Bird of paradise is the interior designer’s favorite houseplant. Because of its long stem and large leaves. But can bird of paradise grow in low light conditions!
In this article, I will answer this question in detail. Plus I will tell you how to know if your plant suffering from an inadequate amount of sunlight.
And most importantly what you should do about it. Also, we will discuss whether bird of paradise can take direct sunlight or not.
But before diving deep into the details I will put the answer for our main question as simple as this: can bird of paradise grow in low light? Bird of paradise will not grow well in low light conditions. It grows best in a location that gets six hours of direct sunlight during the day. Although it can survive in bright indirect sunlight.
Keep reading to know why bird of paradise needs sunlight. And the different signs that show your plant is suffering because of low light.
Why bird of paradise needs sunlight
Bird of paradise needs sunlight in order to perform photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process of turning water and carbon dioxide into a plant’s food (sugar).
This process requires energy. Therefore the energy needed for the food production process came from the sunlight. So bird of paradise will die in complete darkness as it will be hungry.
How much sunlight bird of paradise needs
The secret to successful gardening is knowing and understanding how plants live in their natural habitat. Then trying to mimic their original environment in your place as much as you can.
Bird of paradise is native to the rainforests. In the rainforest, birds of paradise grow fast until it reaches 20 feet.
Such a height allows it to reach direct sunlight. This is the type of light that bird of paradise spent thousands of years evolving to adapt to. And your bird of paradise is no exception.
If you live in a location that its temperature doesn’t fall below 60 F during winter you can plant your bird of paradise in the ground in a location that gets full direct sunlight.
Otherwise, you may need to plant your outdoor bird of paradise in a pot in order to move it indoors during the winter.
On the other hand, If you want to have the tropical heaven indoor by growing bird of paradise make sure to locate it in a place that gets direct sunlight during the day.
A spot that facing a south-facing window is ideal for your bird of paradise in terms of lighting.
If you don’t have access to an indoor place that gets direct sunlight at least put in a location that receives plenty of bright indirect sunlight.
Also, rotate your bird of paradise occasionally in order for all plant parts to get an equal amount of sunlight.
Lastly, clean the plant’s leaves from time to time in order for leaves to absorb as much sunlight as they can.
I don’t have an indoor spot that receives direct sunlight nor bright indirect light
You may find your indoor place a little bit dark and you still want to enjoy the bird of paradise company. So what to do!
As I mentioned earlier bird of paradise needs sunlight in order to make its food and grow well.
So it is important that there is some kind of light. Grow light stimulates sunlight. Therefore, you can fix the problem by installing grow light. Grow light will be as effective as the brightest sunlight.
Plants That can grow in low light
I wrote different posts about certain plants that can tolerate low light conditions. You can choose the plant you like from my collection for your low light spot. Bellow are the low light plants:
Can bird of paradise take direct sunlight?
Many people asking me whether bird of paradise can take and tolerate direct or full sunlight My answer is simple, six hours of direct sunlight is ideal for bird of paradise.
Signs bird of paradise is suffering because of low light
There are signs that will appear in bird of paradise when it is exposed to low light conditions. Those signs are:
Bird of paradise is a fast grower. In its native habitat, it grows fast in 3 to 5 years to reach 20 feet. While in homes and indoor environments it grows up to six feet.
But when it is suffering from low light conditions it grows very slow. Therefore if your plant does not grow at its normal rate reassess its location and see if it is in a low light place.
Extreme leaf splitting
Bird of paradise tends to split its leaves. Such a thing is normal. But if the splitting became extreme and intense it may be suffering from not enough light.
When bird of paradise splitting its leaves it does so in order for the light to reach the lower plant’s part.
So it makes total sense that it tries as much as it can to give that part light exposure when there is low light.
Another sign that your bird of paradise is suffering from low light exposure is the leaves drop and wilting. Leaves wilting and dropping can be caused by other factors.
But if your plant became droopy and has wilted leaves and it is located in a low light location most probably the problem is due to low light.
New leaves that won’t open
If you noticed that bird of paradise’s new leaves won’t open this a sure sign that your plant doesn’t get enough light.
Move your plant to a brighter place or even a full sun location and those new leaves will open and became giant ones.
This is the most common sign when it came to not enough sunlight. If your plant’s leaves are turning brown move it to a brighter place.
Although some of those leaves may not recover, you can cut them. But you will save the healthy leaves from turning brown.
Bird of paradise will bloom in summer when it is 3 to 5 years old. If your plant reaches such an age and it doesn’t bloom well or not at all most probably it doesn’t get enough sunlight.
Give it six hours of direct sunlight and you will enjoy its magnificent flowers.
The difficulty of water absorption
When bird of paradise does not get enough sunlight it can’t perform photosynthesis effectively and efficiently.
Photosynthesis requires water. But since there no enough sunlight there is no need for that much water.
Therefore bird paradise that in a low light location will not absorb the normal amount of water. Such a thing will make the situation even worse by rotting the roots.
In this article, I hope I shared the secret of how much sunlight bird of paradise needs in order to bloom and thrive.
Also, I hope that I convinced you to let your bird of paradise away from low-light locations.
Simply locate your bird of paradise in a spot that gets six hours of direct sunlight. Or at least put it in a place that gets bright indirect sunlight. For more detailed information and a holistic perspective on caring for potted plants and mastering Container Gardening, Get my book Container Gardening: A Step-by-Step Practical Guide.