Recommendations

Kiera Baron
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kiera Baron is a freelance writer and editor, as well as a budding digital artist, based in Upstate NY. She is currently one…
Incorporate these shower plants into your bathroom for a green infusion
These 7 plants help greenify your bathroom
Bathroom plant layout

As you turn your home into a jungle, transform your bathroom into paradise with the help of hanging shower plants. Adding extra greenery to your bathroom can switch up the ambiance for a lush vibe — it’ll be like taking a shower in the great outdoors while enjoying the comforts of your home. When picking out shower plants, keep humidity-loving species at the top of your list: Think ferns, figs, and more!

Curious about incorporating tropical vibes into this nook of your home? Read on to learn how to hang plants in the bathroom and which plants work best for this steamy environment.
Things to consider
Humidity and light
The bathroom is ideal for houseplants because of its humidity. However, keep in mind other requirements that your plants will need. Before you bring plants into your bathroom, consider factors such as light and temperature. If your bathroom doesn’t get a lot of light, invest in supplementary grow lights or pick plants that can thrive in low-light conditions. Also, take into account your bathroom temperature since some plants don't tolerate cold drafts.
How to hang the houseplants
Decide how you’ll hang your houseplants. Get creative with placement when building a plant paradise in the shower. Showerheads, caddies, shower rods, and curtain rods are great spots for hanging foliage, given that your planter isn’t too heavy. You can also take advantage of heavy-duty utility hooks that adhere to tiles.

Read more
Stargazer lilies are excellent warm-weather flowers – how to grow them for stunning blooms all summer long
Indoor and outdoor care for stargazer lilies
A cluster of stargazer lily flowers

Of the many popular flowers found in summer flower gardens, lilies are perhaps one of the most versatile. There is a range of colors, patterns, and even shapes available, so you're sure to find a lily that fits your garden. One popular lily variety is the stargazer lily, which has large, striking flowers. The petals of its blooms are pink with white edges and darker pink spots along the center of the petals. These stunning flowers are excellent centerpieces in summer gardens as well as indoor spaces. Here’s how to grow your own.
Indoor care
Stargazer lilies, like other lily varieties, can grow indoors with proper care. Indoor care for stargazer lilies begins with choosing the correct container. It needs to be deep and have sufficient drainage holes. Avoid shallow pots or those without drainage holes, such as ceramic pots. Likewise, you must use well-draining soil to avoid overwatering. Stargazer lilies enjoy moist soil, but they don’t tolerate standing water. Soil that is rich in organic matter is ideal.

Place your stargazer lily in your sunniest window, or where it can get light from a grow light if you don’t have access to a good window. Water your stargazer lily one to two times per week so the soil stays moist but not soggy. In the spring, freshen up the soil with a slow-release fertilizer to keep your lily healthy and blooming.

Read more
From baby rubber plants to watermelon peperomia, add these peperomia varieties to your low-maintenance plant collection
Your guide to caring for the most striking and accessible peperomia varieties
Watermelon peperomia

Peperomias, or radiator plants, are one of those houseplant varieties that seem hidden in plain sight — their trailing and upright varieties are practically at every nursery, but not many plant parents talk about them. Affordable, low-maintenance, and pet-safe choices, these lovely indoor plants technically belong to the pepper (Piperaceae) family. Featuring over 1,000 plant species, the Peperomia genus is certainly a mixed bag, including both tropical and subtropical plants. You have everything from the eye-catching watermelon peperomia to the adorable peperomia hope.

The plants in this genus that we often see as houseplants are succulent or semi-succulent in nature and come with mesmerizing colors and patterns. As such, they’re quite easy to care for and include a bevy of attractive options for houseplant novices. Plus, they’re ridiculously easy to propagate, as you can use both stem and leaf cuttings to make more of them. If you’re thinking about picking up a peperomia plant, consider the following varieties for your collection.

Read more