Are you in awe with the White Bird of Paradise’s striking white and blue flowers so much that you wish to grow this ornamental plant at home? You have come to the right place!
Find out everything about growing the White Bird of Paradise and ways to overcome different challenges that may come your way.
Table of Contents Show
- Overview of White Bird of Paradise
- White Bird of Paradise Care Indoors and Outdoors
- White Bird of Paradise: All About the Growth Rate
- Toxicity of White Bird of Paradise
- Propagation Methods for White Bird of Paradise
- White Bird of Paradise for Sale
- White vs. Orange Bird of Paradise
- From Editorial Team
Overview of White Bird of Paradise
White Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia Nicolai) represents a tropical, evergreen plant species as ornamental plants at home.
Did you know indoor kept White Bird of Paradise improves air quality by removing pollutants from the surrounding environment?
|Scientific Name||Strelitzia nicolai|
|Other name||Wild banana|
|Growth Zone||USDA 9b to 11|
|Plant Type||Tropical, evergreen|
|Growth Size||-30 feet tall in the wild
-Over 6 feet tall as houseplant
|Growth Rate||1-2' per year|
|Foliage||Banana like leaves that resemble a bird's head|
|Blooming Period||July to November|
|Flowering||White and blue flowers|
|Toxicity||Minimally toxic to humans and pets|
|Common Pests||Mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects|
|Horticultural Diseases||Root rot, leaf spot, and powdery mildew|
White Bird of Paradise Care Indoors and Outdoors
When grown outdoors, they prefer sitting in full sun to partial shade, whereas they prefer bright indirect light around the year indoors.
1-2 hours of direct sunlight
Provide rest of indirect sunlight
Once in 7-10 days in the growing season
and once in 20-25 days in winter
Well-draining soil mix rich in organic matter
pH level: 6.0-7.5
Diluted balanced fertilizer
Once every 2-4 weeks
50% to 70%
Repot every 2-3 years
Propagate via stem cutting,
division and seeds
Here is a complete care guide for the White Bird of Paradise.
1. Sunlight & Temperature
White Bird of Paradise can tolerate some direct sunlight, especially in the morning or evening, but the same during the day is No-No.
Therefore, place the plant in a location with bright, filtered light, such as near a window. For outdoor plants, find a location that receives early morning sunlight with partial shade for the rest of the day.
Keep an eye out for the following signs, which may indicate the problem of improper lighting.
- Small or pale leaves
- Yellowing foliage
- Leggy growth
- Slow growth or lack of new growth
- Failure to bloom (especially in the absence of light)
Anything below 50°F and above 90°F can damage the plant from cold and heat stress, inviting wilting, pale leaves, and yellowing.
2. Watering & Humidity
Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry with 1 inch of distilled, dechlorinated, or rainwater.
Strictly avoid using tap or chlorinated water, which might increase the level of chemical toxicity in the soil.
Provide water every 7-10 days in spring and summer to support growth but cut back to 20 days or more in fall and winter.
Otherwise, improper watering can lead to a range of problems, such as:
|Overwatering||Root rot causes the leaves to turn yellow and eventually die and the soil may also have a foul odor|
|Underwatering||The leaves turn brown and dry out and the plant become wilted and droopy|
Check out for yellowing and dropping or wilting leaves, brown tips, and fungal growth if you suspect improper watering.
Check out for these telltale signs, which may indicate improper humidity levels.
The best way to achieve optimal humidity levels for indoor plants is by grouping them, regular misting, or using a room humidifier and humidity dome.
3. Soil & Fertilization
The White Bird of Paradise prefers a well-draining soil mix rich in organic matter and slightly acidic, usually 6.0-7.5 pH.
Prepare a high-quality potting mix of 60% peat moss, 40% perlite, and vermiculite, topped with worm compost or manure.
The organic mix will help retain a slightly acidic nature that helps break down soil nutrients.
However, avoid soil rich in sand or clay, as this type of mix tends to be heavy, sterile, and waterlogged.
