Strelitzia Species, Bird of Paradise, Crane Flower

Strelitzia reginae

Family: Strelitziaceae
Genus: Strelitzia (stre-LITZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: reginae (ree-JIN-ay-ee) (Info)
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:



36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Dark Blue

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Surprise, Arizona

Yuma, Arizona

Anaheim, California

Ashland, California

Canoga Park, California

Chowchilla, California

Clovis, California

Delano, California

Desert Hot Springs, California(2 reports)

El Cerrito, California

Elk Grove, California

Folsom, California

Fresno, California(2 reports)

Garden Grove, California

Hemet, California

Lakewood, California

Livingston, California

Los Angeles, California

Merced, California

Modesto, California

Oak View, California

Rancho Mirage, California

Reseda, California

San Diego, California(2 reports)

San Jose, California

Santa Barbara, California(3 reports)

Spring Valley, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Torrance, California(3 reports)

Upland, California

Vincent, California

Walnut Creek, California

Whittier, California

Woodcrest, California

Bartow, Florida

Beverly Hills, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Bokeelia, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Hernando, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Holmes Beach, Florida

Inverness, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida(2 reports)

Keystone Heights, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida(2 reports)

Lakeland, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Longwood, Florida

Maitland, Florida

Marathon, Florida

Naples, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida(2 reports)

Okeechobee, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Orlando, Florida(2 reports)

Palm Coast, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Port Orange, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Saint Cloud, Florida

Sanford, Florida

Spring Hill, Florida

Tampa, Florida(2 reports)

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Augusta, Georgia

Dalton, Georgia

Honomu, Hawaii

Wahiawa, Hawaii

Villers-lès-Nancy, Lorraine

Baton Rouge, Louisiana(2 reports)

Bordelonville, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana(3 reports)

Slidell, Louisiana

Thibodaux, Louisiana

Vacherie, Louisiana

Leakesville, Mississippi

Las Vegas, Nevada(2 reports)

Alden, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio

Brookings, Oregon

Harbor, Oregon

Bluffton, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

New Ellenton, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Hendersonville, Tennessee

Westmoreland, Tennessee

Alvin, Texas

Austin, Texas(3 reports)

Baytown, Texas

Brazoria, Texas

Broaddus, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

Bryan, Texas

Cibolo, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas(3 reports)

Dallas, Texas

Decatur, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Houston, Texas(3 reports)

Katy, Texas

La Porte, Texas

La Vernia, Texas

Mcallen, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Port Arthur, Texas

Portland, Texas

Robstown, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

Santa Fe, Texas(2 reports)

Spring, Texas

Onalaska, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 7, 2021, clinenotklein from Bluffton, SC wrote:

In the coastal Southeast these used to only be seen growing large between freezes in strong microclimates, but now if you go to places like Hilton Head Island you'll see them in yards everywhere eclipsing the height of people's fences. Planted a large pot grown division in 2016 inland from Hilton Head and now the plant is close to 10' and has bloomed the first time this year. Only light protection is needed to prevent total defoliation in borderline 8b/9a areas with trunk insulation necessary below 20F, and no protection is likely needed near the ocean where solid 9a and potentially 9b microclimates are the norm. Fertile soil and/or fertilizer and consistent moisture is a good idea in general north of Florida to boost hardiness and spring recovery time.


On Jan 5, 2021, UtahTropics12 from Salt Lake City, UT (Zone 7b) wrote:

The furthest north ive seen this plant grown outside 100% successfully in the U.S. is Brookings/ Harbor, Oregon. The zone in the area is 9b/10a but is very cool, wet and temperate. The summer is cool and sunny and temps are usually in the high 60s to low 70s, and the Winter is very wet, foggy and mild with lows in the 40s. Ive seen several specimens planted out all over town and have even seen some of them bloom year after year. Its hard to believe how good these beautiful exotic plants from South Africa do in this temperate, maritime southern pacific northwest climate. Even with getting 75- 80 of rain every year and pretty cool temps year round Strelizia reginae does surprisingly well. I would definitely recommend for EXTREME Southern Oregon and northern California.


On Feb 9, 2017, dale3242 from Palm Coast, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

We are located along the coast in Northern Flagler County, FL. We planted our Bird of Paradise last year. It is blooming for the second time. It is quite beautiful and has proven to be trouble free so far. Our zone is 9B, because of our proximity to the ocean.


