What Are The Different Types Of Bird Of Paradise Plants?
Bird of paradise (or Bora) is one of the most popular tropical houseplants. It’s popularity stems from its attractive flowers and colorful foliage. Birds love these plants because they’re easy to care for, have few pests, and don’t require much water or light. They’re also very good at taking up little space indoors since they grow slowly and don’t need a lot of room to spread out their leaves.
There are several different kinds of birds of paradise plants, but only two species are commonly sold: the common and the yellow bell. Both belong to the family Nymphalidaceae, which includes other members such as lilies and sunflowers.
Common Bird Of Paradise Plant – Common Bird Of Paradise Plants
The common bird of paradise is native to South America and is found growing in moist areas where it lives year round. These plants are often grown as houseplants because they’re hardy and relatively inexpensive. They prefer full sunlight, so if you live in a place with less than ideal lighting conditions, then consider getting a different kind of bird of paradise plant instead.
Yellow Bell Bird Of Paradise Plant – Yellow Bell Bird Of Paradise Plants
The yellow bell bird of paradise is native to Mexico and Central America. It grows best in dry locations where it lives year round. These plants are sometimes grown as houseplants in colder states where the temperature rarely drops below freezing. Yellow bells prefer direct sunlight, so if your area doesn’t get a lot of sun, then consider getting a different kind of bird of paradise plant instead.
Banana Plant vs Bird Of Paradise
Besides the names sounding similar and them both being from the same family, there really isn’t too much in common between these two plants. The banana plant is a giant herbaceous perennial that can grow up to 15 feet tall. They’re often used for privacy screens due to their size. The leaves on a banana plant are large and heart shaped with deep-green on the top side and pale green on the underside.
It produces small yellowish flowers that develop into a bunch of inedible bananas after flowering.
The bird of paradise is a succulent perennial that rarely grows more than 3 feet tall. It has small blue flowers arranged in spiral heads made up of several stars. Each star contains four tiny flowers clustered together to look like the petals of a regular flower. The leaves on a bird of paradise plant are narrow and shaped like an arrowhead.
It produces small black seeds that are poisonous if eaten, so don’t go chewing on this plant.
Things To Consider When Buying A Bird Of Paradise Plant
Just because a plant is in the right family and looks like the pictures in the book, this doesn’t mean it’s going to do well in your particular environment. Here are a few things you need to consider before going out to buy your bird of paradise plant:
Light – Does your home get a lot of sun or is it mostly shaded?
A lot of sun is necessary for most kinds of bird of paradise plants to thrive. If you don’t get a lot of sunlight in your house, consider buying one that does better in lower light conditions such as the common bird of paradise.
Water – All birds of paradise plants need a lot of water, but some need more than others. If you don’t want to be constantly watering your plant, buy one that needs less, such as the yellow bell bird of paradise.
Soil – All birds of paradise plants prefer fast draining soil. You can either buy a pot designed for plants that like fast draining soil or you can add a lot of grit to your regular soil to speed up the draining process.
Feeding – Some bird of paradise plants need to be fertilized regularly, others less frequently, and still others hardly ever. If you want to save yourself some time and hassle, buy one that doesn’t require feeding very often.
There are many different kinds of bird of paradise plants. They all have their own unique looks and needs. Choose the one that will work best in your particular situation.
Bird Of Paradise Plant Care
Once you get your bird of paradise plant home, it’s time to figure out how to care for it. Again, all kinds of bird of paradise plants need full sun or at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day. They also need well-draining soil with plenty of humus added to it. No matter what kind you buy, you should ask your nursery person for the specific care requirements of the particular plant you’re buying.
These instructions will vary slightly depending on the variety.
Here are general guidelines for taking care of your bird of paradise:
Soil – Fast draining soil is essential. You can make your own by combining equal parts of loam, peat moss, and sand or purchase specialized cacti and succulent potting soil from a garden center.
Watering – Water your plant deeply but sparingly. Allow the soil to almost dry out before watering again.
Fertilizer – Most plants will benefit from added fertilizer. You can either make your own or buy one designed for cacti and succulents.
Sunlight – Bird of paradise plants prefer at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day. If your plant doesn’t get enough sun, it won’t bloom. Also, make sure the leaves aren’t touching any windows as this can cause them to turn a dark red that can damage the plant.
Temperature – Bird of paradise plants like warmth, but not excessive heat. Your home shouldn’t be any warmer than about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Propagation – Some varieties can be propagated by splitting up the root systems while others can be grown from seed. Ask your nursery person which kind you should buy.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about growing and caring for your bird of paradise plant. With a little tender loving care, you should have no trouble getting your plant to thrive. These exotic beauties bring happiness to everyone who sees them, whether they bloom or not, so give it the best home you can and enjoy!
