Tips on Growing the White Bird of Paradise
The white bird of paradise is an exotic tropical plant that resembles a banana tree. This plant can grow pretty large so when installing in your home garden ample space is needed for this garden beauty to perform at its best. I have used the white bird of paradise on many interiorscape projects which we will be discussing a bit later but for now, I want us to turn our attention to growing these birds in the home garden.
Things you must know
To have success with this tropical beauty here is what you will need to know.
- The planting location
- Soil Type
- Watering Methods
- Fertilizing Methods
- Garden insect pests of the white bird of paradise
- Diseases of the white bird of paradise
- Ideas on where to install them.
The planting location
As discussed earlier the white bird of paradise can grow very large so install in an area that will give it room to grow.
When watering give your bird a good drink of watering and then allow it to dry out a bit before watering again.
When fertilizing your bird of paradise use a slow-release fertilizer, fertilize your bird of paradise once every three months except during the winter months. Before applying fertilizers read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.
Garden insect pests of the white bird of paradise
As exotic as these plants are the white bird of paradise has many pest issues if left unchecked will present problems. These garden insect pests include.
Garden insect pests such as scales, aphids, and mealybugs can be treated with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. Before using these chemicals read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.
The signs of caterpillars, snails, and grasshopper issues are holes that are in the leaves or the leaves edges being chewed, this is how they feed. Control these garden pests by handpicking and dumping them in a bucket of soapy water. This will eliminate them.
Diseases of the white bird of paradise
There are a few diseases to keep an eye out for which are
- Root Rot
- Bacterial Wilt
- Leaf Blight
Leaf blight appears as spots on the leaves, these spots are white circles are also seen around these spots with a different shade of green. Applying fungicides to the soil will bring this disease under control.
Root rot is caused by overwatering or soil that has poor drainage. Monitor the amount of water you are giving your plant to avoid this issue. Root rot is also carried by a fungus that is on the seeds of the bird of paradise therefore if you are planning on growing your birds from seeds then purchasing seeds that are disease-free is so important.
This disease causes the leaves to turn a light green the yellow. When this happens the leave falls from the tree. Applying fungicides and allowing the soil to dry between watering will bring this disease under control.
Ideas where to install the white bird of paradise
- Can be installed as a centerpiece in the front of your yard
- Can be installed in the middle of your garden
- Use these tropical beauties as a screen to block certain areas
- Can be planted against fences and walls
- Can be planted on either side of a door entrance
Container grown bird of paradise
As large as these plants are it is possible to grow them in containers. The containers that are chosen should be large enough to accommodate your bird of paradise. The container can be anywhere from seven gallons or larger depending on the size of the root ball. Use a good garden soil mix as discussed above and ensure that the container has drain holes to allow water to find a way to escape.
Allow the soil to dry out somewhat before you give your bird another drink of water and fertilize as directed above. Keep an eye out for garden insect pests as was mentioned above and make sure that your bird is in an area that gets a lot of sunlight.
Growing the white bird of paradise of indoors
Growing the white bird of paradise indoors can be really amazing. The chosen spot for your bird should provide adequate space along with having sufficient light. 5-6 hours of light is great. The soil should be a good organic mix that holds water but has good drainage to allow excess water to drain. The soil should dry somewhat before giving your bird another drink.
Place a saucer at the bottom of the container to catch the water and remember to empty the saucer. If the container is too heavy to lift when attempting to remove the saucer then using a cloth to soak up the water is your next option.
The container should be as was discussed above on grow your birds in containers. Fertilizer as mentioned earlier and keep an eye out for scales, mealybugs, and aphids. Use treatments as discussed above.
Keeping your white bird of paradise clean
Indoor plants tend to have a build-up of dust and so it is with the bird of paradise, keeping a feather duster on hand is a good tool to keep your plant clean, or a damp cloth to wipe the leaves will work wonders. Using a damp cloth that is soaked in soapy water will also get rid of scales and aphids.
A word of caution
The leaves are said to be toxic if chewed and swallowed so ensure that your bird is out of the reach of children and pets.
The final word
The white bird of paradise is a tropical beauty that will work wonders. So if you are looking to spruce up your garden or interior plantscape then the bird of paradise is the plant for you. With its exotic bird-like flowers, and large shiny leaves you can’t go wrong with this garden beauty, give the bird of paradise a try. You will be glad that you did.