Q: We purchased a bird of paradise plant early last year and planted it in a large container. The plant looks VERY healthy, however it didn’t bloom last year and doesn’t look like it will this year. What could be the problem?
A: The problem is the size of the container. Like many other tropical plants, bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) needs to have crowded roots before it decides to bloom. Unless it is getting crowded in the pot you have it in now, move it to a smaller pot and see what happens next year.
Bird of paradise needs very light shade when growing outdoors. A few hours of direct sunshine in the morning is even better. Fertilize every three weeks with one of the high-phosphorus blooming plant foods during the growing season. You’ll have to move it indoors each winter, of course.