Repotting a Bird of Paradise [8 Easy Steps]
The Bird of paradise is a fast-growing and popular houseplant. It is loved for its magnificent big leaves and striking, uniquely colored flowers, which resemble birds in flight.
Due to its size, the Bird of paradise has a fast-growing root system to support the plant.
Does the Bird of paradise like being root bound?
The Bird of paradise does well when slightly root bound. While not all houseplants will be happy in this state, it encourages a Bird of paradise to focus all its energy on new growth once its root system becomes root bound.
This means that your Bird of paradise is more likely to bloom if kept in a slightly root-bound state.
How to know when to repot?
There may be several reasons why you may need to repot your Bird of paradise plant. Where possible, repotting should be done during the warmer months.
Try to avoid repotting the plant during the colder months when the plant is dormant, as this will lead to a greater recovery period.
Outgrowing its pot
You should repot your Bird of paradise when the roots outgrow the pot. You will easily be able to tell if your plant has outgrown its home, as roots will begin to creep out from beneath your pot.
Similarly, if roots become too condensed, your pot may break, caused by the pressure from the roots.
Keep in mind that disturbing the roots will result in a lack of blooms, so consider only repotting your plant when it shows signs of outgrowing its current container.
Lack of nutrients in the soil
Over time, the nutrients in the soil will be used up by the plant, leaving behind soil that is void of the nutrients a plant needs. Repotting your plant with fresh soil will give it new life.
It is good practice to use fresh soil when repotting your plants.
Perhaps your reason for repotting is wanting to divide your plant. Pot become overcrowded? Slice off pieces of your plant, including a chunk of the rhizome, to ensure successful propagation.
Pot it into its new pot, using the same soil mix you used for the mother plant.
Change your home’s aesthetic
We don’t stay the same, so why should your home? Maybe you simply want to swap out your pot for a different style to match the rest of your house?
No matter what the reason you may be repotting your Bird of Paradise may be, your plant will appreciate the love and care you show it, and in return, you will be greatly rewarded with deep green foliage, and if enough light is present, some unique, dramatic looking flowers.
Below, we take a look at some of the items you may need when repotting your Bird of paradise.
Items you will need for repotting
- A pair of sharp tools: A sharp knife, secateurs, and a hand trowel for smaller. plants. If you have a large Bird of paradise, a shovel may be better suited.
- Rubbing alcohol or insecticidal soap to sanitize tools.
- Fresh soil.
- A new, bigger pot.
- If you are propagating, you will need several additional pots.
- Watering can.
How to repot your Bird of paradise
- Give your plant a good drink of water before transplanting. This will minimize stress on your plant during the repotting process.
- Dig up your plant, removing it either from the ground or the pot it is currently in. Try to disturb the roots as little as possible, keeping them intact.
- If your plant has slightly outgrown its pot and you are battling to remove it, it may be helpful to lay the container on its side and then try to gently pull the plant out.
- Examine your plant’s roots. Healthy roots will be pale in color but firm to the touch.
- Unhealthy roots will appear brown, black, and mushy. They may disintegrate when touched.Remove any roots that appear to be unhealthy. You can snip these off using a sterilized pair of scissors.
- Prepare your new pot. You can wash it out using water and dish soap. When selecting your pot, you’ll want to size up by one size only. Avoid jumping up several pot sizes, as this increases the likelihood of shock and root rot.
- Begin to fill the pot with fresh soil. Fill the pot, leaving enough space for your root ball to fit.
- Place your plant in the pot. If you have a large plant, it may be best to ask for assistance as these plants can get really heavy. Ensure your Bird of paradise is positioned in the middle of the pot, standing straight up.
- Fill the space surrounding the roots with soil. Repeatedly pat the soil to compress it as you add layers.
- Fill only so that the roots are covered. Avoid adding extra soil and covering the base of your plant’s stem.
Water your Bird of paradise to help it settle into its new home. If the soil is already saturated from step 1, you can skip this step.
Your plant may suffer from a bit of shock after being transplanted, but should recover within no time.
Should you water your Bird of paradise after repotting?
If you choose not to water your plant before repotting, then you should definitely offer your plant a drink of water after the repotting process. If you water your plant prior to repotting, it should be able to retain that moisture, and you can skip watering for that week.
What time of year should you repot a Bird of paradise?
Avoid repotting your plant during the fall and winter. This is because the plant goes dormant during these months. Rather, repot your plant during the active growing months of summer and spring.
Your Bird of paradise will likely need to be repotted every few years as it outgrows its pot. When repotting, take the opportunity to observe for any signs of stress your plant might be under below the soil.
This will give you a good idea of how happy your plant is.
It is also recommended that if you are going to repot the plant, you should take the opportunity to replenish all the soil so that nutrients are accessible to your beloved Bird of paradise.