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When To Repot Bird of Paradise (And Here’s How to Do It)

Big, bold, and brassy, Bird of Paradise needs regular repotting to keep those magnificent leaves and stunning flowers in full bloom! The question is, how often do you need to spruce up these tropical wonders?

Bird of Paradise plants thrives when they are mildly rooted bound. Therefore, repotting every two to three years is the recommended interval for young plants and a mature bird of paradise every year. The plant in smaller pots is more likely to produce flowers, while larger pots are more likely to have foliage.

When Should I Transplant My Bird of Paradise?

Once every two to three years, a mature Bird of Paradise requires a new pot and growing medium, this provides the plants with the nutrients to produce stunning blue-green leaves.

Repotting is more necessary for young plants because it develops robust root systems. However, once a year is ideal for specimens that have yet to reach their full height potential.

Consider more frequent repotting if your leaves are less than two or three feet tall. It will give the Bird a chance to build a solid foundation before it bursts into a display of spectacular foliage.

If you want to grow the bizarre and fascinating flowers of the Bird of Paradise indoors, you need to keep them in a small pot with good drainage.

This is because they prefer to grow roots and leaves rather than flowers until they are root-bound, at which point they are likely to flower.

It would be best to allow the Bird of Paradise to become so root bound that its roots can be seen on the soil’s surface to produce flowers.

Repotting every three years – or even longer! – is recommended for growers who are willing to take on that challenge.

How to Repot A Bird of Paradise

Step 1: Water the plant

Begin by soaking your Bird of Paradise. This method makes it easier to remove from the pot and avoid transplant shock.

Step 2: Select a larger container

It would be best if you aimed for a pot at least two inches wider across the top than the previous one. The ideal size for a larger plant is between three and four inches.

It is also critical to ensure proper drainage. Ensure your new container has at least three drainage holes, preferably more.

Step 3: Prepare a work area

Gather your new growing medium, a new pot, and plenty of water. Clean shears and a small trowel come in handy if the plant gets stuck in its old pot during the transplanting procedure.

Use a tarpaulin or newspaper to cover the floor if you’re working indoors to prevent spills.

Step 4: Add New Potting Mix to The New Container

Put a few inches of potting mix in the new container to make moving the plant easier.

Step 5: Remove the Plant from The Current Container

Remove the Bird of Paradise from its container by gently tapping it. Any roots sticking out of drainage holes may necessitate a gentle nudge.

Step 6: Loosen the Plant’s Roots to Remove Old Potting Soil

It’s essential to remove the plant’s roots from the old, worn-out growing medium. To avoid damaging the roots of smaller plants, I prefer to rinse them thoroughly with clean water.

You can also use a trowel to loosen the root mass or give it a gentle massage.

Step 7: Add the Plant to The New Container

Place your plant with care in its new location. Fill in the root mass and any gaps you’ve created in the growing medium around the pot’s edges.

Step 8: Water the Plant

Water the newly transplanted Bird of Paradise thoroughly. You may need to add more growing medium to keep the plant upright and stable as the medium settles.

Reduce Repotting Shock

Repotting shock occurs when root trauma causes a drooping, unhealthy-looking plant after repotting.

No matter how careful you are, repotting always results in damaged roots. Inherently perceptive, roots pick up on subtle cues from their surroundings.

As a result, a Bird of Paradise or another large plant in a tight pot can quickly be snapped or bruised when freed from its container.

Keep an eye out for wilting or drooping leaves that indicate dehydration. They may also lose their color, dry out at the tips, or develop splits.

In most cases, the Bird of Paradise will return to total health once the root system has recovered. However, it is preferable to avoid it altogether, or at the very least, to reduce the shock to a manageable level.

Know When to Transplant

Repotting a Bird of Paradise is best done during the spring and summer. You can expect a much quicker recovery time for the plant because it’s in its growing season now.

It also provides the Bird with an entire reserve of fresh nutrients when it needs it most.