On Sep 10, 2014, keenamateur from Porvoo,
Finland wrote:

I must be really lucky if your other comments are to be believed. Whilst in Madeira last Christmas I bought 2 packs of seeds of bird of paradise plants one usual pink and one blue. these were off the market and in small plastic bags so not commercial.
I live in Finland so potted some of these indoors just to see what would happen so far I have 6 plants >YES 6. the first 4 are of the blue variety and now have 4 leaves each. the others I am not sure as I did a mixed batch and two have just come through within the past week or so . again indoors.
I don't suppose I will ever dare to put them out in the garden given our winters but am really pleased with the success so far. No idea how long before they should flower but can wait and see. cheers thanks for listening


On Sep 22, 2013, normasloan from Buckhead Ridge, FL wrote:

Bought Bird of Paradise plant at wholesale nursery in Martin County, FL. Planted in Okeechobee, Fl about a month ago. Day three of blossom. Mulched and fertilized and watered heavily daily for first week. Then rained heavily for several days afterwards. Watered with shower on hose head setting by wedging between stalks for about 1/2 hour. My yard man suggested this, plus took us to nursery to pick out plants.


On Aug 14, 2011, juku from York Point, NS (Zone 5a) wrote:

I bought a huge plant (25 gal pot) with numerous blooms from a nursery owner last summer. At Christmas I splitted it into 4 smaller plants using a hand saw. I gave 3 away to friends as present. Currently, mine is blooming and so are everyone else's. Great plant!


On May 20, 2011, morgrok from Milwaukee, WI wrote:

morgrok here or should I say morgram here again. My bird-of-Paradise update....I said I was going to get my now 23 year-old strelitzia to bloom again. Well, it's fixin' to do it. I have a stem! Earlier I attributed my difficulties to irregular watering. Actually that has not been the problem. I guess I always knew what the problem was, not enough nutrient intake. I always passed on feeding the thing but after eight years without flowering I had to face facts. My strelitzia has come around thanks to liquid plant food. Always keep in mind that the strelitzia is a gross feeder or a nutrient hog if you like. I once again look forward to seeing that spectacular flower later as we enter the summer. After an 8 year pause some family members were hesitant to believe my strelitzia is once again go... read more


On Dec 27, 2010, geniebug from Torrance, CA wrote:

I live in Southern California. My Bird of Paradise is on the southwest corner of the house in a dry area. For years it bloomed infrequently then I started watering it once a week with everything else and it has gone crazy with the blooms now.


On May 11, 2010, Jackie5_0 from Summerville, SC wrote:

I bought a small BOP (looekd about 2 years going by pics on here) last summer from a home improvment store, they advised me I could keep it outside but cover it on cold nights. Other sites had said it was hardy in 8b, just to mulch the base. We had a VERY harsh winter, 6' of snow, lots of frosty nights and the coldest since Ive been here. I covered it up most frosts, but it didnt seem to make it. Once it warmed up I cut it back and left it in the ground incase any parts survived.
I had put a fern in the line of sight to hide the ugly dead stumps and forgot about it. I was thrilled today when I was weeding I saw a new shoot about 4" long poking out of one of the stumps!!
I plan to dig it up and pot it too keep in the sunroom over the winter. I wondering though if I'll ever ... read more


On Nov 20, 2009, eGreenGardens from Bundaberg,
Australia wrote:

I have two Strelitzia reginae plants which are about 8 years old and flower regularly. I would like to grow more using their seeds and have been checking them regularly for seed pods ... but none to be found. Does anyone have any ideas? Also, does anyone have a picture of where the seed pod in relation to the flower or can you describe where I should be finding it.

Thanks heaps!


On Nov 13, 2009, morgram from Milwaukee, WI wrote:

My strelitzia is 21 years old but has only bloomed twice probably do to irregular watering on my part but I am hopeful I can get it to bloom again. Last time I transplanted it was back in 1997 into a big white container. It is now quite rootbound. The whole thing now weighs a ton and it would take a chainsaw to remove it from it's container. I did not plant it in 3 parts potting soil, peat and sand like they tell you too just 100% percent potting soil so I've always had a lot of leaves. It's still a pretty robust 21 year old strelitzia and I'm gonna get this sucka to flower again!


On Nov 12, 2009, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a,
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

A lovely plant, world famous of course.

