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 Loiterton / 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 / Pexels

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…
Spider plant care: Everything you need to know
Ensure your spider plant thrives with these tips
Spider plant

Spider plants have a reputation for being among the easiest plants to care for, making them popular with beginners and busy gardeners alike. Whether you’re trying to improve your green thumb by starting off simple, don’t have much time to invest in caring for a garden, or just think spider plants look nice, we’re here to help.

Spider plant care is simple, as these hardy plants can withstand a lot! If you want to make sure your spider plant is thriving, perhaps in the hopes of propagating it or seeing it bloom, then this is the guide for you. We’ll explain everything you need to know about spider plant care, from planting to propagating, and even answer some frequently asked questions to help you get started.

Read more
How to prune houseplants: A complete guide
Your guide to making the perfect cuts
A gardener pruning plants

Pruning your plants, or trimming away their dead and overgrown parts, helps their future growth. Best of all, pruning indoor plants is simple! All you need is a good pair of sanitized
gardening shears
or scissors. Under most conditions, as long as you have a general idea of how plants work, pruning your indoor plants won’t cause any harm to them. It’s healthy to do now and again.

Plants benefit from pruning the most during their active growing season, so you’ll want to identify what that is for each plant. Every plant is different. They have their own needs and preferences, and, as such, shouldn’t be assumed to grow at the same time as every other plant. Even so, pruning indoor plants can be a bit different than pruning outdoor bushes and trees, so let’s go over how to prune houseplants properly.

Read more
The 7 best houseplants for allergies
These hypoallergenic plants will brighten up your space without triggering allergies
Shelves of air purifying plants

Those who experience allergies of any kind know they don't disappear when you head indoors. Pollen gets tracked in and dust accumulates. Still, you can potentially lessen the effects of allergies so long as you avoid flowering plants. Without further ado, here are the best houseplants for allergies.

How can a plant be hypoallergenic?
According to Dr. Sanjeev Jain, houseplants can filter the air as they produce oxygen; however, if you’re someone with seasonal or environmental allergies caused by pollen, you’ll want to fill your home with non-flowering plants.

Read more