Does bird of paradise need full sun? (Strelitzia Reginae)

Bird of paradise Strelitzia Reginae will grow best in full sun with more flowers and more leaves. When grown in full sun bird of paradise will reach its maximum size quicker which can be as large as 6 feet tall by 6 feet wide.

Plant bird of paradise in part shade and they will still grow well. Part shade can protect the plant from sunburn in very hot regions and can slow the loss of water from the soil.

Whether you are growing bird of paradise in full sun or part shade, this guide can help you to get the most out of your plant.

How to grow bird of paradise in sun

Bird of paradise will grow in full sun and produce lots of flower heads and leaves if the soil is prepared well, they are watered regularly and fed in Spring and Fall. Here are my top tips to grow bird of paradise successfully in sun.

1. Prepare the soil first

Preparing the soil for a new bird of paradise will allow it to grow well in full sun. Start by adding compost and cow manure to the position that you will be planting it. If you are planning on putting it in a pot, use a good quality all-purpose potting soil.

Mix the aged cow manure and compost through the soil with a garden fork and add an extra handful of pelleted chicken manure if you have it. Improving the soil with organic matter will help the soil to hold water for longer in a full sun position. This is important as the plant can dry out quicker.

2. Water regularly

Regular water is important for bird of paradise plants placed in a full sun position. These plants are drought tolerant but will grow bigger and better if they get regular water particularly over the warmer months.

Check the soil regularly and add water deeply around twice per week in the hot weather. Reduce the watering over winter or if you are getting regular rain to avoid root rot.

3. Feed in Spring and Fall

Feeding your bird of paradise plant will help it to grow and flower. A plant that grows rapidly in a warm, sunny position will actually use up more nutrients so will benefit from being fed regularly.

I like to use pelleted chicken manure as this is mild, contains a balanced range of nutrients and plenty of nitrogen which will help the plant to add and grow extra leaves. Avoid adding any fertilizer over the cooler months as the plant will go dormant.

Skip the fertilizer feed in fall if you have just added extra nutrients to your soil before planting. This will last until the next spring.

4. Mulch with bark

Mulch is important for healthy bird of paradise plants in full sun. The soil will dry out quicker in a sunny position so protect the plant’s roots and soil with a 3 inch layer of bark mulch.

For bird of paradise plants in pots, I like to add bark mulch to the top of the soil as this will also help to keep the moisture in the soil. Protecting the soil will also help to feed and protect soil bacteria and worms that will break down the organic matter and release nutrients to the plant.

Can bird of paradise grow in shade?

Bird of paradise will grow successfully in part shade. These plants will often grow less but larger leaves and flowers and still look fantastic. They will be easier to keep well-watered as the water will not evaporate as quicky out of the soil.

Bird of paradise grown in shade will not need to be watered as often so check the soil before adding more. Plants grown in shade will still benefit from mulch as this will also help to prevent weeds growing and competing.

How much sun does a bird of paradise plant need?

A bird of paradise plant will be happy with 6 or more hours of sun or bright light. Direct sun will encourage more flowering and more leaf growth. A bird of paradise can survive in shade or even indoors if they have a bright spot in your home.

My bird of paradise plants were getting around 6 hours of sunlight before I moved them and now they are getting 8 hours over the warmer months. These plants will slow their growth over winter so don’t worry if you have just planted them in Fall.

Wait until Spring and they will grow bigger and better when the weather warms up. A bird of paradise plant that has been split off from a larger plant can take 2-3 years before it grows big enough to grow more flowers. Others that have been moved like mine can flower in the next season.

Does bird of paradise need full sun indoors?

Bird of paradise plants will need a bright position if you are keeping it in a pot indoors. Morning sun is best and avoid hot afternoon sun as this can burn and damage the leaves. Bright light is great for a bird of paradise plant kept indoors rather than direct sun.

Remember to water regularly and use a slow release indoor plant food for an easy way to give it the nutrients it needs in Spring.

Does bird of paradise need direct sunlight?

Bird of paradise plants grown outside will benefit from direct sunlight. They are a tropical plant that originates from South Africa so enjoy warm and humid conditions. These plants love a bright sunny spot with well drained soil and being fed in Spring and Fall.

Trim off any dead leaves or flower heads to keep the plant looking full and healthy. Bird of paradise will naturally replace old leaves with new so take off any brown leaves to keep it looking neat.

Does bird of paradise need full sun? | Summary

Bird of paradise plants will thrive outdoors in a full sun position or indoors near a bright window. Prepare the soil with organic matter, water regularly and remember to feed in Spring. In a few years you will have a large, healthy bird of paradise plant that can grow up to 6 feet high.

Once the plant has multiple stems it can be split into separate plants and moved to a new position in your yard or a new pot. Share them with friends if you can’t find space for all of the new plants.

Happy growing.