If you are looking to buy a bird of paradise online or through a catalog, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you make your purchase. The first is variety. There are many different varieties of bird of paradise and some of them need slightly different growing conditions. Make sure that the seller you are buying from has the type you want and that it will work for you where you are located.
You should also make sure that the plant you buy is healthy and pest free. Because bird of paradise flowers are so popular, it is common for sellers to ship plants that have been treated with pesticides or even soaked in them. Look for sellers that have a good reputation and ask plenty of questions if you are concerned about the health of the plants they are selling.
Finally, make sure you pay attention to shipping costs. While buying your plant online can save you money if you are purchasing several, the shipping costs can easily add up. If the seller doesn’t have a good price on shipping, you may be better off buying from a local nursery where prices are lower.
Bird of Paradise Plant Pictures
Return to List
Chilean Wine Cup – Owning a houseplant is not just for decoration; sometimes they’re useful too!
Did you know that you can use your houseplants to ward off mosquitoes?
Yup, it’s true! Many plants give off a gas called “pyrethrin” to ward off bugs and that property has been studied and used in man-made screen sprays. One of these plants is the Chilean wine cup.
This flowering houseplant has been used for centuries by the Mapuche Native Americans to treat insect bites and stings, especially those from mosquitoes. It was also brewed into a tea to relieve fever, act as a diuretic (to promote urination) and increase blood circulation. This is a thick stemmed evergreen shrub that can get up to 5 feet tall if not pruned. It has oval shaped shiny leaves that are a dark green.
It produces little white flowers in the late winter to early spring.
The trick with this plant is it must be actively growing (during the season when it’s warm) in order to work. Once the temperatures start to drop (and nights are in the 50’s or lower) the plant goes into hibernation and stops giving off it’s mosquito repelling scent. It will resume activity in the spring.
How to use:
Grow the plant next to the door you most commonly use when going outside (back door preferred obviously). Make sure you water it regularly too. As it gets colder, the plant will produce more of the mosquito repellent and this is when it will work its magic for you.
All you have to do is walk through the foliage and you’ll be safe from mosquitoes (and any other biting insects too). This will keep the bugs away from you without chemicals.
Chilean Wine Cup Plant Pictures
Return to List
Fiddle-Leaf Fig – The Fiddle-Leaf Fig is a very popular houseplant that is very easy to grow. These plants can get quite large, so make sure you have the space for it before you decide to add one to your home.
These plants have everything going for them, they are beautiful, easy to take care of, and even fairly drought tolerant (more on that in a moment). They can even filter your air!
To grow your own Fiddle-Leaf Fig from seed, simply fill a container with moist seed starting mix. Place the seeds on the surface of the soil and gently press them into the surface. Cover the container with saran wrap and place it in a warm location (70 to 80 degrees) to promote germination. Remove the saran wrap after 3 or 4 days and keep the soil moist but not water logged.
Once the seeds have sprouted, you can transplant them (if you want to) by placing them into a larger container that has soil in it.
As far as watering the Fiddle-Leaf Fig, all you have to do is allow the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to dry out before giving it a thorough watering (unless it is in a very arid location, then you can water it more frequently because this plant is very drought tolerant).
The Fiddle-Leaf Fig will grow outdoors in zones 9 and warmer (should be moved indoors in colder zones), flowers can be yellow, green, purple or even white. The Fiddle-Leaf Fig is very easy to grow and it can even clean the air for you!
Fiddle-Leaf Fig Trees Pictures
Return to List
Schefflera – Schefflera is also known as the umbrella plant because of its leaves. It’s a very easy to grow houseplant that can easily reach sizes of 10 feet tall. They look great in corners or against walls and give the room a nice bright appearance.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Malay Archipelago: the land of the orang-utan and the bird of paradise; a narrative of travel, with studies of man and nature by AR Wallace – 1962 – books.google.com
Frugivory and polygamy in birds of paradise by B Beehler – The Auk, 1983 – academic.oup.com
The land of the Orangutan and bird of paradise under threat by T Boekhout van Solinge – 2008 – dspace.library.uu.nl
Birds of paradise and mating system theory—predictions and observations by BM Beehler – Emu, 1987 – CSIRO
What is a node? by M Heads – Journal of Biogeography, 2004 – Wiley Online Library
What is traditionell ecological knowledge? by E Hunn – 1993 – faculty.washington.edu
Display dispersion and diet of birds of paradise: a comparison of nine species by E Mayr – 2001 – Basic books