Encyclopedia of Houseplants

How to Care for Birds of Paradise so They Thrive Indoors

updated May 26, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Birds of paradise are large, relatively easy to grow plants that lend a bold tropical flair to any indoor space. With proper care, a bird of paradise can grow to over six feet tall, even indoors. Its broad, arching leaves make a dramatic, graceful statement in your home. Here’s how to care for birds of paradise to keep them at their best.

(Image credit: Minette Hand)

Light and Soil

Since birds of paradise are tropical plants, it’s no surprise that they enjoy bright sunlight. Place your indoor bird of paradise in a spot where it will get the most light. The only exception is if it’s very hot, such as in a sun room; in that case, bright, indirect light is best. If your plant’s leaves are yellowing, try increasing the amount of light exposure.

Birds of paradise prefer rich, well-draining soil that still retains some moisture.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


Birds of paradise do best with a regular watering schedule. Keep the soil moist in spring and summer, during the growing season, but allow the soil to dry between waterings in the dormant fall and winter months.

Water that has a high salt content could burn the leaves. If this is the case with your water, consider using rain water, when possible, or distilled water to water your bird of paradise. Birds of paradise do well in typical household humidity, but they may benefit from intermittent misting during dryer winter months.

(Image credit: Morgan Schemel)


During the spring and summer, fertilize your bird of paradise with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted to half its recommended strength. Never fertilize your bird of paradise in the fall and winter; excess plant food can also cause leaf tip burn.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

Insects and Pests

Birds of paradise are susceptible to scale, mealy bugs, and spider mites, but these pests are easy to spot and address. Simply wipe the leaves with a soft cloth or warm, soapy water. Avoid alcohol and spray pesticides as they can harm the finish on the leaves.

(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

Birds of Paradise Flowers

Unlike birds of paradise grown outdoors, don’t expect your indoor bird of paradise to bloom.