This isn’t a do not buy post at all, this is more of a before you buy consider this post. I find the Bird of Paradise plant to be one of my favorites in my collection. I love the huge foliage and how each new leaf is bigger than the last. This really is an awesome and easy to care for plant but this plant isn’t for everyone.
If you’ve never seen a BOP in its natural habitat it is a sight to behold and a rude awakening to those with small homes. This plant gets BIG like taller than your house big. I don’t think people really consider this fact before they bring this plant home. I know I didn’t. This plant needs room to stretch out and if you don’t have the space it’s best to leave this babe in the greenhouse.
The BOP is a very fast grower. It can double or even triple its size in one year giving the right conditions. So what are the right conditions for this plant? Bops LOVE high light! Like direct sun type of high light. My BOPs get at least five hours of high light. Not always direct but still super bright. In the summer time I keep them outside. Please note that if you want to keep your house plants outside for summer you have to transition them first. If you toss them out in direct sun they will fry up like chicken in a pot of hot grease! I’ll share how to transition your plants in another post.
Next up is water! Bops are water loving fiends! Be prepared to water them fully every week if not more for the rest of their life. Always check to see if the first 1-2 inches of soil are dry before watering as even tho they love water you can still over water. I know it’s confusing…
Fertilizing. So you’ve decided that the BOP is for you and your prepared to bring this future giant into your home. Well fertilizing only helps make this plant grow bigger faster in my opinion. I feed my BOPs with fish emulsion once a week all summer and fall and they love it! I find fish fertilizer to be good for all of my house plants and even my garden plants. If you can tolerate the smell then this is a good basic fertilizer for all of your plant needs. Be sure to follow the instructions on any fertilizers you decide to use. Some fertilizers can actually be harmful if used improperly.
Soil wise I like PROMIX. I haven’t had any issues with this soil for my BOPs. You don’t have to use what I use I don’t feel that BOPs are overly picky. Just make sure your pot has a drainage hole and that your not using a soil that meant for Succulents and Cacti.
As far as the BOPs I own I’m not sure how long until I’ll have to rehome them. My tallest is almost 5’4” and after this summer I’m guessing it’ll be close to 6 feet by fall. I do have a space for it once it out grows the living room but with how fast these babes grow it could be two to three years.