The Bird of Paradise, also known as the Strelitzia, is a subtropical ornamental plant with a unique name for its flower’s aesthetic beauty. If you want to get this beauty for your home or already have one, you might want to know how fast it grows.
A bird of paradise can grow 1-2 feet every year. On average, a bird of paradise grows one new leaf every month during the growing season. A new plant takes 2-3 years to mature, after which it starts flowering. The growth rate depends on the care, environmental conditions, and cultivar.
If you want to know everything about how fast birds of paradise plants grow and all the factors that affect them, keep reading.
Table Of Contents
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The growth rate of indoor Vs. outdoor bird of paradise
Birds of paradise can grow quite large even when kept indoors.
A Bird of Paradise plant can grow up to 2 feet in a year.
To nurture this exceptional beauty in the backyard or indoors, consider its root depth before selecting an appropriate planter or location.
Its root system can grow up to 20-25 inches.
Their growth rate is high, which makes them almost 30 feet high within 5-6 years if proper conditions are met in open space.
Even indoors, they can grow up to 5-6 feet within 4 years.
This species takes almost 4 years to reach maturity and bloom for the first time when grown indoors.
However, the growth rate is not constant for any plant species and varies depending on many factors.
Let’s go deep into that.
Factors that determine the growth of bird of paradise
Many artificial and natural factors can influence or hinder the growth of birds of paradise plants.
Here they are:
Light is the fundamental need for any plant for photosynthesis.
Being a subtropical species, the bird of paradise requires bright sun and direct light to bloom.
However, try to provide some shielding from the direct summer sun as it can burn the foliage of the younger species.
This plant species can never survive in low light, but the leaves become lanky and long with fewer blooms.
On a cloudy day, you can opt for LED to provide artificial light to the plant.
To provide optimum light to this charmer of your garden or of your indoor environment:
- Keep the leaves dust free.
- Try to keep the plant near sunny windows.
- During winter, place the plant away from the window but near an artificial light source.
Water is essential for circulating minerals, synthesizing food, and other components in the plant body.
Keep the soil mix continuously moist but at the same time, keep a regular check for water logging issues.
You should provide regular watering during spring and summer, as the plant will likely lose moisture quickly through its big leaves.
Failing to do so will make the plant droopy due to excess transpiration, and the leaves will turn yellow from the center.
After watering, ensure the plant does not sit in a pool of water, as this will lead to root rot.
Frequent watering is needed, but first, allow the soil’s top few inches to dry out.
Check the drainage holes for the water to come out to ensure proper watering.
Watering plays a crucial part in a plant’s growth.
Hence caution should be taken while doing this.
- Ensure the drainage holes are clean enough to allow the free flowing of water.
- Avoid using chilled tap water during the winter season. You should use distilled purified water to reduce the infestation risk.
- Always check the witness of the soil before watering. A moisture meter can serve the purpose.
- You can check the dryness of the soil by inserting a stick for about two inches into the soil.
Strelitzia prefers to grow in a slightly moist climate with very high humidity.
Keep the plant on a pebble tray if your home is too dry.
For a cheaper option, you can opt for a handy spray bottle for regular misting.
The ideal humidity for this plant is 70%.
Drawing out of the air can cause dryness, excess transportation, and ultimately drooping and yellowing of the plant leaves.
- A humidifier can be a good option if you live in a dry climate.
- Grouping it with other plants can increase the humidity levels around it.
Bird of Paradise prefers to grow in warm climates where temperatures range between 65 to 90°F.
In lower temperatures, this species can undergo dormancy and can stop blooming.
Bird of Paradise gets affected by frost damage, and the recovery rate is very slow.
- Bird of Paradise shows rapid growth in warmer climates, but excess heat can damage the plant. Never keep the plant near any heat-radiating equipment when kept indoors.
- Avoid keeping the plant near open windows during winters, especially near south or north-facing windows.
Bird of Paradise is an extensive feeder.
Liquid fertilizers can be used at weekly intervals during their growing period.
You can apply slow-release pellets to the soil mix every 5-6 months.
Tips while using the right fertilizer for the bird of paradise:
- After using granular fertilizer, apply sufficient water to the soil for its absorption.
- Never apply fertilizers to the leaves of the plant as it will cause burnout of the foliage. Apply fertilizer near the root system.
- Do not overfertilize, as that can stop the growth of the plant.
Strelitzia Requires a lot of water for its survival; hence, it prefers well-draining soil with an average pH range of 5.5-7.5.
This mix is necessary for retaining moisture and, at the same time, allowing water to pass through the soil easily.
Here are a few things to remember while selecting soil for your bird of paradise:
- Avoid using soil from any old pot, as it increases the chance of pest infestation.
- Make sure to add sand to the soil to make it well-draining.
- You should avoid damp or excessively moist soil as it affects the plant’s root system.
- Don’t use clay soil as it holds a lot of water inside.
Bird of Paradise plants and grows up to 3-6 feet before it blooms, and it is necessary to provide proper room for its growth.
Once the plant reaches maturity, it can become pot-bound.
Generally, a newly matured plant of about 5 feet in height can thrive well in a 14 inches wide pot.
- The growth rate will slow down if the plant becomes pot-bound before its maturity.
- An excessively smaller pot causes the root system to get tangled, making the plant root bound.
- Choose a 10-12 inches white pot for a medium size plant.
- Once it reaches maturity, repot the plant every couple of years during springtime.
