Strelitzia Reginae, Mandela’s Gold, Golden Bird of Paradise

Mandela’s Gold was named in honor of Nelson Mandela. Native to South Africa, Mandela’s Gold closely resembles the popular reginae, but is slightly smaller in size. Instead of orange and blue petals, it has yellow and blue petals.

It grows up to 1.2m (4ft) when given the correct care. 

Light requirements

As with all Bird of paradise species, Mandela’s Gold loves lots of bright light. Provide 6+ hours of sunlight to keep your plant happy. Light promotes growth, bigger leaves, and flowers and helps your plant with photosynthesis. 

Watering needs

The Strelitzia hates sitting in wet soil for any prolonged period. Water sparingly, but avoid allowing your soil to dry out completely as this will cause your plant stress and may damage it. Allow the top few layers of soil to dry out before watering.

Adjust your plants’ watering schedule according to the seasons. During the warmer growing months, your Bird of paradise will be thirstier but require less water during winter. 

Temperature tolerance 

As with all Strelitzias, the Mandelas Gold has little tolerance for the cold. Anytime temperatures drop below zero, damage may appear to both the foliage and developing buds.

Where possible, move your plant indoors for the winter months and move outdoors again during the summer months. 

The Bird of paradise is quite drought tolerant and mature plants handle the heat well. Direct afternoon sunlight may be a bit too harsh for plants that haven’t been slowly accustomed to a higher light intensity.

Soil requirements

All Bird of paradise types are prone to root rot. They, therefore, require well-draining soil to help minimize running into this risk.

Provide potting soil mixed with perlite. You can use a 2:1 ratio. Avoid adding too much perlite or your soil may dry out too fast. 

It will be happiest with a soil pH of 7.5.


Propagation of Mandela’s Gold can take place in different ways. These are growing from seed or dividing up an already mature plant. 

Growing Mandela’s Gold from seed is particularly tricky, however. It exists spontaneously and is recessive of the popular orange reginae. It took 20 years of hand pollination to collect seeds that only produced yellow flowers. 

Other uses and features

Mandela’s Gold is excellent for attracting birds. It’s commonly used in landscaping because of its dramatic appearance and hardy nature. Bees are also frequent visitors of these rare beauties. 

They make fantastic cut flowers as they last a long time. When cutting flowers, chop them off at the bottom of the stalk, as close to the base of the plant as possible. 

Other names 

Mandela’s Gold may be the official name, but it also has many different nicknames. Some of them include:

Crane Flower, Gelkraanvoël Blom, Yellow Crane Flower, Yellow Bird of Paradise, Kraanvoëlblom, Geel Piesang and Isigude.