The Uses and Benefits of Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise plants are some of the most dramatic and unique houseplants you can grow in your home. In this article, we’ll share 12 amazing uses and benefits of bird of paradise plants backed by leading research studies from around the world.
- About Bird of Paradise Plants
- 12 Uses and Benefits of Bird of Paradise Plants
- 1. Bird of Paradise Plants Are Impressive Ornamental Plants
- 2. Bird of Paradise Plants Can Help Purify the Air
- 3. Bird of Paradise Plants May Help Reduce Anxiety and Stress
- 4. Bird of Paradise Plants Could Improve Your Sleep
- 5. Bird of Paradise Plants May Give You a Productivity Boost
- 6. Bird of Paradise Plants Are Fairly Low-Maintenance
- 7. Bird of Paradise Plants Are Good Feng Shui Plants
- 8. Bird of Paradise Plants Make Excellent Gifts
- 9. Bird of Paradise Plants Can Tolerate Most Light Conditions
- 10. Bird of Paradise Plants May Help Alleviate Allergies and Reduce Odors
- 11. Bird of Paradise Plants Can Provide Natural Soundproofing
- 12. Bird of Paradise Plants Can Help Boost Humidity in Your Home
- Wrapping Up
About Bird of Paradise Plants
Bird of Paradise plants belongs to the Strelitzia genus, which is part of the Strelitziaceae family. There are five accepted species of bird of paradise plants, including common houseplant varieties like Strelitzia reginae.
These plants are perennial evergreens that are native to parts of South Africa. Bird of paradise plants can grow to over 30 feet tall in the wild. Even as houseplants, these tropical plants can still reach approximately 6 ½ feet tall.
These tropical perennials are famous for their colorful bracts – specialized flowers designed to attract insects. These blue, orange, yellow, or white flowers look like birds of paradise, hence the plant’s name. Bird of paradise plants also have huge glossy leaves that are similar to banana tree leaves.
12 Uses and Benefits of Bird of Paradise Plants
1. Bird of Paradise Plants Are Impressive Ornamental Plants
Bird of paradise plants are imposing specimens, reaching between 4 and 6 feet tall when grown indoors. Their colorful blue, orange, yellow, or white bracts always steal the show. Bird of paradise plants are perfect for adding height and impact to empty corners of your home.
Bird of paradise plants are rhizomatous perennials that produce their flowers on tall stalks. The large glossy oblong leaves look very similar to the leaves of banana plants. Although birds of paradise flowers are magnificent, they can take 5 or 6 years to emerge.
2. Bird of Paradise Plants Can Help Purify the Air
Ever since NASA’s Clean Air Study in 1989, we’ve known that houseplants can help purify the air in our homes. Houseplants like bird of paradise plants purify the air by absorbing harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOCs include benzene and formaldehyde and can come from things like carpets, paint, or household cleaning products.
If left circulating in the air, VOCs may contribute to allergies and irritation. Some VOCs may even be linked to cancer. Adding bird of paradise plants to your home may help you breathe easier and healthier.
3. Bird of Paradise Plants May Help Reduce Anxiety and Stress
As well as improving our physical health by purifying the air, bird of paradise plants may also improve mental health. Several studies have found that caring for houseplants can lower our stress and anxiety levels. Some experts postulate that interacting with houseplants can also reduce muscle tension and improve heart health.
A 2015 study evaluated the impact of houseplants on our mental health. Two groups of 12 young men were given two tasks; working on a computer or repotting a houseplant. The participants who repotted the houseplant felt calmer and less stressed.
4. Bird of Paradise Plants Could Improve Your Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep might be easier with a bird of paradise plant in your bedroom. Various studies have shown that by helping to relieve stress and anxiety, houseplants can help us sleep better.
A Chinese study from 2019 evaluated the effect of houseplants on the sleeping patterns of astronauts. The data showed that astronauts exhibited less stress when they could see or smell a plant. This helped regulate their central nervous systems and improved the quality of their sleep.
5. Bird of Paradise Plants May Give You a Productivity Boost
Bird of paradise plants may also increase productivity, especially in offices. A 2014 study evaluated the impact of indoor plants on productivity for office workers in the UK and the Netherlands. Participants were assessed once with plants in the room and again without the plants.
The data showed that participants were 15% more productive when the plant was present in their office. The participants also felt less stressed and more satisfied with their environment. That sounds like an excellent excuse to add a bird of paradise plant to your home office!
