The bird of paradise is a tropical houseplant famous for their large, waxy evergreen foliage. But do you know about their flowers? Yes, the bird of paradise produces blooms. But when does the plant bloom? Let’s find out.
Birds of paradise typically bloom in the late winter to early spring, depending on the specific species and location. Some species may also start blooming in the fall. The blooming period can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, in which it will produce 30-36 flower spikes.
This article will discuss when the bird of paradise blooms. We will discuss how you can encourage blooms in your plant. So, let’s start reading.
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Does the bird of paradise bloom?
The bird of paradise plants is widely popular for their large leaves, similar to the banana tree leaves.
But many of us don’t know about their flowering.
The bird of paradise (strelitzias) is a member of the Paradisaeidae family.
They are native to South Africa, and most of their species are found in Indonesia, Australia, and Papua New Guinea.
The leaves of the plant are evergreen, waxy, and glossy, making it a beautiful ornamental plant.
But, the plant also produces orange and blue flowers with two erect pointed petals and five stamens.
The flowers are unique, resembling a brightly colored bird in flight.
Hence they are known as the bird of paradise.
Their unique-looking blooms make the plant different from other houseplants.
The flowers grow from rhizomes (underground stems).
They are large-sized plants, so the flowers are also significant, about 6 inches tall.
Understanding the blooming cycle of the Bird of Paradise plant
The bird of paradise plant produces flowers once yearly when fully healthy and mature.
They are slow-growing plants and can take 5 to 6 years to produce their first flowers.
The plant produces 30 to 36 flower spikes with each blooming season.
They usually start blooming in the late winter and continue to bloom till the beginning of summer.
After that, they stop blooming and focus more on developing new leaves.
The plant will only bloom when they are in good health conditions.
They will bloom well when they receive full sun and enough nutrition.
They will flower even better when they are slightly pot-bound.
Don’t get worried even if your plant doesn’t bloom.
Blooms indicate a healthy plant, but not blooming doesn’t mean your plant is healthy enough.
The plants are tricky with their flowering and will reward you with flowers only if you provide them with the best care and growing conditions.
The flowers of these plants are painted in yellow, orange, blue, purple, and white colors, which makes them highly gorgeous.
The seeds of the flowers can be used for growing new plants.
I suggest you occasionally prune the damaged and dead flowers to keep the plant tidy and beautiful.
When did my bird of paradise have its first flowers?
I bought my bird of paradise five years ago from a plant nursery.
It was tiny then, and it took my plant 5 years of care and effort to mature fully.
Since I had a potted paradise plant, it demanded more attention than the garden plants.
I was always eager to see blooms in my plant.
After 5 years, my bird of paradise plant bloomed for the first time.
It was the most joyous moment for me at that time.
The flower buds started growing from the last week of the winter season, and after 2 to 4 weeks, my plant had the first flowers.
My plant continued to flower till the end of the spring season.
Do birds of paradise plant bloom throughout the year?
The bird of paradise plant doesn’t bloom throughout the year.
In general, it starts blooming in December and extends till spring.
It can continuously bloom for five months a year but will stop when summer arrives.
If you provide good growing conditions, the plant will be ready to bloom again in the coming winters.
What month does a bird of paradise plant flower?
The bird of paradise plant starts blooming in winter and continues till spring and sometimes till the beginning of summer.
The plant will produce flower buds in the USA in September, and the blooms will appear from October to December.
Once the plant finally flowers, the blooms will last for another 3 to 4 weeks.
Why is my bird of paradise not blooming?
Improper care is why your bird of paradise plant fails to bloom.
The likelihood of blooms depends on your plant’s growing conditions, care, and planting zone.
Not understanding the plant’s growth requirements will not encourage them to bloom.
Below I have discussed why your bird of paradise isn’t blooming.
1. Insufficient light
The bird of paradise needs sufficient natural light to grow and thrive.
The plant will only bloom if you provide it with quality hourly sunlight.
They need 6 to 8 hours of bright, indirect sunlight, including some direct light, to produce blooms.
They can survive in low-light areas.
