Best Bird of Paradise Fertilizers | How and When to Use

Given the majesty and elegance of their blooms and the structural beauty of their foliage, it seems fitting that Bird of Paradise should be heavy feeders. That said, they can be prone to the perils of over-fertilizing which can be detrimental to their health and longevity.

When it comes to caring for your Bird of Paradise and to ensure all your hard work and efforts don’t go to waste by avoiding an over-feeding disaster, I’ve compiled this guide on the best Bird of Paradise Fertilizers including what is currently available to buy and the best way to fertilize these stunning tropical plants to keep them in tip-top condition.

Best Fertilizer For Bird Of Paradise

Best Bird of Paradise Fertilizers

Best Granular Fertilizer for Bird Of Paradise

Dr. Earth Palm & Tropical Fertilizer 4-4-6

Perfect choice slow-release Bird Of Paradise fertilizer. Suitable for use throughout the growing season without the worry of over-fertilizing.

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Best Fertilizer Spikes for Bird Of Paradise

Jobes Organics All Purpose Fertilizer Spikes 4-4-4

Organic, slow-release, and mess-free fertilizing. A perfectly balanced N-P-K that’s also suitable for use as an all-purpose feed for many other outdoor plants, trees, and shrubs.

EZ-gro All Purpose Liquid Plant Food 20 20 20

Best For Large Outdoor Plants

EZ-gro All Purpose Liquid Plant Food 20 20 20

Ideal for use at the beginning of the growing season or to add an instant boost of nutrients to improve the health of your Bird of Paradise plants.

Choosing Bird of Paradise Fertilizer

I recommend using a fertilizer that contains an even distribution of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium when it comes to feeding Bird of Paradise plants. Even distribution can mean an equal balance of N-P-K such as a 20-20-20 fertilizer, or it can mean an even ratio such as a 4-4-6 fertilizer. 

Use a balanced option when you know your soil is nutrient-rich and use the other where you know nutrients are depleted. A simple soil pH test kit will uncover any deficiencies.

Granular vs Liquid 

Fertilizers are most commonly available as granules, liquid, or spikes that can either be manufactured using organic or synthetic compounds. Here’s more on how to tell them apart.

Liquid Concentrate

Liquid fertilizers can be purchased as either a ready-to-use formula that can be applied directly from the container or as a concentrated formula that will need to be diluted with water.

This method of fertilizing is the fastest way to get nutrients into the soil and circulate through your plants. As soon as you apply it, an even distribution of nutrients starts soaking into the soil, ready for roots to absorb.

Liquid feeds can also be used as foliar sprays whereby the fertilizer is sprayed directed onto the foliage for absorption through leaves and stems. 

A possible downside of using liquid concentrates is the potential to overfertilize – this means using too much or applying too often. In either case, the outcome can be root or leaf burn so always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions before using.

Granular

Granular fertilizers offer a slow-release and consistent flow of nutrients to your plants over a prolonged period ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months.

Apply by sprinkling over the soil around plants and then watering in. Adding water is an essential part of fertilizing with granules as this activates the compounds within, which are then released into the soil before being absorbed by the roots. 

Granules are administered either by hand or for larger areas, by using a spreader. The potential downside to this method of fertilizing is the measuring out and mess.

Fertilizer Spikes

Fertilizer spikes are a modern-day, mess-free, and efficient alternative to both liquid and granular fertilizers. Since spikes are pre-measured, they remove any measuring guesswork and offer a perfectly compact combination of nutrients. 

Simply push or hammer the correct number of spikes into the soil around your plants and enjoy up to 3 months of fertilizing without having to do anything more. 

Spikes can work out to be more expensive than other methods of fertilizing depending on how big your plants are. Often, you need more than one spike per plant for more mature plantings.

Bird of Paradise Fertilizer Ratio N-P-K

The NPK ratio is the three numbers, separated by dashes that feature on almost all fertilizer packaging. These three numbers indicate the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contained in that particular quantity of fertilizer. 

These important macronutrients are vital to the health of thriving plants. They support photosynthesis and cell formation which in turn leads to robust roots and stems, vibrant foliage, and plentiful blooms. 

Bird of Paradise plants prefers an even balance of these macronutrients so a 10-10-10 fertilizer or even a 5-10-10 fertilizer if you are looking to enhance flowering are ideal.

