Bird of paradise is a stunning tropical plant with giant leaves. And if you are a bird of paradise owner and think you should fertilize it, let’s find a clear answer to your question.
Fertilize your bird of paradise with an organic, balanced NPK ratio (10-10-10) fertilizer every 2 weeks during its growing season and reduce the frequency during winter. Water-soluble fertilizer is ideal for this plant as it gets absorbed quickly. Avoid overfertilizing, as that can stunt growth.
Let’s discuss everything about feeding your bird of paradise with fertilizers and their benefits. So, keep reading.
Table Of Contents
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What are the benefits of fertilizing birds of paradise?
Birds of paradise are tropical plants mostly grown outdoors in a warmer environment.
They are heavy feeders, which means they need to be fed sufficiently.
When growing the bird of paradise indoors, it is crucial to feed them for optimal growth and extended shelf-life.
At some point, the depletion of nutrients occurs in the soil.
So, choose the right type of fertilizer and supply it at the right frequency to help the plant grow with vibrant flowers.
Suppose you are growing this plant outdoors, the natural environment brings rain, and other animals’ poop acts as the organic manure for the plant.
And another important factor is direct exposure to the sun, which nourishes the plant.
But when a bird of paradise is grown indoors, there is a possibility of higher nutritional depletion.
Most indoor birds of paradise are grown in a container containing limited nutrients.
As days go by, plants consume all the nutrients from the container soil and are left with no nourishment for optimal growth.
This is when there is a need for fertilizing the bird of paradise.
It would be best to fertilize it to keep it healthy and rejuvenated.
When the bird of paradise is in its growing season, it must be fed extra nutrients for optimal growth.
Many plant owners think plants prepare their food through photosynthesis and don’t need anything extra.
But that’s not true in most cases.
Flowering plants, like a bird of paradise, need extra nourishment during the growth phase.
Fertilizers are like supplements to the plant to supply them with extra nutrients like vitamins and minerals, including other macronutrients, to help the plant thrive.
There are several benefits of fertilizing birds of paradise.
When you fertilize birds of paradise at the right frequency, you can see flowers are more vibrant and have optimal growth.
It enhances the growth of roots, making them healthy and robust.
This plant will be more resistant to pests when you feed balanced fertilizer.
Factors to consider before fertilizing a bird of paradise
While fertilizing is an essential activity for the optimal growth of the bird of paradise, it is equally important to ensure that you are doing it right.
Here are some factors you need to consider before fertilizing the bird of paradise:
Bird of paradise grows well in a warmer climate with good exposure to the sun.
So, you must fertilize it during the growing phase.
When the climate is cold, the plant will not use fertilizer much.
Keep the season in mind before fertilizing it.
Type of fertilizer
It is a significant factor you must consider before fertilizing your bird of paradise.
Different types of fertilizers are available in the market, in which it is best to choose organic and a balanced NPK ratio fertilizer.
NPK expands as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
The fertilizer you choose must not contain high nitrogen.
Choose a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer for better nourishment of plants.
Type of soil
Birds of paradise grow well in soil rich in organic matter, and it needs to be in the correct Ph range of 5.5 to 7.5 for the plant to grow well.
When fertilizing the soil, check if the soil has organic substances and the correct PH.
If the soil is not desirable for the growth of plants with high or low PH range, fertilizer won’t benefit the plant growth.
Also read: What Soil Should I Use For Bird Of Paradise?
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Type of plant
Birds of paradise come in different varieties.
Each of them requires different nourishment.
So, it is important to understand the variety of birds of paradise and what fertilizer would suit them.
The best type of fertilizer for the bird of paradise
There are different varieties of bird of paradise plants, and there are different varieties of fertilizers.
Here are some types of fertilizers and how they will be beneficial for your plant:
Granular fertilizers are popular as they are convenient for feeding plants.
They are solid in texture, so they are less likely to get rid of the soil while watering the plant.
Another characteristic of granular fertilizers is they won’t release nutrients immediately.
They are considerably slower than liquid fertilizers.
If used in excess, these fertilizers can easily burn the bird of paradise plant.
If you choose to feed your plant with the granular fertilizer, spread it around the plant in the soil to let nutrients in the fertilizer activate.
Liquid fertilizers are more likely to release nutrients faster than granular fertilizers.
They are concentrated in nature, so you must dilute them before feeding the plants.
They contain essential micronutrients like iron and magnesium to flourish the plant.
If you have chosen liquid fertilizers to feed your plants, follow the guidelines in the product description.
Be careful not to apply excess liquid fertilizer as it will burn the plant severely.
While selecting the liquid fertilizer for a bird of paradise, check the NPK ratio.
Check if all three are even.
Birds of paradise grow well when you feed a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10:10:10.
A fertilizer with an even NPK ratio promotes both growth and flowering.
Spikes of fertilizers
These fertilizers come in the form of spikes, which can save you time.
These spikes are easy to use.
All you have to do is make holes around the plant and put each spike in each hole.
You can put some spikes in based on the size of the container.
They supply essential nutrients to your plant, and you must replace them every 30 days.
However, in winter, plants are a little slow in growth.
So, replace it every 60 days during winter.
You can choose the fertilizer spike which would suit the bird of paradise plant.
