How fast does bird of paradise grow?

A brand new bird of paradise plant will start of small and take 2-3 years to double in size and 4-5 years before its first flowers. Once a large bird of paradise plants have been split it can take another 2-3 years before it flowers again. Transplanted bird of paradise plants will recover quicker than those that are younger or have been split.

I recently re-potted 4 very large bird of paradise plants and they started flowering in 2 months. I transplanted them in winter, due to the fact that their current pots were breaking.

These plants recovered quickly growing flowers and new leaves started coming through in early Spring.

Growth rate of bird of paradise

There are 3 main species of bird of paradise that are common with Strelitzia reginae popular in tropical backyards with large, orange and blue flowers. This orange bird of paradise is common and will grow to 6 feet high in the right conditions.

There is also Strelitzia Nicolai, the giant bird of paradise that can grow up to 30 feet high and Strelitzia juncea which looks similar to Strelitzia reginae but with smaller, tighter leaves. The giant bird of paradise can grow up to 2 feet in a year in the right conditions. They can be trimmed down smaller but make a great outdoor specimen if you have the space.

How fast bird of paradise plants grow outdoors

Bird of paradise plants (Strelitzia reginae) will grow new leaves in the warmer months in Spring and Summer. These plants will take 2 years to establish and around 5 years to reach up to around 5-6 feet.

Keep the plant well-watered, plant it in good quality potting mixed or improved garden soil and they will grow large in a few years.

These plants will grow multiple stems which can be divided into new plants. Remember before you do this that the plant will take up to 3 years to recover from the move and start flowering again.

Bird of paradise plants will actually thrive in a tight fitting pot. They will grow more flowers and still have great system growth.  

This large bird of paradise is over 6 feet tall with multiple stems.

How fast bird of paradise plants grow indoors

Bird of paradise plants will grow slower indoors than in the perfect position outdoors. If you live in a cooler climate, these plants can thrive inside near a bright window.

You can expect around 1 foot of growth per year in general for indoor bird of paradise plants but the main aim is to increase leaf and flower growth. A tight, bushy plant indoors look great. Extra leaves can be removed to keep the form tight. You can also remove very tall leaves if they are getting in the way.

How to get bird of paradise plants to grow faster

There are some easy ways to get your bird of paradise plant to grow faster and to flower well. Here are my easy tips to encourage more growth.

Liquid fertilizer

A gentle feed of liquid fertilizer can give your plant an extra boost of nitrogen to encourage it to grow more leaves. Add diluted fish emulsion mixed with seaweed solution to act as a root tonic. This can be applied every 4 weeks in the warmer weather to give your plant a boost.

Remove dead leaves and flowers

Removing dead or dying leaves will leave more room for the light to reach the healthy leaf stems. Brown or damaged leaves can be trimmed off down to the healthy stem connection. Use sharp, clean secateurs to trim off the stem at an angle.

The extra leaves and flowers stems can be composted and will break down quicker if they are chopped into pieces.

Mulch the plant including pots

Mulch is the best way to keep the plant’s roots moist and healthy. While it is important not to overwater bird of paradise as the roots can rot, mulch can help to regulate the moisture loss from the soil. Bark mulch will actually absorb some of the excess water from the rain or watering.

The bark mulch will slowly release extra water back into the soil to feed the plant. The mulch will also reduce weed competition allowing the plant to grow as quickly as possible.

How big should the pot be for a large bird of paradise?

Large bird of paradise plants can reach as tall as 6 feet for the species with the orange flowers. I had recently moved a very large plant with at least 4 main plants which had grown from a single original. This plant was at least 5 years old and very heavy to move.

For this large plant, I chose a relatively small pot. This would help to keep the roots stable and tight and encourage the plant to flower quickly. The pot that I chose was around 16 inches across which was just large enough to fit this plant.

When moving and placing a large bird of paradise plant in a pot make sure it is placed on a stable base and in a position where dogs and kids won’t knock it over. I found a nice corner at the end of a garden bed near a garden screen.

This large bird of paradise, transplanted well, did not lose leaves and flowered in the next 2 months.

How fast does bird of paradise grow? | Summary

Bird of paradise can grow up to 2 feet per year if they are cared for well. Plant in good quality potting soil, water regularly and add liquid nitrogen fertilizer in Spring. A full sun position is best for fast growth for outdoor plants and a bright window will work well for indoor plants.

Keep the soil moist by adding mulch to reduce weed competition.  Bird of paradise plants are a fantastic specimen plant that looks great against a wall, screen or planted as a feature plant in a pot.

These are quickly becoming one of my favorite plants and if you live in a tropical or subtropical area they will thrive without too much attention.

Happy growing.