Here are a few commercial potting mix choices available.
|Espoma Organic Potting Mix||Made from all-natural and organic ingredients, including peat moss, perlite, and humus|
|Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix||Designed for indoor plants and contains a blend of peat moss, perlite, and fertilizer|
|FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil||A blend of earthworm castings, bat guano, and Pacific Northwest sea-going fish and crab mea|
Regular fertilization can also help maintain the soil’s fertility and nutrient balance.
Here are a few commercial fertilizer choices.
|Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Palm Fertilizer||It is organic and contains a blend of fish bone meal, feather meal, kelp meal, and other natural ingredients.|
|Espoma Palm-tone Plant Food||It contains a blend of natural ingredients like feather meal, bone meal, and composted poultry manure.|
|Jobe's Organics Palm Fertilizer||It is enhanced with Jobe's Biozome, a blend of beneficial microorganisms that help to improve soil health and plant growth.|
However, cut back in the fall and winter when the plant goes into dormancy and strictly avoid using cheap synthetic fertilizer that leads to salt buildup in the soil.
4. Potting & Repotting
Choose a planter with multiple drainage holes to ensure optimal drainage of water and 1-2 inches of empty bottom space for root growth.
You can choose from terracotta, clay, or ceramic pots with multiple drainage holes at the bottom. Avoid plastic ones that trap moisture, often leading to root rot.
Generally, repot the plant every 2-3 years to a pot one size larger than the current pot to prevent the root-bound condition.
The best time to repot a White Bird of Paradise plant is in the spring or early summer when it is actively growing.
- Remove the mature plant from its pot and gently loosen the roots to remove old soil.
- Place a layer of fresh potting soil in the bottom of the new pot.
- Position the plant in the center of the pot and add more soil around the roots, gently firming it in place.
- Water it thoroughly and allow the excess to drain from the bottom of the pot.
- Place the plant in a bright, indirect location and avoid direct sunlight for a few days to allow it to adjust.
5. Regular Pruning
Like any houseplant, White Bird of Paradise enjoys pruning to promote new growth or to remove pests and treat diseases.
White Bird of Paradise is more susceptible to pests like Scale insects, mealybugs, and spider mites, often identified by yellowed and wilting foliage.
Alternatively, applying horticultural oil can also control pest infestation.
Similarly, White Bird of Paradise is susceptible to diseases like leaf spots and powdery mildew. Apply fungicidal sprays helps prevent the spread of the disease.
- Prune when the plant is actively growing in the spring or early summer.
- Use sterilized, sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts.
- Cut back any dead or damaged leaves or stems at their base.
- Remove old, yellowing, or discolored leaves, cutting them off at the base.
- Cut back leggy stems with no or negligible leaves.
- Thin out the center of the plant by removing some of the older, larger stems, which can help promote new growth and airflow.
White Bird of Paradise: All About the Growth Rate
The White Bird of Paradise growth rate depends on the growing conditions, where they increase in size by about 1 foot every year.
A well-kept outdoor plant will grow up to 6 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide in a single season, whereas indoor ones only grow about 3-5 feet tall and 2-4 feet wide.
The leaves are large, deep green, and glossy, growing 2-3 feet long and 1-2 feet wide.
On the other hand, the blooms are white or cream-colored, resembling birds in flight. These blooms grow to 6-8 inches long and flourish in the summer or fall.
Toxicity of White Bird of Paradise
White bird of paradise is considered mildly toxic to both humans and pets, where the toxicity is due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals.
The crystals invite irritation and swelling of the mouth, tongue, and throat, leading to difficulty breathing and swallowing when ingested.
Mild symptoms can be treated by rinsing the mouth with water and taking an antihistamine, but severe poisoning will require immediate medical attention.
Similarly, it invites mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and drowsiness in pets.
You should contact the veterinarian immediately or seeks assistance from the pet poisoning center.
Propagation Methods for White Bird of Paradise
Are you looking to multiply your White Bird of Paradise to gift someone special or increase their number?
Here is what you need to know about propagating these tropical beauties.