That being said, this fertilizer is more expensive than other types.
Fertilizing frequency of bird of paradise for optimal growth
The frequency of fertilizing the bird of paradise depends on your fertilizer.
In the case of granular fertilizers, they need to be less frequent.
If you feed your plant with liquid fertilizer, supply it once every two weeks.
Feed your bird of paradise plant often at the growth phase and reduce the frequency in the winter as a plant tends to be dormant during the season.
Frequency is important to consider while fertilizing the bird of paradise, as overfeeding will damage the plant.
Common mistakes to avoid when fertilizing a bird of paradise
When applying fertilizers, you must ensure that you are doing it right.
It is common to make mistakes when you are new to planting.
Here are common mistakes you should avoid while fertilizing your plants.
Too much of anything is not good.
It proves to be true even when fertilizing your bird of paradise.
Many plant owners think frequent feeding plants help in extra nourishment.
But that’s not true.
It may lead to over-fertilizing and may cause harm to your plant.
I have mentioned the signs of over-fertilization later in the article.
You can eliminate those by feeding your plant at the right frequency.
Under-fertilization affects the plant’s growth if the soil in the container is not nutrient-rich.
Checking if you are feeding the right amount of fertilizer is important.
If the soil does not have enough nutrients or is losing them, it is a must to fertilize at the right frequency and quantity.
Here are some signs that indicate under-fertilizing in the bird of paradise plant:
- Necrosis, which means that the plant is in a dying condition.
- Your plant has stopped growing.
- Chlorosis occurs in plants.
- Interveinal cirrhosis.
Under and over-fertilization commonly occur if you are a beginner in gardening and growing plants.
Follow the fertilizing guide instructions and experiment to see what works for your plants.
3. Fertilizing at the wrong time
Fertilizing your bird of paradise plant in extreme conditions, such as heat or cold, will prevent it from absorbing all nutrients.
Fertilize the plant during the warm climate and avoid fertilizing it when it is dormant.
4. Putting fertilizers on the stem and leaves
While fertilizing, be careful not to put in stems or leaves because fertilizer may leave a burn mark on the leaves and stem.
Also, it causes damage to plants.
Put the fertilizer in the soil, maintaining distance between stem and leaf.
5. Not watering plants
A common mistake is leaving the plant without watering it after applying fertilizer.
The roots will not absorb the nutrient if you do not water the plant after the fertilizer.
It will lead to the stunted growth of plants.
If you are using dry fertilizers, it is a must to water them and get absorbed by the soil.
6. Using fresh manure
While organic matter is the best way to fertilize your plant, using it fresh directly to plants will affect the plant.
For example, fresh cow dung contains high nitrogen content.
If you use it directly as a fertilizer when it is fresh, it will burn the roots. The plant will die eventually.
7. Only checking the NPK ratio.
NPK ratio in the fertilizer is essential, but there are other factors that you should consider.
For example, check if the fertilizer is metal-free and it promotes the growth of microbes.
How to apply fertilizer to the bird of paradise plants properly?
Whatever type of fertilizer you use, dilute it and use it in a desirable quantity that is enough to promote the growth of plants.
If you use liquid fertilizer, mix it with water in the watering can and water the plant.
You should not spill the fertilizer on the stem and leaves to prevent the plant from getting burnt.
If you use granular fertilizer, make sure you spread the fertilizer around the plant’s soil.
Water your bird of paradise after applying granular fertilizer.
Signs of over-fertilization and how to remedy the situation?
Over-fertilization is more harmful than good to plants.
If your bird of paradise shows the signs mentioned below, you must understand that you are over-fertilizing it.
- Taking too much time to mature.
- The plant is growing well and getting tall, but the stem is not so strong.
- You see the leaves turning yellow.
- There are lesions in the stem and roots.
- The leaves are falling.
- The roots are not growing and are weak.
There is no way to reverse the over-fertilization in plants.
The only thing you can do is water the plant to remove the excess fertilizer.
Alternative methods for providing nutrients to the bird of paradise
There are several other alternatives to fertilizers.
Here is a list of things you can use as an alternative to fertilizers:
- Crushed eggshells
- Banana peels
- Used coffee grounds
- Epsom salt
- Wood ash
- Corn gluten meal
Birds of paradise are heavy feeders, and when grown indoors in a pot, the soil will lose nutrients in the long run. So, it is important to fertilize it. The most common types of fertilizers are granular and liquid fertilizers. You can choose the fertilizer according to the variety of your bird of paradise.
Fertilizing the plant helps the plant to attain optimum growth. The flowers in the birds of paradise bloom well when you fertilize the plant. In the winter season, this plant became dormant. So, while fertilizing the plant, make sure the climate is warm, and the plant is in a growing phase.
Be cautious while fertilizing your plant to avoid overfertilization. Consider following the guidelines given in the fertilizer manual.
How do I make my bird of paradise grow more leaves?
When growing the bird of paradise indoors, ensure you water the plant, exposure to light, and fertilize the plant to provide optimal conditions for the leaves to grow.
How often do birds of paradise get new leaves?
If you grow the plant in the desired environment, you can see one new leaf each month.
How big does a bird of paradise plant get?
Birds of paradise can grow up to 30 feet, but you cannot expect flowers until the plant is mature enough.