Guys — this Valentine’s Day, get your special lady a unique gift. No, not a box of local handmade chocolates. No, not a date night at that nice little wine bar down the street from her house. Definitely, positively not a gift card to the Olive Garden. Get her something that’ll last longer than a bunch of long-stem roses. Something that will remind her of you, every time she gazes at its beauty. Something that lets her know that you want to help her transform her house into a home. Something like the large, potted, .
The Bird of Paradise (scientific name: strelitzia nicolai) is an evergreen, leafy plant that is native to locales in South Africa. You might see it and think “well, that looks like a banana plant.” You’d be at least somewhat correct, too, as the Bird of Paradise is a close cousin of the banana. Your lady friend won’t get any curved yellow fruit from this plant though — only big, beautiful green leaves.
The plant gets its name from the gorgeous orange flowers it produces, which can resemble one of the avian bird of paradise species. If the plant is kept at an ideal temperature, humidity, and sun exposure, it’s possible that it can bloom indoors. This is a bit aspirational, though, as they’re more likely to bloom outdoors in their native habitat. Interestingly, the leaves of the plant have evolved to purposefully tear, aiding in the survival of being blown around by strong winds.
In the grand scheme of plant keeping, caring for a Bird of Paradise is about as simple as it gets. They require little to no maintenance. The large, glossy leaves love sun exposure and would prefer an area with either bright indirect or full sun. It’s OK if these conditions don’t always exist where the plant lives, though — BoPs are hardy and can survive just fine in most light conditions.
The BoP needs to be watered somewhat consistently — about once every 1-2 weeks, depending on sun exposure. Just enough to keep the soil moist, but not enough for it to be wet or soggy. Additionally, it’s a good idea to mist the leaves occasionally, as this creates more humidity for the plant. To maximize plant health, vigor, and photosynthesis, your partner should occasionally dust the leaves to remove any accumulated dirt and grime. With this minimum level of care, your partner’s BoP plant can grow to a maximum of about 5 feet tall with a 3-foot spread.
The Bird of Paradise you receive will be about 34 inches to 42 inches tall. The plant you give to your special lady will be mature, healthy, and ready to enjoy. It will be planted in an almost 12-inch diameter pot using premium soil. A saucer is included, so your watering of the plant won’t cause damage to furniture. All you have to do is carefully unpack everything, set the plant up, then follow the included watering + care instructions.
Plants are an easy, inexpensive way to add natural beauty to a home. Even if your partner has a so-called “black thumb,” the Bird of Paradise is a resilient plant that is simple to care for. It’ll look great in her living room, and will provide a conversation piece for years to come.
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