6. Bird of Paradise Plants Are Fairly Low-Maintenance
Bird of paradise plants may look dramatic, but they have pretty easy care requirements. Bird of paradise plants thrive when placed in bright, indirect light. These houseplants need moist soil in the summer, so water whenever the top two inches of soil feel dry.
Bird of paradise plants need well-draining soil mixes that still retain moisture. Bird of paradise plants do best in temperatures ranging from 50 to 68ºF (10 to 20ºC). These tropical plants need moderate to high humidity, so mist them regularly or use pebble trays.
7. Bird of Paradise Plants Are Good Feng Shui Plants
Bird of paradise plants can help you maximize good feng shui in your home. Like many houseplants, bird of paradise plants are associated with the wood element and represent energy and success—position bird of paradise plants in the Eastern or Southeastern areas of your home.
Due to their green, natural growth, bird of paradise plants can bring positive energy to your home. This works best when you place them in sharp corners, which usually attract negative energy.
8. Bird of Paradise Plants Make Excellent Gifts
Bird of paradise plants make wonderfully symbolic gifts for several occasions, especially when added to floral bouquets. Bird of paradise plants symbolize success, so they work well in a congratulatory bouquet.
Bird of paradise flowers come in a few striking colors, all of which can convey different meanings in bouquets. Blue flowers represent devotion and wisdom, while orange flowers symbolize emotional healing, positive thinking, and creativity. White flowers are associated with innocence, peace, and purity, making them ideal as wedding flowers.
Bird of paradise plants are also associated with faithfulness, making them a good choice for Valentine’s Day flowers. They are also traditionally used to celebrate a couple’s 9th wedding anniversary. White bird of paradise flowers are also a good choice for Mother’s Day.
9. Bird of Paradise Plants Can Tolerate Most Light Conditions
Bird of paradise plants can thrive in bright, indirect light – making them ideal for many areas of your home. Bird of paradise plants work best near east-facing or south-facing windows. Keep in mind that direct afternoon sunlight can scorch those gloriously glossy leaves. It’s best to keep your bird of paradise about 3 feet away from a window.
These tropical houseplants work exceptionally well in conservatories because they will get plenty of light and warmth. These environments will also help provide higher humidity for your bird of paradise plant.
10. Bird of Paradise Plants May Help Alleviate Allergies and Reduce Odors
Thanks to their extraordinary ability to absorb harmful VOCs from the air, bird of paradise plants can help reduce allergies. Many VOCs can exacerbate common allergies such as asthma. Common VOCs like benzene and formaldehyde also have strong, unpleasant odors that bird of paradise plants may help to reduce.
Dust or pollen blowing into the home can also be absorbed by bird of paradise plants. This may alleviate symptoms for people who suffer from hay fever. Thanks to their large leaves, bird of paradise plants can absorb more VOCs and odors than many other houseplants.
11. Bird of Paradise Plants Can Provide Natural Soundproofing
Bird of paradise plants add dramatic impact thanks to their sheer size. Some bird of paradise plants can grow between 4 and 6 feet high indoors. As well as looking great, these impressive tropical houseplants can also act as natural soundproofing by reducing ambient noise.
One Korean study found that houseplants outperformed paper-based soundproofing in numerous tests. This is because plants can absorb sound waves through their foliage and stems. Bird of paradise plants are ideal for reducing ambient noise thanks to their large oblong leaves and tall, fleshy stems.
12. Bird of Paradise Plants Can Help Boost Humidity in Your Home
Many houseplants, including bird of paradise plants, can help increase humidity levels in your home. The recommended humidity levels for our homes are between 30 and 50%. If humidity is too low, we can experience problems such as dry skin, eczema, and more severe asthma symptoms.
Because bird of paradise plants have big leaves, they can help increase humidity through transpiration. Bird of paradise plants get rid of excess water through their leaves, increasing humidity in the immediate vicinity. Whenever you mist the leaves of your bird of paradise plant, you’ll increase the humidity of your home as well.
Bird of paradise plants are some of the most impressive and popular tropical houseplants and with good reason. Despite their large size, bird of paradise plants are deceptively low-maintenance. These tropical evergreens also bring several interesting benefits to your home. Bird of paradise plants can help purify the air, reduce stress, improve sleep, and even improve your feng shui.
Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.