Bird of Paradise Care
Bird of paradise (Strelitzia spp.) is a deceptively easy to care for plant. If you have great sun and want something tall that makes a statement, but you're tired of cacti (us too), this is the plant for you!
The most common bird of paradise varieties in stores are S. reginae (orange bird of paradise) and S. nicolai (white bird of paradise). As a houseplant, S. reginae is the more popular of the two because they "only" grow 6 or 7 feet tall. On the other hand, S. nicolai can reach around 15 feet tall. It is easiest to tell these varieties apart by the color of their blooms (i.e. orange or white) but because they won't bloom indoors, you'll have to tell them apart by their leaves. If you can.
The leaves of S. nicolai are said to resemble that of a banana tree. They are very large and wide and the tips are a bit rounded or cupped. The leaves of S.reginae are narrower and come to a bit of a point. That being said, trying to get clear and accurate images of both leaves side by side is impossible. The plants are often mislabeled as well. So if you really want to know which variety you have, you may just have to wait a few or five years to see how large it gets. In the meantime, care is the same and they are both beautiful.
This care slideshow gives you all the deats for growing a gorgeous bird of paradise, including how to keep your plant small if you end up with a larger-than-you'd-like S. nicolai.
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