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House Plants/bird of paradise


I have a 30 year old bird of paradise house plant, I've re-potted several times over the years. It's current pot is about 10" across by 10" deep. It's about 42" tall with about 24 leaves between the seven stalks coming out of the pot. It grows new leaves and some die off and occasionaly my rabbit nibbles on a few (I've only had him a year, so he's not really the problem) It has never bloomed. We live in Ohio so I take it outside in the summer and bring it in, in the fall where it lives in my sun room on the east side of the house.  What am I doing wrong. I just can't bring myself to throw it away. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Hi Rebecca,

Strelitzia requires cool winter temps in the 50-55 degree F. range to set buds and that is hard to maintain in the typical home. That is why they rarely flower when  used as indoor plants. Of course, they cannot be kept outdoors in winter except in areas that are frost-free.

Keep yours in the coolest indoor place you have and provide less water as the hours of daylight decrease in the fall and winter. Keeping it potbound is also essential for flowering.

You may decide to just keep your Strelitzia as a nice foliage plant. If so, don't worry about temperature and keep it in a sunny location year round and water as soon as the top quarter of the soil feels dry.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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