The bird of paradise can be grown indoors and outdoors and is known for its attractive foliage and gorgeous flowers. Many people think that the bird of paradise plant blooms only outdoors. However, it can bloom indoors too.
Bird of Paradise can bloom indoors, but it requires careful attention to its needs. The plant needs ample space, bright light, sufficient nutrients, proper watering, and high humidity to thrive. With the right conditions, you can enjoy the plant’s stunning flowers in your home.
This article will discuss the challenges that affect the blooming of indoor birds of paradise plants. I will also discuss encouraging blooms on your indoor bird of paradise plant. So, keep reading.
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Do birds of paradise plants bloom indoors?
Many of us are familiar with the large, dark green foliage of bird of paradise plants, similar to banana tree leaves.
But some of us don’t know about their flowering.
One common reason due to a lack of awareness is that the time taken by the plant to bloom is relatively longer than that of other houseplants.
The plant can take several years to mature and bloom after receiving growing conditions similar to its natural habitat.
The plant has fewer chances to bloom indoors since it’s difficult to mimic the natural conditions for their blooming.
The flowers are colorful, with two erect, pointed petals and five stamens.
The flowers are large and can grow up to 6 inches tall.
Understanding the natural blooming cycle of bird of paradise plants
The bird of paradise plant blooms once they are healthy and mature.
The plant usually takes 3 to 4 years to mature and start blooming.
However, if the plant is propagated through seeds, it can take 5 to 10 years to produce blooms.
My indoor bird of paradise plant took 5 years to bloom for the first time.
Buying a bird of paradise plant with blooms from a nursery store that doesn’t bloom indoors anymore means your plant is immature.
Commercial growers often use a growth-regulating chemical called gibberellic acid to grow flowers in the plant.
However, you should never use these chemicals as they harm the plant.
You must wait for at least 3 to 4 years to get the natural blooms in your plant.
The plant will grow best in the spring, although it will start producing buds at the end of the winter season.
The blooms can last for 3 to 4 weeks.
After that, they turn brown and die.
What common mistakes may affect the blooming in bird of paradise plants?
The bird of paradise plant will find some challenges to bloom indoors.
The plant demands the best-growing conditions for producing blooms.
Even a tiny mistake in the plant’ care can stop it from blooming.
Let us look at the common mistakes homeowners make that prevent the plant from blooming.
1. Inappropriate lightning
When a bird of paradise plant grows indoors, it may not get sufficient light.
The plant needs 6 to 8 hours of bright indirect light and some direct light to bloom.
The low light levels will slow down the photosynthesis process in your plants, so the plant will grow slowly and stop blooming.
On the other hand, the excess light can cause sunburn to the plant and will affect its health.
One of my friend’s birds of paradise had sunburns after he left them on the balcony during the hot summer months.
Check what type of light your plant is getting, and if it is placed in a low-light area, move it to a brighter place.
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2. Improper watering
Improper watering can adversely affect the health of your bird of paradise plant.
We often do the mistake of overwatering, due to which the soil remains moist of the time.
As a result, the roots get suffocated due to low oxygen levels in the soil and start to rot.
The roots fail to transfer nutrients and water to the plant, making it weak and unhealthy.
Similarly, underwatering can also affect blooming in bird of paradise plants.
Underwatering will make the plant dehydrated and weak, so it will not get enough energy to bloom.
3. Pest infestation
The bird of paradise plants will fail to bloom if pest infested.
Various pests like mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies can attack the plant.
Spotting pests in your plant is difficult since they mostly hide under the leaves.
They suck sap from the leaves, turning them pale.
Reduced growth rate, yellow leaves, falling leaves, and spotted leaves are some symptoms of pest infestation.
A heavy pest infestation can also kill your plant.
4. Lack of sufficient nutrients
The bird of paradise plant needs the proper nutrition to produce blooms.
Fertilizers give the plant nutrients for cell division, growth, and blooming.
The potting soil can quickly lose nutrients when the plant absorbs a maximum of it, and some are washed away with watering.
Therefore, timely fertilization is vital for providing the plant with essential nutrients.
5. Wrong soil mix
A wrong soil mix can be why the bird of paradise plant is not blooming.
The potting soil should provide the plant with a sound drainage system.
If the soil has higher clay content, it will hold more water, causing drainage issues.
On the other hand, sandy soil will drain the water quickly.
The soil pH level will also affect the growth and blooming of the plant.
A pH level between 5.5 to 7.5 is ideal for a bird of paradise plant, and a higher and lower pH soil will prevent the plant from blooming.
6. Transplant shock
The bird of paradise will not bloom if they are under stress or shock.
The plant will get a transplant shock if it is repotted or divided.
The shock may result in limpness, yellowing, and lack of new growth in your plant.
My bird of paradise plant suffered a transplant shock and showed the above signs when I repotted it for the first time.
The plant will need some time to adjust to the differences in its new habitat.
So, you should not worry as it is a natural phase for many plants, and the bird of paradise will recover with time.
7. Unfavorable temperatures and humidity
The bird of paradise plant prefers a temperature range of 65-85°F during the day and 50-65°F at night.
There should be a 10-degree temperature gap between day and night temperatures for modulating growth patterns and the metabolism response of plants.
Maintaining ideal temperatures at home is difficult since various cooling and heating devices keep fluctuating the temperatures around the plant, affecting its growth and blooming.
Once I forgot to turn off the heater in the same room where I kept my plant, and I noticed its leaves had turned dry.
Most of the flower buds will die if they are exposed to hot and cold drafts.
When it comes to humidity, the plants need at least 60 to 70% humidity for blooming.
The air inside the house lacks moisture, so the plant dries out quickly and doesn’t get the energy to bloom.
