Bird of Paradise Size – How Big is it When Full Grown?

The Strelitzia is native to sunny South Africa, where it is commonly known as a crane flower. Strelitzia reginae is the most well-known and popular species of the plant. The flowers are blue or purple with a fan of either white, orange, or yellow.

This closely resembles a bird in flight, which is how the plant got its name.The larger species, although producing fewer colorful flowers, still resemble birds in flight.

Strelitzia reginae

The Strelitzia reginae is the most popular Bird of paradise. It quickly adds a jungle flair to any room or garden. Beautiful orange and purple-blue flowers can bloom throughout the year when grown in the right climate. When fully grown, the reginae can reach just over 1.5m (5ft). 

Strelitzia juncea

The Strelitzia juncea is similar to the Strelitzia reginae, but the leaves differ. The leaves of the juncea are narrower in form. The flowers, although similar, are a bit smaller in size. This plant is either grown as a houseplant or the flowers are used as cuttings in floral arrangements.

The juncea grows between 1m and 1.8m ( 3-6ft ).

Strelitzia caudata

The caudata produces an ugly, dull, white, tufted flower. It is, therefore, rarely cultivated. This Strelitzia is most commonly found growing in the wild in the southern parts of Africa. This includes South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

It can grow up to 6 m in height in the right conditions.

Strelitzia nicolai

Strelitzia nicolai is sometimes referred to as the Giant Bird of paradise.

When planting, be careful because the roots of this Strelitzia spread quickly and can easily lift concrete and damage buildings. If all of its needs are met, the nicolai can grow to be an impressive 10 m tall.

Factors that impact size

Many factors will impact your plant’s final size. Plants that must survive in poor, inadequate conditions are unlikely to thrive and will remain smaller in size. A Bird of paradise that receives lots of attention will perform better. Mimicking your plants’ natural environment will likely yield the best results.


The Bird of paradise really loves light. In its native South Africa, it receives a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day, with this increase during the summer months. If your plant is exposed to less light, its growth will be much slower.

The Bird of paradise will also fail to flower, regardless of age, if it does not receive enough light.


The Bird of paradise does not do well when exposed to the cold. When temperatures drop to near freezing, the plant will begin to experience damage, even if exposure is brief. Prolonged exposure to frost can result in the death of your plant.

Exposure to extreme heat will also put your plant under stress. However, the Bird of paradise is considered drought tolerant, so this is likely to only be seen in younger plants.


Water is undeniably important in keeping your plant happy. The Bird of paradise is very sensitive to chemicals commonly found in tap water. A build-up of these chemicals in the soil can cause your plant to become unhappy, and damage will show up in the leaves of your plant.

Where possible, make use of collected rainwater. If you can’t do this, you can buy bottled water for your plant or let a glass of water sit out overnight to allow some of the chemicals to evaporate.


Nutrients can play a big role in determining your plant’s final size. A plant that is not fed nutrients grows more slowly than one that is. Due to its large size, the Bird of paradise is a heavy feeder.

Your plant will benefit from being fed a balanced fertilizer. The fertilizer should have equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

You’ll want to read the label for instructions on the specific ratio and frequency.

To encourage new growth and flowering, you can provide your plant with an organic fertilizer. Manure, sewage, and sludge are all excellent fertilizers for your Bird of paradise.

Growing Indoors vs. Outdoors

A Bird of paradise that is grown outdoors will likely grow bigger than one that is grown indoors. This is simply because, outdoors, it will receive more light. When placed outdoors, your Strelitzia is also more likely to flower.

Other factors, such as whether your plant is exposed to natural humidity outdoors and watered by receiving fresh, falling rainwater, will lead to a healthier plant as natural growing conditions are closely mimicked.

How to encourage growth in your Bird of paradise

If you’d like to encourage your Bird of paradise to grow, assess its position in your house. Are you able to provide it a space where it requires at least 6 hours of light per day? If not, consider finding a new place for it in your home.

Provide a regular watering schedule, checking first to see that the top few layers of soil are dry to the touch. Put the knuckle of your finger deep into the soil to see how much moisture is still present.

Always use a rich, well-drained soil to keep your Bird of paradise plant thriving. Soggy soil is a guaranteed way to end up with an unhappy plant.

As the Bird of paradise is considered a tropical plant, it enjoys a higher level of humidity. You can give your plant more humidity by placing a wet pebble under it, grouping plants together, or buying a humidifier.

Fertilize your plant regularly. To encourage growth in your plant, provide it with fertilizer to give it an extra boost. A balanced fertilizer can be obtained from your local nursery center or online plant store.

 Avoid feeding your plant during the winter months, as this can cause more harm to your plant than good while it is in its dormant period.

How long does it take for a Strelitzia to grow large?

This is dependent on what one classifies as “large.” On average, if provided the correct conditions, you’ll have a big, grand, Bird of paradise within 5 years.

If your Bird of paradise does not receive the correct conditions, however, the plant’s growth will be slower.