Bird of Paradise Fertilizer: How to Feed Plants

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Bird of paradise plants are beautiful, exotic flowers. If you love bird of paradise plants, then you should learn what kind of bird of paradise fertilizer is good and bad. 

This article will cover bird of paradise fertilizer for beginners, when to use it, where to get it, and how to use it. 

Bird of Paradise Fertilizer in its Natural Habitat

Bird of paradise plants need to be fed regularly because they’re heavy feeders. Birds of paradise plants do not require any fancy fertilizers. They use what’s already available to them. 

Natural fertilizers in its native habitat come from dropped, decomposing leaves, animal manure, and other decomposed forest litter. As it rains, the rainwater slowly spreads those nutrients down into the soil and the plant’s root systems.

In your own garden, you can achieve a similar effect by mulching. Mulching helps the plants absorb nutrients from the soil, while also keeping the soil moist. Regular feeding keeps the plant healthy.

Orange Bird of Paradise

What to Feed Bird of Paradise Plants

Any bird of paradise plant, if planted in your garden, should be fed regularly because they are heavy feeders. 

For outdoor plants, a 2-3 inch layer of mulch made up of organic materials like leaves, wood chips, pine needles, and bark will be helpful. Adding some porous materials like gravel or sand will help with water drainage.

Mulching helps prevent weeds, but you need to make sure there isn’t any mulch within 2 to 3 inches (6 to 8 cm) of the plant. This helps birds of paradise plants get enough light.

A balanced fertilizer is recommended for bird of paradise plants. The NPK ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium should all be the same. For example, a 20-20-20 NPK ratio fertilizer will be a good option. 

Steer manure is an excellent choice for a natural, balanced fertilizer. 

Feeding Bird of Paradise Varieties

There are many varieties of bird of paradise plants. Some are more drought tolerant than others. Others grow better in full sun than others. There are even some species that prefer shade.

These are a few of the common bird of paradise varieties and how to fertilize them. 

Feeding the Orange Bird of Paradise – Strelitzia Reginae

The orange bird of paradise is one of the most popular varieties of bird of paradise. It grows best in full sun and does well in dry conditions.

The orange bird of paradise is a heavy feeder and needs a balanced fertilizer every 1-2 weeks. Use a liquid fertilizer that’s diluted to half-strength for continued healthy growth. 

The Bird of Paradise is a heavy feeder. You can feed it weekly during its growing season with a liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength. That will promote healthy growth.

During the winter months, fertilizing once a month will be more than enough. Use a granular, slow-release fertilizer that’s water-soluble. 

Learn more about Strelitzia reginae Care.

Orange Bird of Paradise

Feeding the Yellow Bird of Paradise – Strelitzia Reginae Mandela’s Gold

The Mandela’s Gold is a hybrid plant that is more sensitive to cold weather, so be sure to keep it in warmer conditions. Feed this Strelitzia reginae variety once every two weeks in the growing season. 

You can also help it with a adding a layer of compost as mulch to help retain moisture. Using a waterd in fertilizer during the summer, once a month, will also help. 

To encourage the yellow bird of paradise to flower, using a fertilizer with more potassium and less phosphorus can help. Use a 3:1:5 slow-release fertilizer every two months. 

Feeding the White Bird of Paradise – Strelitzia Nicolai

The white bird of paradise is also known as the Giant Bird of Paradise or Wild Banana Plant because of its large size and banana-like leaves. 

Fertilizer isn’t usually needed for the Strelitzia nicolai because they already grow very large. But you can still feed them once a month while it’s the growing season. 

Read more about Strelitzia nicolai Care

Feeding the Yellow Bird of Paradise – Caesalpinia Gilliesii

The yellow bird of paradise is another popular ornamental plant. It has small, round leaves and flowers on long stems. 

This plant requires little care and doesn’t need much fertilizer at all. Just use a slow release fertilizer once a month during the growing season. It will help with flowering.

A balanced, slow-release fertilizer with a 20-20-20 NPK ratio will be good. A fertilizer that has a higher nitrogen content will discourage blooms, so be sure to keep the balance.

Learn more about Caesalpinia gilliesii Care.

Feeding the Red Bird of Paradise – Caesalpinia pulcherrima

The red bird of paradise is an easy plant to grow. It’s good to feed it every two weeks in the spring and summer during its growing season.

A balanced, liquid fertilizer that’s diluted to about half-strength will be a good place to start.  

Read about Caesalpinia pulcherrima Care.

Feeding the Mexican Bird of Paradise – Mexicana Caesalpinia 

The Mexican bird of paradise is a desert plant, so it doesn’t need that much fertilizer at all. But fertilizer will help it bloom. 

Using a 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer mixed in equal parts would be ideal for the Mexican bird of paradise. This type of fertilizer will allow the plant to absorb the necessary nutrients without burning itself out. Adding it once a month will be more than enough during the growing season. 

Learn all about Mexicana caesalpinia Care.

Mexican Bird of Paradise

Choosing Bird of Paradise Fertilizer Guide

There are many different types of bird of paradise fertilizers available today. Learning more about them will give you the best chance of getting the results you want from your plants.