Mine has yet to flower but I am expecting to do so soon!

At the moment this is growing in a pot for me, I have thought about planting it out but don't have the room. It's the age old adage of keeping them dry in winter, if this is achieved they are fairly hardy and in my experience can take up to about -5C.

Here in minimum temperature zone 9a, where there is cover it is well worth trying outside, however as mine is currently small and many of my palms and plants that would be used as cover are fairly small also, I will keep it in a pot, so if a very cold spell comes about I can move it.

The only downside about this plant is that it doesn't grow too fast here, with less sunshine than the so... read more


On Mar 24, 2009, Linda_CA from Riverside, CA wrote:

My S. reginae is approximately 15 years old, and is over 5 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter. It's planted at the northwest corner of the house, and although was slow to get started, it now blooms continuously--and most of the flowers are doubles. It continues to flourish with minimum care...despite the Santa Ana winds that plague Southern California. It has survived winds of 70 mph. I have shared many offshoots with friends and family. One of my favorite plants.


On Oct 17, 2008, Upir from Jupiter, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I found this plant tossed outside for the garbage man at the mall where I used to work in NJ; I brought it home, where for 2 months it did nothing but sit there looking rotten. Now, I've moved to FL, where I promptly put the big guy out on my balcony. What a difference! In the space of 3 months it's already grown 3 HUGE new leaves, and looks like it's working on a 4th (or maybe a whole new stalk?)... I can't wait to see if I can get it healthy enough to bloom! Surprised how willingly it was brought back to life - hardier than I thought, I guess!


On Oct 8, 2008, agentdonny007 from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 8b) wrote:

Beautiful plant! Adds tropical look to north/east exposure. Leaves burn too much with afternoon sun due to high light intensities in desert. May need protection on frosty nights but well worth the appeal:) I have grown this plant with little protection but it was near the wall of my house.


On Aug 21, 2008, AarronIkarus from Onalaska, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Our greenhouse has two of these: one in the back (which gets more shade), and the other in the front (which gives it more sunlight). The one in the back has bloomed twice this summer. The one in the front has never bloomed to my knowledge.


On Oct 12, 2007, orchid_time from Lakeville, MN wrote:

I grow my S. reginae in a pot in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. I grew it from seed back in late 1980s. It first set buds in an 8" pot after becomming root bound and left out on the patio till near frost conditions, was brought in-doors for the winter and bloomed all winter long. I eventually transplanted it up to a 16 to 18" pot, and the thing weight a ton to move, but would have over 30 blooms in a season. I divided it and down-sized the pot to a 12-14" pot, and now its movable again and still has lots of blooms.


On May 20, 2007, eliasastro from Athens,
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

Very showy plant with really tropical appearance.
It can tolerate our cool winters (avg. 50 F), cool winds, and even light frosts!
In the last great snowfall of Athens in February 2004 (min. temp. 23F/-5C, the lowest since many decades) the unprotected plants died down and grew again in spring.
Hand pollination is necesarry in my area and it was done succesfully in early spring, despite the lack of warm temperatures.


On Jan 11, 2007, hesi from Auckland,
New Zealand wrote:

Hi, I have grown Strelitzia reginae and also the juncea and parvifolia for about the last 5 years in 60litre bags. All plants are grown by propagating divisions from large excavated clumps.
Success rate is about 95%, and most plants flower within 9 months.
I am currently producing seed off the plants, which has been successfully germinated(90% rate). The main requirement being bottom heat(25 C plus)
The main requirement for Strelitzia is sunlight. Too much shade gives lanky plants that flower less. Also they are frost intolerant but will generally handle any temperatures above that.
In my collection of about 2,500 plants, I have several white reginae, whereby the blue/purple petal is actually a pure white.
Has anyone come across this before, I have up... read more


On Jul 18, 2006, phoenixtropical from Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The tropical bird of paradise grows great in Phoenix Arizona, especially on the northern side of the house. It is easy to take care of but takes a long time to start blooming.


On Apr 9, 2006, scottstang from Palmdale, CA wrote:

I live in Palmdale, CA, which is in the high desert of Los Angeles County. I have seen this plant growing here in Palmdale and in the neighboring city of Lancaster. In fact I've even seen blooms in the winter here. This is interesting in that it gets down into the 20's here and we recently had light snow. Luckily here in L.A. county they can be purchased quite inexpensively. This is one of my favorite plants!