On the other hand, repotting during the winter, when the Bird is mainly dormant, increases the risk of infection to the roots. Fungi and bacteria thrive on the nutrients, causing dangerous conditions in the soil.

Try Not to Disturb Roots

Remember to be gentle with the roots when you repot them. Even when they are small, the Bird of Paradise has vigorous rhizomes and thick, juicy structures, but this does not mean that they will not be damaged if handled roughly.

Take As Many Roots as Possible

When the Bird of Paradise does not have strong roots, it cannot obtain nutrients and water from the soil. It’ll also become loose in its new pot, making it unstable and prone to slumping over.

Even if the plant appears to have plenty of roots to spare, you should avoid removing them if at all possible.

By preserving as much of the Bird’s root system as possible, the new pot provides it with the best opportunity to thrive.

Remove The Dead Parts of The Plant

It is an excellent time to remove dead leaves and old flower heads from the plants during repotting. Their decay is minimized by removing them from the Bird of Paradise and clipping them to the base.

In addition to being unsightly, the decaying matter so close to your plant’s organs creates an ideal environment for disease.

Do Not Transplant During Dormant Period

Repotting your Bird of Paradise should only be done when it’s in its growth phase. Dormant plants are more susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases when repotted during the winter months because their roots are already damaged.

Root-bound Bird of Paradise plants is fine to leave until the season is correct, as long as they’re healthy.

After Removing the Roots, Trim Some Leaves

After removing any dead or dying roots and repotting the plant because of rotted roots or other root system damage, it’s a good idea to prune back some of the leaves.

The large, glossy leaves will eventually succumb to disease and die without solid roots. However, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that the entire plant will go down with them.

Remove the older, outer leaves first, working your way inward from the outside in. In addition, remove all of the leaves that appear unhealthy or damaged.

Apply A Root Growth Promoter

Many people swear by the benefits of applying root growth promoter to the Bird before moving it to a new pot, though it is an optional extra.

As a synthetic hormone, it promotes the growth of new roots and aids in the restoration of damaged ones.

More extensive and older birds can go without, but it’s a worthwhile addition for smaller plants. (Check out the prices on Amazon here)

Water Thoroughly After Transplanting

The key to ensuring the newly potted Bird of Paradise makes it intact is managing its water through the process. First, give it a good soak immediately after repotting, then allow the medium to dry out.

The first deep watering will provide the Bird with what it needs to recover from the shock of having its roots handled. But after that, the plant’s most significant risk is root rot.

Those delicate, damaged fibers must be allowed to recover. They need to breathe and allow them to dry also prevents opportunistic bacteria and fungi from moving in through those cuts and tears.

Does the Bird of Paradise Like to be Root Bound?

In contrast to many other houseplants, the Bird of Paradise benefits greatly from being allowed to be root-bound.

Even though the plant’s upper half tends to be slow to produce new leaves, its roots grow quickly and quickly fill out their pot. Afterward, the Bird devotes itself to creating new foliage.

Even more so, if you want your Bird of Paradise to bloom before repotting, some experts recommend allowing the roots to become visible above the surface of the soil. If you have larger plants in larger pots, you may want to wait a little longer between waterings.

Should I water a Bird of Paradise after Repotting?

When repotting the Bird of Paradise, please give it a deep watering, then let it dry out before rehydrating. This step will provide the roots with the best chance of regaining their strength.

Generally, a week or two between repotting and the next watering is sufficient for general routine repotting. However, if you potted in the spring or summer, that should be enough time for the roots to recover.

Do not repot during the fall or winter months if you have had to do so because of root rot or other physical damage or disease.

Check the soil for water before repotting to ensure there isn’t any stagnation. To get a sense of what’s going on, poke your finger into the new medium and explore.

Don’t water your plants if the weather is sweltering and damp. Instead, lightly moisten anything that seems too dry.

These tips should help your newly potted Bird of Paradise recover quickly and vigorously, with new leaves ready before you know it.