Strelitzia reginae

bird of paradise
Clumping with many upright leaves, this is the iconic bird of paradise. Get a tropical look with little water. Long-lasting cut flowers. Fall through spring bloom.
Strelitzia reginaeStrelitzia reginaeStrelitzia reginae
height 3–5ft
width 3–6ft
tolerates Coast, Cool Summers, Drought, Pots, Neglect, Salt, Wind
While the bird of paradise looks lush and tropical, don’t underestimate its durability. When you repot your bird of paradise you’ll see many succulent taproots; these make this plant incredibly drought tolerant. Once established, this plant easily grows with no additional water (in coastal California); we often see them in abandoned lots, surviving. However, they do look quite stressed and to be lush the’ll want deep regular watering to establish for several years, especially during dry months. Moving forward they prefer be watered when partially dry. Look for cupped leaves and a dull plant as a signs of underwatering. This will probably land in the one to three week watering cycle.
exposure Full Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Planting Mix, In Pots: Potting Soil, Tolerates Heavy Soil, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin E South Africa
9, 13–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Thin out the older leaves as they turn brown. Dead head spent flowers at the base of their long stalks.
Mature plants can be divided, though this is a laborious task done with a long saws all blade. Some say that bigger clumps bloom with more flowers as well.
Tolerates wind much better than the giant bird of paradise.
The plant will open up more, with longer leaves and fewer larger flowers if grown in a shady position.
If grown in cool marine influence zones this plant should be considered a Full Sun - Part Sun plant.

Special Interest

The common name of this plant refers to its flower resembling a crested tropical bird. Coincidentally, the plant is also pollinated by sunbirds its native range. Occasionally you’ll see the flowers drip nectar, which attracts these birds.