How to Get a Bird of Paradise to Bloom? [Flowering Guide]
One of the reasons the Bird of paradise is so popular is thanks to its dramatic and unique blooms. There are five species of Strelitzia that are native to South Africa. Flowers resemble the head of a crane, which is how they got one of their many names. The blooms of the Bird of paradise are composed of three orange or white sepals which stand upright and three blue, purple, or white petals that stick out from the spathe.
There are many reasons why your Bird of paradise may not be flowering. Some of the most common include not receiving enough light, not being mature enough, or improper care of some kind. Luckily, these are all simple fixes, and you’ll have your Bird of paradise flowering in no time.
How often does a Bird of paradise bloom?
Although it may take a while to start to see blooms, once your plant reaches maturity, you should see blooms once a year. You can expect your plant to put out anywhere from a couple right up to 36, provided they are given ideal growing conditions.
Reasons your bird of paradise isn’t blooming
Not enough sunlight
The Bird of paradise boasts big, glossy leaves. Due to their size, they need to receive lots of light in order to produce enough energy to support those big leaves. Your Bird of paradise needs 6 hours of bright indirect light or filtered direct light a day in order to bloom.
If your Bird of paradise lives indoors, it may be more challenging to get your plant to bloom due to the light requirements.
A young Bird of paradise will not bloom, regardless of the care given. For a Bird of paradise to bloom, it must be at least 4 years old. Some plants take up to 8 years to begin flowering for the first time.
Another important factor to consider is planting conditions. A Bird of paradise that is rootbound will be more likely to flower. This is because the roots of the Bird of paradise like to be snug in their container.
Once their roots have taken up all the space available, the plant sends energy elsewhere. This results in the plant using that energy to push out striking new blooms.
If you have recently repotted your Bird of paradise, it likely won’t flower for a few years following this. Only repot your plant as necessary to avoid the delay of flowering.
How long do blooms last on a Bird of paradise?
Due to their size, the opening of a flower on a bird of paradise can take up to 2 weeks to fully open. It will then last between 1–4 weeks on the plant. Kept as cuttings in a vase, flowers will last 2 weeks before beginning to look unsightly.
When does a Bird of paradise bloom?
You can expect your Bird of paradise to flower from late winter into the spring if it is old enough and exposed to sufficient sunlight. More mature plants may have a slightly extended flowering period compared to younger ones.
How to help your Bird of paradise bloom
The answer to this is to provide your plant with all its care requirements. A plant in survival mode will not be able to produce blooms, but one thriving will reward you with many.
Tips to help your Bird of paradise bloom
Provide enough sunlight
The most important factor to consider when it comes to helping your Bird of paradise bloom is light. Position your plant somewhere that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight each day to ensure the best chance at producing blooms.
For a Bird of paradise positioned indoors, getting them to bloom is a bit more tricky. Situate them somewhere that receives morning light where possible.
Late afternoon light will be too harsh and may scorch your plant, ruining your foliage with unsightly marks.
Keep your plant slightly rootbound
The Bird of paradise prefers to be slightly rootbound, and this encourages the plant to produce more blooms.
Allow your plant to remain in the same pot for a few years until the plant is showing signs of outgrowing it.
Avoid disturbing the plants roots
Splitting your plant up to create multiple plants is a great way to give your plant space for new growth.
The downside, however, is that any root disturbance when it comes to the Bird of paradise usually results in a lack of blooms during the years to follow.
Provide regular watering
While your Bird of paradise is fussy when it comes to sitting in soggy soil, it also won’t appreciate drying out too much. If your plant receives too little water, it is unlikely to bloom.
Try to ensure a semi-regular watering schedule, giving your plant a drink anytime the top few layers of soil feel dry.
Increase your watering slightly during the hotter months, when your plant will be thirstier.
Feed your plant with a fertilizer
The Bird of paradise is a heavy feeder. It is recommended that you apply organic fertilizer to your plant every two weeks.
If you’d prefer, instead of using manure, you can make use of a slow-release fertilizer. Fertilize your plant every 3 months.
Only feed your Bird of paradise during the growing season.
Ensure that instructions are followed as provided on the product label. Avoid over-fertilization as this will harm bud production.
If you own a mature Bird of paradise, the good news is that with some small adjustments, you’ll have your Bird of paradise blooming in no time.
If you have a young Bird of paradise, provide it with lots of love and care. It will reward you with healthy foliage and, in time, plenty of blooms.