How to promote blooms in a bird of paradise plant indoors?
To make your indoor bird of paradise plant bloom, provide them with the ideal growth conditions, love, and care.
Let us now understand the ideal growing factors for a healthy bird of paradise plant that can bloom.
1. Move your bird of paradise plant to a sunnier location.
To make your bird of paradise plant bloom, move it to a sunnier place where it can get 6-8 hours of bright, direct, or indirect light.
Never place the plant in a dark spot.
The ideal place for the bird of paradise plant would be an east or west-facing window with the best lighting.
You can keep the plant to a south-facing window during winters when light levels are low.
I often use artificial lights to provide light to my plant during winters when light levels are low.
2. Avoid watering until the soil gets dry.
Water your bird of paradise plant sufficiently to see it bloom.
Water the bird of paradise until the soil becomes moderately moist.
However, always check the soil with your index finger before watering the plant.
I have always gone right with my watering since I checked the soil’s moisture before watering my plant.
Make sure the soil is almost dry before watering.
Also, allow the soil to dry out between watering.
During winters, reduce watering as it is the plant’s resting period, and they don’t need much watering.
3. Use a fertilizer high in phosphorous.
Fertilizing the indoor bird of paradise plant is necessary to provide it with the essential nutrients required for blooming and growth.
Fertilize your bird of paradise plant every 2 weeks during spring with an organic, well-balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10.
Dilute it to avoid overfertilization.
In the plant’s third growing cycle, use a fertilizer high in phosphorus with an NPK ratio of 10-30-10 to encourage the flower’s growth.
You can increase the nutrient content of the potting mix by adding compost, coffee grounds, and fish emulsion.
I add these ingredients in small amounts to the soil during the growing season of my plant.
Dilute the fertilizer at half strength to prevent over-fertilization issues.
Water it thoroughly after fertilizing it so the fertilizers can diffuse into the soil.
Reduce fertilizing the plant once a month during fall and winter as it remains dormant.
4. Provide the plant with favorable temperatures and humidity.
The bird of paradise plant is native to the tropical jungles of South Africa, which has a warm and humid environment.
To keep this climate, maintain a temperature range of 65-85°F for your plant.
Make sure never to let the temperature fall below 24°F.
You can use a thermostat device to check the temperature around your plant if you are a beginner at indoor gardening.
Keep your plant away from heating and cooling devices like heaters, air conditioners, radiators, refrigerators, etc.
Keep your bird of paradise away from frost and cold drafts, open windows and doors, etc.
Maintain a humidity range of at least 50% for your bird of paradise plant.
Here are some methods to raise the humidity.
- Mist the plant’s leaves with a spray bottle.
- Group your bird of paradise plant with other moisture-loving plants. I often group my plant during the winter season to raise the humidity in the surroundings due to transpiration by these plants.
- Use a humidifier device to check and regulate the exact humidity range for the plant.
5. Use organic soil with good drainage.
Use a rich, well-drained, loamy, slightly acidic soil mixture during planting or repotting the bird of paradise plant.
This soil recipe has worked well for my bird of paradise plant by providing nutrients, drainage, and aeration.
Also, ensure the soil’s pH level should be between 5.5 and 7.0.
6. Avoid burying the roots deeper in the soil.
When repotting your bird of paradise plant, don’t plant its roots deeper in the soil, as it can discourage blooms.
Keep the plant’s root below the soil level to encourage flower growth.
However, if you have planted the roots deeply, dig the plant and reposition it by keeping its roots shallower.
The plant will only bloom when the roots become a tight cluster, so avoid repotting it after its third growing cycle.
7. Protect your plant from pest infestation.
You can get rid of pests from your bird of paradise plant by:
- Wash the plant thoroughly with water.
- Handpick the visible pest after wearing gloves.
- Clean the infected areas of the leaves with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
- Spray the entire plant with a neem oil or horticulture oil. I spray my plant with a neem oil solution once every month to keep pests away.
- Prune the infected, damaged, and diseased leaves.
8. Follow the best pruning method for your plant.
Removing dead and old leaves will promote new growth and bloom in your plant.
Once you remove those, the plant can focus on growing new flowers.
You will need a pair of gloves and sharp and sterilized pruners for pruning.
Make cuts right where the leaf meets the stem to prune the foliage.
Make sharp and precise cuts.
Prune the plant at the beginning of the spring season when new growth comes.
What is the importance of a regular inspection for an indoor bird of paradise plant?
Bringing a new houseplant to your home garden is a thing of beauty.
Beauty comes with many responsibilities too.
One such responsibility is to inspect the bird of paradise plant regularly.
By checking the leaves, stems, soil, and roots, you can discover any signs of a problem your plant is facing.
The plant will give you a signal if it is not healthy.
For example, limp, wilted, and yellow leaves are signs the plant will show if it suffers from any problem.
Also, by regularly inspecting the plant, we will be able to keep a check on pests and diseases.
Therefore, regular inspection is an effective way of maintaining the plant’s good health.
Getting blooms in an indoor bird of paradise plant is challenging but possible. The plant needs to be perfectly healthy and mature for blooming. A plant without blooms can also be healthy, so don’t worry, even if your plant isn’t blooming.
However, with adequate light, proper watering and fertilization, and patience, you can encourage blooms in your bird of paradise plant.
Seeing blooms in an indoor bird of paradise is no less than a dream, so enjoy them until they last.
When does the bird of paradise plant stop blooming permanently?
If your bird of paradise has completed its lifecycle, it will stop blooming permanently. An old plant will not have the energy to produce blooms.
What should I do with the spent blooms of my bird of paradise plant?
You can deadhead the spent blooms to keep the plant blooming longer. Using sharp, clean pruners to promote newer growth, you can snip off the spent blooms.