However, you can’t expect them to bloom in such conditions.
The plant will also not produce flowers if exposed to direct sunlight.
The direct rays will cause the plant to get yellow, brown, and burnt leaves.
The bird of paradise plant will need the perfect lighting conditions to grow flowers, so you must be careful with the light you provide.
2. Poor watering
The bird of paradise plant will only produce flowers if water, sunlight, and nutrients are well balanced.
Underwatering will cause the plant to get dehydrated and slow its growth rate.
The plant leaves will turn dry, limp, and yellow when you underwater it.
If the soil is dry and cracked, provide the plant with sufficient watering and reschedule your watering routine.
3. Inadequate nutrients
The bird of paradise plant will need enough nutrients to bloom.
Since they are slow growers, they won’t need regular fertilization, and fertilizing them once during the growing season is sufficient for blooming.
Lack of nutrients in the soil will cause growth problems in your plant, preventing them from blooming.
4. Wrong potting mix
The bird of paradise plant will grow best in rich, well-drained, slightly acidic, loamy soil.
The potting mix should be such that it will provide the plant with both retention and drainage.
The plant will only bloom if you use heavy soil to grow them as it can restrict air supply and create drainage problems.
Also, using the wrong pH soil will not allow the plant to absorb sufficient nutrients from the soil, causing growth and blooming problems.
5. Temperature fluctuation
The bird of paradise will grow best when temperatures are between 65-85°F.
A sudden temperature change can stress and shock the plant.
Temperature fluctuation is an important reason that doesn’t allow the plant to bloom.
They come from regions with warm temperatures, so they will struggle to bloom if the temperature falls drastically.
Exposing the plant to scorching temperatures will also prevent them from blooming.
The plant will lose moisture quickly through the leaves and will not be left with enough energy to produce flowers.
6. Low humidity
The bird of paradise plants come from tropical regions; hence, they need higher humidity levels to grow and thrive.
They will need a minimum of 60% humidity to survive.
When humidity levels are low, the plant transpires at an increasing rate, losing water and the essential nutrients required for blooming.
Low humidity will cause the plant to get dry, yellow, wilted leaves and no blooms.
7. Pest infestations
The bird of paradise plant will not bloom if they have a pest infestation.
Common pests like mealybugs, whiteflies, aphids, scales, and spider mites can attack the plant.
These pests feed on the sap that contains essential nutrients and water needed for plant growth.
The pests will cause all sorts of damage to your plant, making it weak, helpless, and lonely.
The leaves will get twisted and will turn yellow and brown.
8. Dirty leaves
The accumulation of dust particles can clog the leaves of your bird of paradise plant.
The dust particles will prevent the leaf pores from absorbing the light required for photosynthesis.
As a result, the plant will not get the energy to produce new leaves and flower buds.
How can I make my bird of paradise bloom?
Providing the plant with care and superior growing conditions is essential to successful blooming.
Below I have discussed some care tips to make your bird of paradise plant bloom quickly.
1. Provide the right amount and kind of light
To get blooms in your bird of paradise plant, keep it in a place where it will get 6 to 8 bright, indirect lights daily.
Avoid keeping the plant in a dark place.
The best place for them would be an east or west-facing window.
Keep the plant away from direct sunlight to prevent sunburns.
You can cover the windows with curtains during midday when the sun is hottest.
During winter, you can keep the plant near a south-facing when light levels are low.
Rotate the plant every 2 to 3 days to provide equal access to light on all sides.
If your house has a light problem, you can use grow or artificial light to fulfill your plant’s light requirements.
I use light-emitting diode bulbs for my paradise plants during winters when light levels are low.
2. Water Correctly
Water your bird of paradise correctly if you want to see them blooming.
The bird of paradise plant like to grow in moist soil, so follow a deep watering method.
Check the soil moisture with your index finger before watering the plant.
Water the plant only when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil feels dry.
Also, allow the soil to dry out between watering to prevent root rot problems.
Avoid watering the plant during winter as it remains dormant.
Also, use a pot with enough drainage holes to drain the excess water quickly.
