Nothing screams tropical more than the white bird of paradise plant. The perennials, alongside the orange bird of paradise, belong to the genus of Strelitzia, and the family of Strelitziaceae.
At a glance, this gigantic plant looks almost like a banana; well, it does—except for banana doesn’t produce the beautiful white, bird feather-looking petals.
I understand that maybe some people would prefer the beautiful moon orchid inside their house, but a touch of the white bird is very distinguished you won’t believe you’re not on the other side of the Amazon.
The bird of paradise plant is very popular in outdoor landscape decorating because it requires a large space in order to mature in its maximum size.
However, keeping the bird of paradise plant indoor has become more popular in the last 30 years, and the care for it is most essential.
A. The Characteristics of White Bird of Paradise
The banana-like plant is favored to showcase a different landscape view in most modern American houses. You may find one bird of paradise grows easily until it reaches 6 to 20 ft. tall with large leaves and blooming flowers.
It resembles the male bird of paradise species a lot with long feathers and colorful shades—although the bird of paradise genus has flowers with different colors, this particular kind is embellished by long, full white petals with a little blue shade.
Native to South Africa and South America, the white bird of paradise’s flower can mature until it reaches 10 to 12 inches but you should take your time when waiting for it to fully bloom.
Expectedly, the beautiful white blossom takes 4 to 5 years until it shows you the enchanting sight of the jungle. Its beauty can even captivate your appetite; some native restaurants commonly use the flower for plating when serving seafood or indigenous foods.
The white bird of paradise has a long single trunk with large oar-shaped textural leaves that can reach up to 3 ft. long when grown properly—even more. It doesn’t grow a stem, and the leaves simply appear from the center pad.
B. How to Grow the White Bird of Paradise Care Instruction
Unless you have a large room, it’s best to avoid this plant as a room decoration. Also known by the name of Strelitzia Nicolai, the white bird of paradise is a perfect ornament that will send out a vertical presence in your house.
Despite the fact that the plant may thrive when planted outdoor, growing it inside is achievable when you follow the correct white bird of paradise plant care instruction.
1. Soiling Option
Choosing the soil for this vegetation is not a hassle since the bird of paradise can tolerate any type of soil. It can be clay, acidic type, loamy texture, few alkaline contents—you name it.
However, planting the flower inside is best to do using an acidic soil that is nutrient-rich, well-drained one, and retains water well.
Mix the soil with some organic matters like compost or well-rotted ordure, even perlite.
The important thing to note is that you must make sure that the soil has good drainage since it cannot grow in an extremely wet environment. If you plant it in a pot, choose one that has enough drainage holes.
2. Lighting Support
The plant is tropical so it needs bright light to grow. Planting outside, you’ll have no problem getting the sun streaming into every inch of the holes. But inside, that’s when the problem begins.
The white bird of paradise requires partial to full sun support—gradually place the pot in the patio that will allow it to get the direct sunlight and move it to the different area of your house as the temperature switches.
If necessary, you may as well use artificial light to get them the support inside. Do not place the plant in a shaded since it will wither the leaves; the best spot could be near a large glass sunny window.
3. Keeping the Temperature Right
For most perennials, they need the right temperature support in order to mature fully. You must be aware that the bird of paradise has its “active” season during spring and summer.
Throughout the season, the advisable temperature for indoor planting the tree is 18 to 23 degree Celsius where everything is mostly warm.
During autumn and winter—particularly winter—the white bird plant is close to its “resting” period. Throughout the season, you must not let the temperature to fall below 10 degree Celsius; otherwise, the plant will curl and wrinkled.
4. Watering Technique
The white bird of paradise loves acidic soil, and is very drought tolerant that it makes a perfect addition in your xeric garden; you don’t have to water the shrubs every day to keep it alive.
It requires very low watering, but not in a complete absence. During its active period, it is essential to keep the soil moist—regular watering can keep out the plant from drying out, especially the potted ones.
During its resting period (autumn to winter) avoid watering the plant since it will make the soil becomes soggy. The white bird, however, still needs to maintain its moisture.
The best technique should be to water from the soil to keep the root hydrated. Be aware of the signs of yellowing leaves as it indicates that there is too much water to handle.
5. Feeding the Plant
Adding fertilizer is paramount to give additional nutrients that the soil cannot provide for the plant. The best food for the white bird of paradise is balanced plant nourishment during spring and summer until mid-autumn using controlled-release fertilizer.
The diluted liquid fertilizer is applicable for a couple of weeks helping to bloom the flower.
You can also opt for a fine quality of coarse-grained fertilizer three times in a year period. Remember not to add any bird of paradise fertilizer during the winter while it’s resting.
There you have the basic care instruction to grow the plant inside your house. To care of the plant, you must also be aware of some alarming signs; like the burning leaf tip means excessive food deposit salts.
While it requires little extra maintenance, the white bird of paradise provides the excellent bells and whistles to your living room or back patio.