Fertilizer for Bird of Paradise Reviews

Pros

  • Contains Dr. Earth’s TruBiotic Formula
  • Does not include chicken manure, biosolids, or household waste.
  • Pet Safe

Cons

  • May exhibit strong ‘organic’ odor

I’ve selected Dr Earth Exotic Blend as my first pick for a host of reasons. First of all, it has that all-important balanced N-P-K ratio that is preferred by Bird of Paradise plants. The higher ratio of potassium protects against pests and diseases as well as extreme heat and drought.

It also contains zero synthetic or GMO ingredients. Instead, it is made up of a blend of all-natural ingredients including feather meal and fishbone meal nutrients. These are broken down by their patented TruBiotic microbes. This is a slow-release, gradual process that enriches soil over time and allows roots to absorb nutrients as and when required.

This is an ideal fertilizer if you know your Bird of Paradise are already benefitting from nutrient-rich compost and its relatively low N-P-K gives me comfort that I won’t overfertilize if I’m using it regularly to satisfy these heavy feeders.

With Dr Earth, you can be assured there won’t be a heavy chemical smell, although I can’t promise you won’t get the occasional whiff of a slightly ‘organic’ odor!

How to Use

For new plantings, sprinkle 2 tablespoons into the planting hole and water well. For established plants sprinkle 2 tablespoons over the soil around your Bird of Paradise. Dig in and water generously. Repeat every two months throughout the growing season.

Pros

  • Balanced N-P-K and suitable for variety of other plants
  • Mess-Free solution to slow-release fertilizing
  • No strong odor

Cons

  • Could cause fertilizer burn or damage if left in contact with roots

If you are looking for convenience, try these organic, slow-release fertilizer spikes from Jobes. They offer an even balance of macronutrients to ensure both the foliage of your Bird of Paradise is lush and green and flowers are vibrant and long-lasting. Whatsmore, the 4-4-4 N-P-K means there’s less worry of harmful overfertilizing that can lead to yellowing of leaves and failed blooms.

Ideal for indoor as well as outdoor use as these mess-free spikes – unlike many organic fertilizers – are practically odorless.

Gardeners that are familiar with Jobes’ products will know all about their patented Biozome formula. This is where the microorganism ‘archaea’ helps to break down the nutrient compounds into the soil faster and over a sustained period of up to 3 months.

How to Use: Use four spikes per 8″ diameter of the plant. Simply push spikes into the ground around the plant’s base. I recommend watering the soil around your plants before inserting these spikes to avoid breakage or damage to roots.

Pros

  • Organic capsules, suitable for tropical flowering plants including Bird of Paradise and Hibiscus
  • No strong odor

Cons

  • Can prove to be more expensive when compared to tother fertilizer options

I like what Earth Pods bring to the organic fertilizing market. These little capsules contain organic macro and micronutrients that ensure vivid color and first-rate blooms. They are not only great for Bird of Paradise, they are also recommended for other tropicals and can be used as a Hibiscus fertilizer.

With no measuring and no smell, you just pop the recommended number of slow-release capsules into the soil around your plants. Vigorous root growth, leafy foliage, and beautiful blooms will shortly follow. What could be easier?. 

How To Use: Insert the recommended number of capsules directly into the soil near the base of the plant, then water normally. Repeat every 14 days for best results.

Pros

  • High dose 20-20-20 N-P-K can help ailing plants
  • Can be used as a multi-purpose fertilizer for many indoor and outdoor plants
  • Fast acting for almost immediate results 

Cons

  • Works out more expensive than other fertilizers

This fertilizer from EZ-gro is a liquid concentrate that delivers a high dose, yet balanced N-P-K directly to a plant’s roots. 

It promises luscious green foliage, a bounty of bigger blooms, plus strong, robust stems and roots and can be used as multipurpose fertilizer for outdoor vegetables, plants, trees, shrubs as well as indoor plants. 

I prefer to use this on the occasions when I feel my Bird of Paradise needs a helping hand rather than as my regular-use fertilizer. The 20-20-20 N-P-K ratio is powerful stuff, and if used too frequently – as is recommended with liquid feeds – can cause leaf and root scorching and fertilizer build-up.   

This feed needs diluting with water, but even so, it can work out to be expensive if used regularly. 

To make EZ-gro more cost-effective and to also avoid over-fertilizing your plants, I recommend watering between feeds and diluting to half strength. This will flush out any build-up that might accumulate in the soil as well as make this liquid feed go further.