On Jul 15, 2005, fluffygrue from Manchester,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Lovely plant, this. I've not yet had flowers, but leaf growth is very glossy and green, so I'm hopeful.. This one never sees real sunlight as it's behind a thin curtain, and it's happy.

I'd suspect browning of leaves was either too much/little water or scorching from too much direct sunlight.


On May 27, 2005, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Official flower of the city of Los Angeles.

Very easy to grow here. Blooms mainly in winter and spring in hot summer areas.


On Apr 3, 2005, miltonmama from Milton, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I, like k5cents, have a strelitzia whose tips curl and turn brown. Is this normal?


On Feb 9, 2005, njreis from Tiverton, RI wrote:

I have had my Bird of Paradise for 10 years now. Its in a big 14" pot. in the winter it's inside in front of a south facing window. It usualy folowers just after Christmas. In the summer it goes back out side on the deck in semi shade/sun. I usually cut the growth back every fall when I bring it inside so I can share the living room with it. I like it but it is a little to big! I would like to replace it with a dwarf form that I have read about. I have seen seeds for the dwarf form, but I don't want to have to wait 5 years for it to bloom again! Anyone know of a domestic supplier of the dwarf form?


On Aug 27, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra,
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

A great plant with exotic flowers and large leaves. Drought tolerant once established. It can survive tempuratures to -8 in a sheltered position. That means under a pergola or patio roof in a pot. Mine did anyway andf it was quite young. Does well in semishade. Good for seaside gardens as the leathery leaves withstand the salt breeze. It is a interesting plant. pokerboy.


On Jun 10, 2004, greyyhawkk from Seattle, WA wrote:

Palmbob -- where would one order the rare yellow-leafed variety?


On Apr 6, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Although Bird of Paradise has in Rio de Janeiro the perfect conditions to grow, people seem to avoid it. I dont know why. Its a beautiful plant, with great flowers, and doesnt demand more care than the regular plants.


On Nov 18, 2003, K5CENTS wrote:

I'm wondering why the leaves on my Bird of Paradise turn brown on the tips and curl. When they emerge, they are a beautiful light green. The plant was a gift from a friend, and is becoming quite large, growing in a south-facing window where it receives indirect/filtered light.


On Nov 18, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

This plant grows everywhere in St. Petersburg, Florida, zone 9b. It is used a lot in commercial landscaping, as well as residential yards. In recent years the Tampa Bay Area has become a "heat island," due to all of the development and concrete, and with less than the usual rainfall, but these plants still do very well there despite the often drought conditions and water restrictions.


On Nov 17, 2003, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

My sister bought 4 seeds home from Hawaii, this year. I put mine in a pot and then forgot it. After I bought most of the plants back inside for the winter I noticed sprouts in the pot. They are still small but are very noticeable. one is just above the pot, am anxious to see the results.


On Jan 6, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

In Southern California, where this plant is grown all over, both in public and private gardens, as well as along streets and businesses, it is a very hardy plant. It does exceptionally well even in most of zone 9. It is also fairly drought tolerant, though also difficult to overwater. It is one of the easiest plants to move and divide, having short, very fleshy rhizomous roots that, though very brittle, recover easily and quickly.

There are several varieties of this plant, both in size of leaf, color of leaf (some blue-green) and particularly in the flower. A few varieties have double flowers, some have flowers with an exceptional amount of red or vermillion at their base, and there is a rare yellow-leaf variety (collector's item).

When the flower dies, t... read more


On Sep 9, 2002, Baa wrote:

A large, evergreen, frost tender perennial from South Africa.

Has large, lance shaped, greyish-blue green, thick leaves borne on long stalks. Bears large, orange, green and purple half canoe shaped spathes with bright orange/yellow calyx and blue corollas.

Flowers mainly between December - May but I've seen it in flower throughout the year.

Likes a deep, fertile, well drained soil in sun or partial shade and dislikes too much sun during the hottest part of the day.

I've seen this grown outside all year in Southern England with a heavy mulch. Needs frost protection.

Sow seed at 65-70F, germination may be erratic. Expect to wait at least 3-4 years for the first flowers.


On Sep 4, 2002, Evert from Helsinki,
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

Pretty plant with big leaves and exotic flowers. Often used in flower arrangements. Easy to grow from seeds.