Some of these fertilizers may have been designed to encourage flowers from the birds of paradise. Others were created for general gardening purposes and may not be as great when used by birds of paradise. 

Bird of Paradise Fertilizer Ratio NPK

Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are three important nutrients for plant growth. A fertilizer containing these elements in an even ratio is recommended for growing Bird of Paradise plants.

Bird of paradise plants prefer an even balance of these nutrients. A 10-10-10 mixture is ideal for enhancing flowering.

Soil pH tests are very important. You should always be testing your soil before planting anything. If you find that it’s too acidic, add some lime. If it’s too alkaline, add some sulfur. These are both common ways to adjust soil pH levels.

Granular Fertilizer

Granular fertilizers are generally preferred over liquids because they’re easier to apply. They’re also less likely to wash away. However, granular fertilizers do tend to burn plants if applied in excess. So you’ll want to test your soil first. Then you can decide whether to go with a granular or liquid fertilizer.

Granular fertilizers are also slow-release. That means they won’t burn plants like liquid fertilizers can as the nutrients are released over time. 

Sprinkling them over the soil around plants is important because it helps activate the fertilizer compounds. Watering in is also necessary to get the nutrients out of the fertilizer.

Granular fertilizers can also contain micronutrients such as iron and manganese. Those are essential to healthy plant growth.

Liquid Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizers are usually faster acting than granular ones. They’re also more concentrated, which makes them easier to use. Liquid fertilizers can often include micronutrients, such as small amounts of iron and manganese as well.

If you choose to use a liquid fertilizer, make sure you dilute it properly. Too much fertilizer can cause problems for the plants. 

Liquid fertilizer can be purchased as either ready-to-use or concentrate formulas. Fertilizer needs to be watered in after application.

Liquid fertilizers can be used as foliar spray. Over-application may cause root or leaf burn. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using liquid fertilizers.

Fertilizer Spikes

Fertilizer spikes are an easy way to fertilize your garden. You simply need to push them into the ground around your plants. They’re perfect because you don’t have to measure out fertilizer anymore.

Spikes are typically used for seedlings and young plants. They’re easy to handle and apply.

Spikes can be used as an alternative method for fertilizing, but not if you want to save money. These will usually cost more than granular or liquid fertilizer. You may also need more than one spike for larger plants.

How to Fertilize Bird of Paradise Plants

Bird of paradise plants liker to be fertilized regularly for blooms. Granular fertilizers work better than powders or spikes. Avoid sprinkling fertilizer directly onto the roots. Fertilizer granules should be sprinkled around the base of the flower.

Slow-releasing fertilizers can be used at the time of planting too. Fertilizer should be spread evenly over the surface of the ground or in pots. Liquid fertilizer needs to be diluted with water before applying to the plants.

How Often to Fertilize Bird of Paradise Plants

If you’re using a liquid fertilizer, you should fertilize your bird of paradise plants every two weeks during the growing season. This is especially true if you live in a dry climate. Remember to water regularly as well to keep the soil moist and to monitor for dry soil. 

If you’re using a granular fertilizer, you should fertilze your bird of paradise plants once per month or every two months. It depends on what kind of fertilizer you’re using. If you’re using a fast-acting granular fertilizer, you’ll probably need to fertilize once per month.

When to Fertilize Bird of Paradise Plants

You can fertilize your bird of parades plants anytime between March and September during its growing season. However, you shouldn’t fertilize your plants after flowering has started. That’s because most of the flowers have already been pollinated.

The best times to fertilize your bird of paradise plants are early spring and late summer. Springtime is ideal because there’s plenty of new growth.

Bird of Paradise Fertilizer Burn

Fertilizer burns are caused by over fertilization. These damages cause plants to lose their green color. Yellowing of leaves or stems occurs. Brown spots or patches appear on the leaves. Plant growth slows down, making them more vulnerable to pest attacks.

When applying fertilizer, make sure you do not spill or scatter any fertilizer products directly onto the plant stem, foliage, or flower. Instead, sprinkle it around the base of the plant.

It’s important to know that some fertilizers contain phosphorus. Phosphorus is needed for healthy plant growth. But excess amounts of phosphorus can lead to nutrient deficiencies. So always read labels carefully and know what kind of nutrients your plants need.

Feeding Bird of Paradise Final Thoughts

Feeding bird of paradise plants isn’t too difficult or complicated. All you need is a little knowledge and patience.

As long as you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll have no problems feeding your birds of paradise plants. With proper care, they’ll grow strong and beautiful all year round.

For more on birds of paradise, check out these articles: 

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Written by:

Amy Walsh
Amy Walsh is a passionate indoor gardener, deeply engrossed in the world of houseplants and herbs. Her apartment is a lush sanctuary of foliage, reflecting her journey from hobbyist to devoted botanist. She's constantly exploring the latest in smart garden technology, eager to share her insights on nurturing green spaces indoors. Alongside her botanical pursuits, Amy enjoys connecting with nature and friends, continually enriching her lifestyle with greenery and growth.

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