- Excessive repotting can hinder the bloom cycle of this plant, so do not overdo it.
Punning is necessary to remove unwanted, damaged parts to promote growth and improve the plant’s overall appearance.
Frequent pruning is not required for Strelitzia but doing it occasionally promotes growth.
The ideal time to prune the bird of paradise is late winter to early spring before any new growth occurs.
You can use pruners to remove any damaged stems or dead leaves.
Removing unwanted parts helps the plant focus energy entirely on its new growth.
- Use sharp and sterile pruners to prevent any microbial infestation.
- Hold the pruner delicately at a 45° angle.
- Pests and diseases
No matter how much care you take for your plant, if pest infestation occurs, it can slow down or can even kill your plant.
Common pests for a bird of paradise are spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs.
However, you can keep a check and reduce the chance of pest infestation by combining appropriate cultural and scientific practices.
- Keep a regular eye on any pests or diseases.
- If you trace any infection, move that plant away as soon as possible.
While talking about diseases, the most common types are root rot, leaf spot, and fungal diseases like botrytis blight.
These can drastically affect the growth rate and even kill your bird of paradise.
These are some basic factors that greatly influence the growth of the bird of paradise plant.
However, to maximize the growth rate in indoor and outdoor environments, you must think and work a little further.
Some care tips for optimum growth of bird of paradise
Here are some growth tips for a bird of paradise:
- For an indoor bird of paradise, never apply excess organic components to the soil mix, while for the outdoors, it is just the opposite. The garden bed must have a high organic component to hold moisture.
- Earthworm humus is an excellent choice for this plant while growing in the lawn or garden.
- While growing in a pot, use a planter that has a sufficient number of drainage holes. Use garden soil or topsoil with compost as a soil mix.
- Although this plant can withstand marginal temperature or light intensity shifts, try not to expose them to excess cold or frost.
- Prefer organic fertilizers over inorganic chemicals to prevent toxication.
- Watering frequency differs depending on where the plant is grown. Generally, garden plants prefer to water every 3 to 4 days during summer. For indoor species, the question arises in what kind of container they are being grown in. For large pots, do not water the plant more than 2 to 3 times a week for containers.
Average time for a bird of paradise to reach maturity
Birds of Paradise are slow growers.
They take 3-5 years to mature and bloom, reaching almost 30 feet in the outer environment.
Growth rates become slow when plants are grown in planters as the root system does not have sufficient room to expand.
Size and shape of mature birds of paradise and how they compare to younger specimens
The growth rate varies in different species.
For example, Strelitzia nicolai achieves a height of 10 m when mature, while mature Strelitzia alba is 5-6 m on average.
Mature plants can grow 10 feet wide, with lush green, oval or paddle-shaped, large glossy leaves up to 18 inches long.
The bird of paradise got the name because of its strikingly beautiful flower that resembles a tropical bird species of the same name.
These bright flowers can grow up to 18 to 20 cm in length.
Common issues that can impede the growth of birds of paradise and how to address them
A few growth-impeding factors need to be known before selecting this remarkable plant.
Overwintering can cause serious harm to this plant.
Keeping it in a freezing zone for a prolonged period might kill your plant.
If you are growing the plant in a cold climate and experiencing overwintering, cut it near the base of the stem and leave it just 12 inches above the soil.
Covered the rhizome and the steam area with a thermal layer formed with leaf litter, mulch, and straw.
Leave it for the rest of the winter.
Remove the toppings when spring arrives.
This can be a valid factor for your plan if you notice no remarkable growth.
During winter, the plant does not get abundant sunlight, water, and warmth, so it goes into dormancy to conserve energy.
This is entirely normal.
Continue the nurturing process as per the schedule, don’t overdo watering.
Root bound refers to an overgrown plant in a specific container where there is no room left for the plant roots to grow.
Without sufficient space in the pot, Strelitzias reduces their growth rate and can impose a total halt to their growth.
To understand whether the plant species is rootbound:
- Check the drainage holes in the planter. Your plant will likely be rootbound if you witness any roots coming through it.
- Immediately and carefully take the plant out of the planter. Check whether the root system has tangled together. If you witness any such event, it is high time for repotting.
Choose a container 2 to 3 times bigger than the previous one.
Don’t opt for an extra large spot.
4. Improper watering
It might seem strange, but watering the plant with the wrong or impure water can affect its growth.
The best and cheapest source of water for any houseplant is rainwater.
Collect and store rainwater.
This water is free from any harmful radicals.
Tap water or municipal water carries large amounts of iron, chlorine, and calcium components that get deposited on the roots.
Sach built can burn the root system and alter the soil’s pH.
Besides rainwater, you can also use distilled water as it is free from impurities.
Recommended Garden Supplies
Are you looking for a readymade indoor plant soil mix that you can open and pour? Check out rePotme. They offer a wide range of readymade soil premixes for all your indoor plants.
Birds of paradise are fast-growing, easily adaptive phenomenal plant species. However, their growth can decline if proper environmental conditions are not met.
Don’t expect the plant to grow as fast as it does when it is outdoors. Check the basic points mentioned in this article, and you are good to go with this magnificent beauty at your place.
How long does a bird of paradise live?
The lifespan of a bird of paradise depends on the species. The giant one can live for 50-150 years.
How do you make a giant bird of paradise grow faster?
One of the best ways to make a giant bird of paradise grow is to provide it with maximum natural light. If that is not available, use artificial light.