How to Use

Add 7oz of concentrate per gallon of water (or 14oz per gallon if using at half strength) and mix well to evenly distribute. Water directly over the soil around plants, avoiding contact with leaves and stems. Reapply every 10 to 14 days. 

Remember to water between feeds to avoid fertilizer build-up.

How to Fertilize Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise are heavy feeders but only benefit from fertilizing during their active growing season in spring and summer. They need an evenly balanced N-P-K ratio or if planted in poorer soil conditions, consider a 20-20-20 or a 13-13-13 fertilizer to enhance nutrients.

Granules, powder, and spikes offer a slow-release feeding option and should be scattered around the base of the plant avoiding stems and foliage. Water in well once applied to activate.

Slow-release fertilizers can also be applied at the time of planting. For outdoor planting scatter the granules or powder into the planting hole or scatter into the soil when filling a pot or container with soil when growing indoors.

Liquid fertilizers are equally as effective but will need to be applied more frequently to compensate for their fast-acting nature and the likelihood of run-off. Dilute with water before watering around the base of the plant, being careful to avoid leaves and stems. 

How often to Fertilize Bird of Paradise

How often you fertilize Bird of Paradise depends on where they grow. 

The soil in the ground tends to retain water and nutrients better than soil in pots and containers.  will require more regular feeding and watering. 

If you’re using a liquid feed or water-soluble fertilizer, I recommend feeding twice monthly for Bird of Paradise grown in garden beds and roughly every 7 to 10 days for potted plants. 

If your preference is a slow-release option, then applying every 2 to 3 months should be sufficient. Start in late spring and apply again after the first round of blooms. 

When to Fertilize Bird of Paradise 

Bird of Paradise only needs feeding during the active growing season. 

Start feeding in late spring when new growth appears and continue until the end of summer or beginning of fall depending on your climate.

Bird of Paradise Fertilizer Burn

Bird of Paradise can be prone to fertilizer burn or scorching. This is where fertilizer compounds damage the cell structure of the plant causing irreparable damage.  

Symptoms of Bird Of Paradise fertilizer burn include yellowing of leaves or stems or brown spots or patches on foliage that can lead to the tips of leaves dying back. Plants become generally weakened which makes them more susceptible to pests and disease.

Whenever using fertilizer on Bird of Paradise, be sure to avoid spilling or scattering product directly onto stems, foliage, and flowers. 

Feeding Bird of Paradise Final Thoughts

Feeding requirements and nutrition needs for Bird of Paradise aren’t particularly complicated. The important thing to remember is that they need a balanced feed during their active growing season only. 

Provided the N-P-K is even in relation to and you avoid over-fertilizing whilst still satisfying these heavy-feeders, the application method is down to personal preference. 

Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Palm & Tropical Fertilizer 4-4-6

Best Granular Fertilizer for Bird Of Paradise

Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Palm & Tropical Fertilizer 4-4-6

Perfect choice slow-release Bird Of Paradise fertilizer. Suitable for use throughout the growing season without the worry of over-fertilizing.

My top choice organic fertilizer for Bird of Paradise is Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Palm & Tropical Fertilizer 4-4-6. The gently balanced N-P-K in this slow-release fertilizer means I can be sure my plants receive continuous nutrients over a sustained period without being over-fertilized. 

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Best Fertilizer Spikes for Bird Of Paradise

Jobes Organics All Purpose Fertilizer Spikes 4-4-4

Organic, slow-release, and mess-free fertilizing. A perfectly balanced N-P-K that’s also suitable for use as an all-purpose feed for many other outdoor plants, trees, and shrubs.

If convenience is your top consideration, then I recommend Jobes Organics All Purpose Fertilizer Spikes. This easy-to-use, slow-release fertilizer is great for providing an even balance of nutrients directly to the soil, right where the roots of your plants need it.

EZ-gro All Purpose Liquid Plant Food 20 20 20

Best For Large Outdoor Plants

EZ-gro All Purpose Liquid Plant Food 20 20 20

Ideal for use at the beginning of the growing season or to add an instant boost of nutrients to improve the health of your Bird of Paradise plants.

For Bird of Paradise that needs a helping hand to bloom or to encourage growth at the start of the growing season, I recommend EZ-gro All Purpose Liquid Plant Food 20 20 20. The high dose N-P-K in this liquid fertilizer is a sure-fire way to add nutrients fast.

FAQ’s Best Bird of Paradise Fertilizers