The Q&A Archives: Bird of Paradise

Question: What kind of food, and when does the Bird of Paradise need to be fed? The high desert is not the best place for it but I would like to try to make a go of it.

Answer: Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) really is a spectacular plant so I'm not surprised you want to try to grow one. It's a tropical plant, though, and will be severely damaged if the temperatures drop below 29F. You can grow it as a pot plant and give it some protection in the winter, or plant it next to the foundation of your house where reflected heat will keep it above freezing. Young plants need frequent feeding, but if you feed mature plants too often, you'll get lush green growth and no flowers. If your plant is young, feed every 4 weeks during the growing season (spring through summer) with a 5-10-10 fertilizer. Once the plant is established, don't feed at all unless the foliage begins to look pale. Hope this information helps you successfully grow a Bird of Paradise.

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