A Bird of paradise is a beautiful plant popular both outdoors and indoors. If you want to get one for yourself, you might want to know how much water your Bird of paradise needs.
On average, a bird of paradise requires watering once every 1-2 weeks. Water your Bird of paradise thoroughly once the topsoil is dry. Use your finger or a moisture meter to check the soil’s moisture level. You must adjust the watering depending on the light the plant is getting.
In this article, I will discuss everything you need to know about watering your Bird of paradise, from how much water it needs to the quality of water. So, keep reading.
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Factors that influence water needs for a bird of paradise plant
How much water your Bird of paradise will need depends upon a few factors.
For example, the water requirement of an outdoor bird of paradise will be very different from an indoor one.
So, let us discuss all the factors that can influence the water requirement of your Bird of paradise.
1. The placement of your Bird of paradise
As I already mentioned, the water needs will vary based on whether your Bird of paradise is indoor or outdoor.
An outdoor bird of paradise will get more light and heat than the one placed inside, requiring more water than an indoor one.
However, there are other factors that you need to check too.
2. The season
Most tropical plants thrive in warm conditions and do not prefer cold.
During winter, these plants go into a dormant or semi-dormant state where their growth reduces and, therefore, their water requirements also reduce.
On the other hand, their growth in summer is at its peak, so their water needs also remain at maximum.
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A bird of paradise growing in a bright spot with a lot of sunlight will need more water than one growing in a less bright spot.
Why? Because the one which gets more light will function more and also use up the water it gets faster.
Also, the heat of the sunlight allows water to evaporate faster.
Also read: How Much Light Does A Bird Of Paradise Need?
A Bird of paradise growing in well-draining soil will need more water than one growing in less well-draining one.
If the soil drains water fast, it will dry faster and require more water.
On the other hand, if the soil is not well-draining, it will take longer to dry and require less water.
The temperature also influences the water requirement of plants.
This is why the water requirements differ in different seasons.
Your Bird of paradise will require more water when it grows in warmer temperatures.
And will require less water when the temperatures are low.
Bird of paradise enjoys high humidity levels.
When the humidity is high, it will require less water than a plant growing in low humidity.
Therefore, if your Bird of paradise is not getting enough humidity, its water requirements might increase due to increased transpiration.
Also read: Do Bird Of Paradise Like Misting?
7. The pot size
Another important factor that you need to consider is the pot size.
If you have an indoor Bird of paradise, it will require more water if it is in a small pot.
This is because the soil will dry faster in a small pot.
But a Bird of paradise growing in a bigger pot might require less water as the soil will take longer to dry.
Also read: Do Bird Of Paradise Like To Be Root Bound?
8. The plant’s age
The age of your Bird of paradise will determine how much water it needs.
If you have a young plant, it will require more water than one that is more mature.
How much water does my Bird of paradise need?
Since so many factors influence the water requirements of the Bird of paradise plant, it is impossible to state one amount of water it needs.
My Bird of paradise might need more water than yours.
But here are 2 things you should remember:
- Water the plant when the soil is almost dry.
- Water thoroughly so all the roots get water and there are no dry patches in the soil.
How often should I water my Bird of paradise?
On average, a Bird of paradise will need water once every 1-2 weeks.
This will vary depending on all the factors that I have mentioned above.
Water your Bird of paradise more during the summer and spring and less during the fall and winter.
And always check the soil’s moisture before watering, so you don’t overwater.
How to properly water a bird of paradise?
Knowing how much water your Bird of paradise needs is not enough.
You also need to know how to do it right, or the plant can get overwatered or underwatered.
So, here are some tips on watering this beauty correctly, so you don’t ever see it in trouble.
- Never water without checking the soil. The most common reason behind overwatering plants is that owners estimate the plant’s water needs and do not check the soil’s moisture. To avoid is, use a moisture meter to check the soil’s moisture level before watering. The soil should be almost dry before you water it.
- Do not neglect your plant for too long. Use self-watering pots if you don’t have enough time to check on your Bird of paradise or plan a vacation.
