Complete bird of paradise plant care guide: repotting, pruning, and more.

Complete bird of paradise plant care guide: repotting, pruning, and more.

The Bird of Paradise plant, which is also known as Strelitzia reginae or Strelitzia pulcherrima, is a beautiful and exotic plant that can bring a tropical feel to any garden or indoor space. However, like any other plant, it needs proper care to stay healthy and beautiful. In this article, we will discuss the necessary steps for repotting, pruning, and more to ensure the well-being and attractiveness of your Bird of Paradise plant.

Repotting is a crucial aspect of caring for the Bird of Paradise plant because its roots can become cramped in a small pot quickly. Generally, you should repot the plant every two to three years or when it has outgrown its current container. When repotting, choose a pot that is slightly larger than the current one and has drainage holes.

Pruning is another important aspect of Bird of Paradise plant care. Regularly cutting back damaged or dying leaves and stalks will improve the plant’s overall appearance and stimulate new growth. Use sharp pruning tools, such as scissors or gardening shears, and make clean cuts at the base of the damaged parts. If you prefer a more compact look, you can also prune the plant’s larger leaves by cutting them down to the desired size.

Overwintering is a common practice for Bird of Paradise plants in colder climates where they cannot survive outdoors year-round. Before the first frost, bring your plant indoors and place it in a bright area with indirect sunlight. Reduce watering during this time and only water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Overwintering can help protect your Bird of Paradise plant from the excess cold and ensure its survival until spring.

Like any plant, Bird of Paradise plants can also be susceptible to pests and diseases. Common pests that may affect your plant include mealybugs, aphids, and scale insects. If you notice any signs of infestation, such as sticky residue or small brown spots, it is necessary to take action. Use organic pest control methods or consult a professional if the infestation is severe.

To sum up, Bird of Paradise plants require regular care, including repotting, pruning, and protection from pests and diseases. By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your plant thrives and becomes a stunning focal point in your garden or indoor space. Remember to always provide your Bird of Paradise plant with the necessary care it needs, and it will reward you with its vibrant blooms and beautiful foliage.

Many gardeners wonder if cutting back their red bird-of-paradise bushes is necessary in late winter, especially in Sierra Vista. While some people in town choose not to, their red birds still seem to bloom fine. Similarly, the question arises for Tecoma stans-orange jubilee bushes. Let’s dive into these matters and understand the benefits and requirements for both plants.

Regarding red bird-of-paradise, cutting back the bushes in late winter is not essential but can be beneficial. Pruning the plants allows for better shape control and can improve flowering. If the bushes are kept unpruned, they may become untidy and produce fewer blooms. However, if the red birds bloom well without pruning, you may choose not to trim them.

On the other hand, Tecoma stans-orange jubilee bushes do require regular pruning and maintenance. This species is known for its rapid growth and can quickly become overgrown if not kept in check. Pruning these bushes in late winter or early spring is recommended to maintain their desired shape and size. Cutting down the Tecoma stans bushes to the ground is not typically necessary unless they have suffered from frost damage or severe neglect.

When pruning bird-of-paradise or Tecoma stans bushes, it is essential to follow the proper technique. Start by removing any dead, damaged, or crossing branches. Then, trim the bushes to the desired shape and size. Make clean cuts just above a bud or branch junction to promote optimal regrowth. Using a sharp pair of pruning shears or loppers, ensure each cut is smooth and without jagged edges.

After pruning, it is crucial to prevent waterlogging of the plant’s roots. Ensure that the bushes are placed in well-draining soil to avoid water accumulation. Proper watering is also essential for the health of the plants. Water the bushes deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

In conclusion, while cutting back red bird-of-paradise bushes in late winter is unnecessary, pruning can offer benefits such as better shape control and improved flowering. Tecoma stans-orange jubilee bushes, on the other hand, require regular pruning to maintain their size and shape. You can keep these plants healthy and thriving in your garden by learning the proper techniques and avoiding common mistakes.

