White Bird of Paradise Plant: Exquisite Beauty for Your Space

White bird of paradise is an exotic plant from the tropics

Table of Contents

White Paradise plant
A banana plant, right? See for yourself in the following blog. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/andy_king50

Plants can play illusions, too. At first glance, this plant looks no different from a banana plant. However, the white, exotic flowers on this plant are miles off from anything that remotely looks like a banana. The white bird of paradise plant is one of nature’s quips. Unsurprisingly, the plant gets the name “banana leaf plant” from this resemblance. Moreover, it is also known as the crane flower. Before going any further, let us make a profile for this tropical  plant:

Scientific name: Strelitzia nicolai

 

Identification: Leaves look like that of banana plants. The flowers look like the beak of a bird and have bluish or purple petals and sepals . Obviously, they make excellent garden plants.

 

Height: 7 to 8 ft

 

Habitat: Tropical plant, native to South Africa, but grows in South Florida and California too.

 

Blooming Season: July to November.

Flowers of the white bird of paradise plant. They bloom between July to November
Flowers of the white bird of paradise plant. They bloom between July to November. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ NasserHalaweh

How can I grow a white bird of paradise plant?

Because of the amazing flowers that the white bird of paradise plant bears, it makes a great indoor plant. In fact, it is considered the queen of indoor plants. Moreover, this plant grows fine in the warm outdoors. Moist and rich soil is perfect for the white bird of paradise. However, the plant takes years to reach maturity. In addition, the roots of the crane flower spread quickly. As a result, the roots can penetrate floorboards and tiles. Hence, plant these beautiful plants somewhere away from your home in the outdoors.

Light:

The white bird of paradise plant grows best under bright sunlight. Crane flower tends to grow in the direction of sunlight. Yet, direct sunlight can harm the plant. On the other hand, a poorly lit environment can stunt the growth of the plant. As a result, the best option is to grow the plant in diffused sunlight.

Temperature:

One special feature of the crane flower is its ability to adapt. Unsurprisingly, this plant grows just as well outdoors as it does indoors, as long as the temperature is right. A temperature of 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C) is perfect for a white bird of paradise. However, avoid placing it near vents, as hot or cold air can trouble the plant.

Cleaning:

Over time, the leaves can gather dust. Firstly, the dust can affect the ability of the plant to photosynthesize . Secondly, it dampens the look of the plant. Careful dusting can keep the plant looking top-notch. You can clean the leaves using an automated mister  and a soft cloth.

Fertilizers:

Use fertilizers only once a month, or before flowering season. As put by Planet Natural, excess fertilizers can tamper with the salt concentration of the soil and harm the leaves. Any regular fertilizer is good for crane flowers.

Watering:

White bird of paradise grows well in dry regions. As a result, watering the plant once a month is enough. Use a spray bottle or measuring cup to water 16 ounces or 473 ml of water. Use distilled  water if possible because tap water can pile up unwanted minerals in the soil that can brown the leaves. Water the plant slowly, as it helps the water to reach the roots better.

Some species of crane flowers are colorful
Some species of crane flowers are colorful too. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Scott Bauer, USDA

With a little care and hard work, you can have a mature white bird of paradise plant in your backyard or on your balcony. However, the plant is mildly harmful to humans and pets if ingested. If you can maintain the precautions and follow the tips, congrats! You’re en route to become a plant parent.

Glossary

Tropical: Anything that grows close on either side of the Equator, the imaginary line that divides the Earth into southern and northern halves

 

Sepals: Tough portions of flowers that are present along with petals, but are usually green in color

 

Blooming season: The months or the season in which a plant bears flowers

 

Photosynthesize: The process by which plants generate energy from carbon dioxide and water using sunlight

 

Fertilizers: Chemicals that aid in plant growth

 

Mister: A device that sprays tiny droplets of water just like mist

 

Distilled: Water that is boiled into vapor and then condensed. It contains no minerals.

Readability: 70.6

 

Grade: 6.5

Contributors

  • Anubhav Ghosh
    : Author
    I am pursuing my bachelor's in microbiology from Scottish Church College, Kolkata and the lab at my college is as close as my home is to me. My interest lies in molecular biology and cell signalling, and I want to be a professor when I grow up. I believe that what we see around has a fantastic science story in it. In my free time, I love to watch soccer. Writing for Smore Science gives me the chance to explore my take on explaining the science around me in ways that everyone can grasp.

Copyright @smorescience. All rights reserved. Do not copy, cite, publish, or distribute this content without permission.


Join 20,000+ parents and educators
To get the FREE science digest in your inbox!