- Always water thoroughly. Shallow watering will affect the health of your Bird of paradise. You can either use the bottom-watering method if you have a small Bird of paradise or water until the excess water runs out of the drainage holes.
- Try to use filtered water. Regular tap water contains minerals that might not be the best for your Bird of paradise. Therefore, go with filtered or rain water instead of using it. If you don’t have access to these, collect water in a bucket, leave it outside overnight, and use it on your Bird of paradise the next morning.
- Consider watering your Bird of paradise in the morning. Morning is the best time to water plants as they get the entire day to absorb it, and the remaining evaporates. You can also water in the afternoon when the sun is high in the sky. But, avoid watering in the evening or at night as that can harm the plant.
- Avoid getting the leaves wet while watering your Bird of paradise. If the leaves remain wet for too long, it can cause fungal diseases and pest infestations.
- Do not water your Bird of paradise with cold water, as this will shock the plant. Make sure to use room-temperature water.
Signs of a bird of paradise that is not getting enough water
If you are wondering how you will know if your Bird of paradise is not getting enough water, I have some common signs that will help.
- Yellow leaves can be confusing as yellow leaves signify both overwatering and underwatering. But, if the soil is dry, it means the yellow leaves on your Bird of paradise are due to lack of water.
- Wilting leaves: If you notice that the leaves of your Bird of paradise are wilting, it is a clear sign that the plant needs more water.
- Dry soil: Ideally, you should never let the soil go entirely dry, and water your Bird of paradise when the soil is almost dry. But if you put your finger into the soil and find it completely dry, the plant is not getting enough water.
- Brown leaves: Browning can be a sign of a lack of water. If your Bird of paradise doesn’t get enough water, the leaves will become discolored and brown.
- Crispy leaves: A common sign of underwatering. A plant that gets enough water has healthy leaves, but the leaves dry out and become crispy without enough water.
- Falling leaves: The leaves that get discolored and dry due to lack of water will eventually fall off.
- Slow or no growth: Along with these signs, you will notice very slow growth in your Bird of paradise. If you don’t do anything about it, the plant will not grow.
- No flowers: If your Bird of paradise blooms, you might see a reduction in blooms or no blooms if it is underwatered.
If you notice any of these signs, you must water your Bird of paradise immediately.
If you can take it out of its pot, put it in a water-filled tub and let it soak in water.
After some time, take it out and let the excess drain.
Or, you can take a stick and poke holes into the soil to aerate it and water the plant after this so the soil can soak water evenly.
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How to tell if my Bird of paradise is getting too much water?
Like there are signs of underwatering, there are signs of overwatering too.
- Let’s start with the most obvious one, which is soggy soil. If your Bird of paradise is getting too much water, the soil will take a long time to dry.
- Yellow leaves: Overwatering can also cause yellow leaves as it affects the roots, affecting the entire plant, including the leaves.
- Slow or no growth: Like underwatering, overwatering can cause slow or no growth in your Bird of paradise as it puts the plant in an unhealthy condition.
- Standing water: If the tray under the pot is filled with water, it might be a sign of overwatering.
- Root rot: If your Bird of paradise is overwatered for too long, its roots will get affected, and you will notice root rot, where the roots become brown and mushy. In this situation, you must repot your plant immediately after removing the affected roots.
If your Bird of paradise has not developed root rot, you can allow the soil to dry and follow a watering schedule based on the soil’s moisture level.
Never water the Bird of paradise without checking the moisture level.
Along with knowing how much water your Bird of paradise needs, you should also know when and how to water it, all of which I have discussed in this article.
If you notice signs of overwatering or underwatering in your Bird of paradise, take action immediately so it can come back to health as soon as possible. Always check the soil’s moisture before watering your plant.
Make sure you consider all the environmental factors, like light, humidity, temperature, etc., before watering your Bird of paradise.
Does Bird of paradise need drainage?
Yes. Bird of paradise needs well-drained soil and a pot with drainage holes so the excess water can drain out of the soil. Otherwise, it will get overwatered.
Reference: Wikipedia, University of Florida, Strelitzia reginae, Britannica.
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