I have 3 bird of paradise plants in a 16" pot, and I am worried that they are getting too crowded. I water them 1-2 times per week and fertilize about every 3 months using 19-6-12 Osmocote smart-release plant food. I live in Seattle, WA, so they have been inside about October-April, and I just moved them outside.

I understand they like to be crowded, but I wonder if their current condition is too crowded. Should I divide them, or get a bigger pot? Or should I just leave them as is?

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3 Answers 3


Dividing is up to you (I'd recommend both), but at least repot them. More than anything else, they look unstable and if you took them out the container, I bet the roots are now wrapping around the edges and strangling each other.

The plants are top heaving and could tip in heavy wind.

Good Luck!

  • 1
    Yes, the plant has tipped over before, and I would love to straighten it out. Would a repot solve this? Also, what size pot should I repot them in? (it is currently in a 16" pot) Any other suggestions on how to stop the top heaving?
    – modulitos
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 0:25
  • Something at least 24" if you don't want to divide them. Using a rope or something that secures the pot against a wall, or positioning it where you have some wind breaking might help, like near a corner or a spot against the typical direction of wind, etc. Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 2:51

There looks to be lots of top area to grow in. You would repot if they dried out quickly after watering or stopped flowering. Birds of paradise rarely flower indoors, your performance may vary.

I have frequently seen this species grow indoors to 8' to 10' ( ~3 m) tall in similar size pots.

The best way to tell is to take the plant out of the pot and look at the roots at the bottom. If they are a solid mass circling around and no soil is visible at the bottom then you can take a sharp knife and cut a few inches off the bottom of the root ball. Add fresh soil to the bottom of the pot, put the plant back in: job done!


Use a ceramic pot too as that will help keep it from being all too heavy I think.mine is in a ceramic large pot that’s a really cool plant. How old is it

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