Propagate White Bird of Paradise using two primary methods: division and stem cuttings.
1. Division Method
Prepare a new pot: Select an appropriately sized pot(s) and fill it with fresh, well-draining organic potting soil.
- Remove the plant: Carefully remove it from its pots by gently tilting and pulling it. Loosen any compacted soil around the roots.
- Separate the roots: Divide the plant’s root ball into several smaller sections using a sterilized, sharp knife or pruning shears. Each section should have its healthy stem(s) and roots.
- Repot the new sections: Place each new section in a pot, cover it with fresh potting mix, and gently press the soil around the roots to ensure good contact.
- Water the new plants: Thoroughly water them to help settle the substrate around the roots and continue watering once a week.
- Growing conditions: Place it in a sunny location with bright, indirect light, ample humidity, and warm temperature.
2. Stem Cuttings
Here are the steps to propagate the White Bird of Paradise using the stem-cutting method:
- Prepare a cutting: Select a healthy stem and cut about 6-8 inches long. Cut just below a leaf node.
- Remove leaves: Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the stem, leaving one at the top.
- Apply rooting hormone: Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone powder, encouraging the development of new roots.
- Plant the cuttings: Insert the stem cutting into a pot filled with fresh, well-draining potting soil and water thoroughly.
Alternatively, you can grow stem cuttings in water.
- Submerge the stem in a glass or jar filled with distilled water for hydroponics, which may take 2-4 weeks.
- Place the pot in a warm, humid location with indirect sunlight and cover it with a plastic bag or a clear plastic wrap to create a mini greenhouse.
- Ensure the soil remains moist and water frequently every few days.
- Once the cutting has developed a robust root system, 1-2 inches long in about 2-3 weeks, it can be transplanted into a larger pot with fresh potting soil.
3. Growing Seeds
Although not precisely a propagation method, you can grow Bird of Paradise seeds at home.
Here are the steps in brief.
- Soak plant seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting, insert about 1 inch deep in the germination substrate, and water gently.
- Cover the germination tray with clear plastic wrap and provide an ideal temperature of around 70-75°F at all times.
- The seeds will germinate in 2-3 months, after which you can transplant them into a new pot.
White Bird of Paradise for Sale
Besides serving indoor and outdoor aesthetics, there includes Bird of Paradise proven benefits. Learn where these beauties are available.
|Places to Buy||Delivery Service|
|Plantvine||-It guarantees 2-days shipping
-Plants are covered by our 45 day guarantee
|Plantz.com||-It guarantees 2-days shipping|
|Etsy||-Only seeds available
-Delivery within 5 to 7 days
-Product doesn't ship to California
|Amazon||-Same day delivery available
-Choose standard 2 business days delivery
-Offers return for items within 30 days of shipment
White vs. Orange Bird of Paradise
Many plantophiles tend to confuse the white and orange Birds of Paradise, but there are stark differences between the two.
|Parameters||White Bird of Paradise||Orange Bird of Paradise|
|Plant size||It grows 20-30 feet tall||It hardly grows 5-6 feet tall|
|Leaf size||It boasts larger, paddle-shaped leaves about 8" long||The leaves are smaller and more slender|
|Flower color||The white flowers boast blue and purple accents||The orange flowers boast blue and purple accents|
|Flower shape||The flowers are more angular shaped with pointed tip||The flowers are more rounded with no pointed tip|
|Leaf color||They are green with a glossy finish||They boast a darker shade of green with a matte finish|
|Condition||Prefers bright indirect sunlight and high humidity||Withstands direct sunlight and low humidity|
From Editorial Team
Things to Consider When Growing White Bird of Paradise in Low Light and Winter
White Bird of Paradise can tolerate low light conditions when grown indoors, but it might succeed more slowly and fail to produce as many leaves or flowers.
Protect your White Bird of Paradise from cold drafts and low temperatures in winter by decreasing the watering frequency, introducing a heat mat or insulation if necessary, and cutting back on fertilizing and pruning.