Anyone who love the blooms of the Bird of Paradise, which I suspect is all of us, can rest assured they CAN get this beautiful flower to appear where they live - even in a pot.
The key to this success is a lot of sunlight during the summer, water, and neglect ... yes, neglect. The Bird likes to bloom when it's a bit stressed - so ignoring it or forgetting to water it might work in your favor for a change. That's not to say don't water it for a month, but you get the point. Be sure to take them outside as soon as it's warm enough to do so, the more direct sun these guys can get, the better. By the end of September of October, you will see the first buds appear, and by mid-December, you should have your first bloom.
This can be achieved with both the Orange and Giant White Bird of Paradise - we've successfully gotten both to bloom, in a pot, indoors, during the winter. The key was to let them do their thing - just be sure to let them get plenty of sunlight.
Many BOP's need to be at least a few years old, but they don't need to be ancient. My first BOP bloomed at just four years old, and I have one that's nearly 20 years old that still hasn't bloomed - so sometimes you have to experiment. Having a good loose and well-draining soil mix with vermiculite or perlite will help - the roots like the extra aeration to the soil.
They are magnificent when they bloom and prove to be quite a pleasant surprise in the cold of winter.
Achieving Blooms on your Bird of Paradise Plants
To review some tips to achieve blooms:
- Allow it to get as much full sun as possible
- Water it, but don't be afraid to neglect it a bit, don't 'baby' it
- Use a well-draining soil mix
- Keep it in a smaller pot; they bloom better when root bound
- Be patient; it may take a while to get your first blooms
- Avoid bloom buster fertilizers, let it do its thing naturally