Bird of Paradise plant care

If you have a bird of paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae or Strelitzia nicolai) in your home or garden, it’s important to know how to care for it properly. These tropical plants are known for their stunning flowers and bold, architectural foliage. Here are some tips for keeping your bird of paradise plant healthy and thriving.


As your bird of paradise plant grows, it may outgrow its current pot. Repotting is necessary to provide the roots with more space to grow and maintain the plant’s health. When repotting, choose a pot that is slightly larger than the current one and use a well-draining soil mix. Be careful not to damage the roots when removing the plant from its old pot.


Pruning is an important part of bird of paradise plant care. Use sharp, clean tools to prune dead or damaged leaves, stems, or flowers. Pruning also helps to keep the plant in a desirable shape and size. Remove any suckers or shoots that may be growing from the base of the plant.

When pruning, wearing gloves to protect your hands is a good idea. Start by removing any dead or brown leaves or stems. Then, focus on the flowering stalks. Cut them back to the base of the plant once they have finished blooming. This encourages the growth of new stalks and helps to keep the plant looking tidy.


Bird of paradise plants like to be kept moderately moist. Water your plant regularly, but be careful not to overwater. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. During the winter months, when the plant is not actively growing, reduce watering and allow the soil to dry out slightly more between waterings.

Light and Temperature

Bird of paradise plants prefer bright, indirect light. Place your plant somewhere it can receive plenty of bright, filtered light, such as near a window with a sheer curtain. They also prefer warm temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Avoid placing them in drafty areas or near heating vents.

In colder climates, bird of paradise plants may need to be protected from frost. If you’re growing your bird of paradise plant outdoors, cover it or bring it indoors when temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C).

Insect Control

Like any other houseplant, bird of paradise plants can attract certain pests, such as scale insects. Inspect the leaves and stems regularly for signs of pests, and if you notice any, take the necessary steps to control them. This can include removing pests by hand, washing the plant with a mild soapy solution, or using insecticidal soap or oil.

With proper care, your bird of paradise plant will continue to thrive and delight you with its stunning flowers and foliage. By repotting, pruning, and providing the right conditions, you can ensure that your plant remains healthy and beautiful for years to come.

Bird of Paradise Plant Care: Watering

Watering is an essential part of caring for your bird of paradise plant. Proper watering ensures that the plant receives enough moisture to thrive and stay healthy. Here are some tips to help you provide the right amount of water:

Watering in Winter In winter, the bird of paradise plant requires less water compared to other seasons. Reduce the frequency of watering, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
Watering Stalks Avoid watering the stalks of the plant as they can easily rot and suffer from waterlogging. Instead, focus on watering the soil around the base of the plant.
Pruning and Watering When you prune your bird of paradise plant, it may seem like a good idea to water it more. However, it’s best to avoid overwatering while the plant is recovering from pruning.
Watering in Late Fall In late fall, it’s advisable to water your bird of paradise plant a bit less frequently to mimic its natural conditions.
Watering Tips Here are some more tips to help you with watering your bird of paradise plant:
Tip 1: Always check that the top layer of the soil has dried out before watering again.
Tip 2: If you see any signs of waterlogging or damage, remove the affected parts of the plant immediately.
Tip 3: Use a long-handled shovel or shears to cut away any suckers or damaged leaves.
Tip 4: Water your bird of paradise plant regularly, but avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot and other diseases.
Tip 5: Fill a misting bottle with water and mist the leaves of your bird of paradise plant to provide extra humidity.
Tip 6: Learn about the specific watering requirements of your bird of paradise plant, as different types may have slightly different needs.

By properly watering your bird of paradise plant, you can ensure it stays healthy and vibrant. Remember to provide the right amount of water, avoid overwatering, and be mindful of your plant’s specific needs. Regularly inspect and care for your bird of paradise plant to prevent any issues and enjoy its beautiful blooms.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.