3. Fertilize using the right fertilizer
Fertilizers will give the bird of paradise plant the nutrients required for healthy growth and blooming.
Fertilize your bird of paradise plant every two weeks during the spring and summer.
In the third growth cycle, use a fertilizer with higher phosphorous content to encourage the flower’s growth.
Read the usage instructions carefully on the fertilizer packet before applying it to your plant.
I suggest you dilute the fertilizer at half strength to prevent over-fertilization issues.
Water the plant well after fertilizing it so the fertilizers can evenly spread in the soil.
Reduce fertilizing the plant during winters through the dormancy stage.
4. Use a suitable potting mix
The soil mix is vital in maintaining a plant’s growth and flowering.
The soil for a bird of paradise should be loose, fertile, and loamy.
I follow this soil recipe for my bird of paradise plant. It’s highly effective for encouraging blooms.
Coco coir will maintain a balance between retention and drainage.
Compost will provide the plant with nutrients, perlite will improve drainage and airflow, and bark will keep the soil compact.
Ensure the soil’s pH level should be between 5.5 and 7.5.
5. Maintain proper temperatures and humidity
To encourage blooms in your bird of paradise plant, maintain a warm and humid environment around it.
Maintain temperatures between 65 to 85°F around your plant.
Keep the plant away from hot drafts and cold drafts.
Also, maintain a humidity range above 50% for your plant.
You can follow some methods to raise the humidity around it.
- Mist the leaves of your plant every 3 to 4 days with a spray bottle.
- Use a humidifier to maintain the ideal humidity level around the plant. I use a warm mist humidifier for my plant. You can check it online.
- Group your bird of paradise plant with other moisture-loving plants to raise the humidity level through transpiration.
- You can also keep your plant in a humidity tray.
6. Treatment against pest infestation
Below I have listed some ways which you can follow to treat pests of your bird of paradise plant.
- Wash your bird of paradise plant with a powerful stream of water to remove the pests.
- Clean the remaining pests of your plant with cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol solution.
- Mix neem oil in water, fill the solution in a spray bottle, and spray it over your plant. I do this every month, and it effectively keeps pests away.
- You can also use insecticidal soap to get rid of pests.
- Prune the infected and damaged with sharp and clean pruners.
7. Maintain cleanliness
Following some cleaning methods, you can keep your bird of paradise plant clean.
- You can wash your bird of paradise plant by showering it with lukewarm water. After washing the plant, dry the leaves using a paper towel or soft cloth. I wash my plant once every two weeks to keep it dirt free.
- You can mist the plant leaves with clean distilled water every 2 to 3 days to keep it dirt free and humid.
- You can wipe the plant leaves by using a damp microfiber cloth.
- You can also clean dust from the leaves using a soft brush.
Can I prune the dead flowers of my bird of paradise plant?
Yes, you can prune the flower of your bird of paradise plant after they turn brown and wilted. Also, remove the flower stalks.
Pruning is a great way to make your bird of paradise plant bloom again.
Pruning the dead flowers will encourage reblooming and protect the plant from pests and diseases.
Pruning will keep your plant tidy and give it a fresh look.
So, prune the bloom as soon as you notice them turning brown.
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Getting blooms in a bird of paradise is challenging but possible. The blooms in a bird of paradise plant depend on the care it’s getting, the growing conditions, and the planting zone it is exposed to.
The plant will bloom once every year during the spring season. You can make your plant bloom by providing bright indirect light, deep watering, adequate fertilizers, and maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels.
Watching blooms in a bird of paradise plant is no less than an occasion, so enjoy them until it last.
How long does the bird of paradise bloom last?
The blooms of the bird of paradise plant can last for around 2 to 3 weeks before dropping their petals and dying. The flowers can last for two weeks after you cut them freshly from the plant. After that period, the flowers will wither and die.
Are flowers of bird of paradise plants toxic to pets?
The bird of paradise blooms is considered highly toxic to pets and humans. The other parts of the plant, like leaves and stems, are mildly toxic. The ingestion of flowers and seeds can cause problems like diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea in pets like cats and dogs.