Bird of Paradise and Anthyrium - Knowledgebase Question

Austin, Te
Question by mlorraine
January 29, 2010
I purchased a tropical mixture potted plant that included Bird of Paradise and Anthyrium. No matter how well I have taken care of them, I have lost all of the Anthyrium and 1 of the 3 Bird of Paradise. It was a beautiful (and expensive) arrangement that means a great deal to me. How can I best revive them?

Answer from NGA
January 29, 2010


Anthyriums go through a period of dormancy so you may not have lost them at all - they may simply be resting and will resprout in the spring. You didn't describe any symptoms so I don't know why you've lost your bird of paradise. Bird of paradise can easily be grown as a houseplant. It needs a sunny spot indoors during the winter and does best when moved outside for the summer (but be careful to acclimate it to the stronger light outdoors or it could get sunburned). One of the most common reasons mature Strelitzia do not bloom well is insufficient light. They require nearly full sun in the summer and as much light as possible in winter to bloom. Be sure to bring the plant in before first frost (although it can tolerate a limited amount of time down to about 28?F).

Keep the soil moist in the summer, but allow the pot to dry out between waterings when indoors. These plants are heavy feeders, so fertilize every 2 weeks throughout the summer, and monthly in the winter with a water-soluble fertilizer.

Plants tend to bloom more profusely when pot-bound, so don't be too anxious to repot your plant once it is about 3 feet tall ? just replace the top soil every year or so. Also, do not plant too deeply. Exposure of the top of the roots supposedly encourages flowering. Early spring is the best time when repotting is necessary (i.e. the roots have cracked open the pot). Plant in any well-draining soil or soilless potting mix in a large pot or tub.

Hope this information is helpful.

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