Strelitzia nicolai

Giant Bird of Paradise

(14 customer reviews)


An iconic plant with a striking architectural form, Strelitzia nicolai, or the ‘Giant Bird of Paradise’, is a banana-like evergreen perennial that is perfect as a statement plant for sunny interiors.

Strelitzia nicolai differs from Strelitzia reginae in its larger size, and its magnificent flowers which appear in gorgeous white and blue tones.


*(parcel orders over £60.00 and pallet deliveries over £350.00)

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Origin: E. Zimbabwe to E. Botswana
Genus: Strelitzia
Species / Cultivar: nicolai
Common Name: Giant Bird of Paradise
Synonym: Strelitzia quensonii

Plant Biography

Strelitzia reginae and Strelitzia nicolai are both indigenous to South Africa. There they are pollinated by birds, and it’s their stunning floral morphology that they’re beloved for that is also crucial to their survival.

The colour of the flower attracts birds looking for nectar, whilst the shape of the flower makes sure they can only reach it from a particular spot – the fused blue petals. When sunbirds perch upon it to drink the nectar the petals open, covering their feet with pollen which the bird will take with it to the next plant.

Strelitzia nicolai
Light: Direct
This plant likes as much sun as possible. Best placed in direct sunlight in a bright window.
Soil: Indoor Potting Mix
Enjoys moist well drained soil with composted organics and some drainage material.
Temperature: >8°C
Temperature range at which this plant is healthiest and grows best.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Final Size: Tall
Final size will work as a large stand-alone specimen plant.
Water Requirement: Light Watering
Water when several cm of soil depth is dry to the touch. Water must draining easily away.
Humidity: Medium
Easygoing in regular home conditions, keep away from cold draughts and heat sources.
Maintenance: Low
Requires no attention beyond correct position and watering. An ideal starter plant!

Expert Tip

The massive leaves of the Strelitzia nicolai are notorious for splitting, due to their massive size. This behaviour is meant to protect the plant in the wild when growing in windier places. Splitting of the leaves is a natural phenomenon and does not affect in any way the health of the plant.
The Bird of Paradise Flower

The Bird of Paradise Flower

Strelitzia nicolai is difficult, though not impossible, to bloom indoors in the UK climate. Strelizia reginae, the smaller Bird of Paradise plant with orange flowers is easier, though still not easy.

Strelitzias need to reach maturity before they can flower, which takes several years if grown from seed (often 6-8 years). If you’re hoping for it to flower soon, we recommend buying the most mature plant you can afford.

Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Giant Birds of Paradise are a brilliant choice for bright rooms, as they require a large amount of bright, indirect sunlight and warmth. That said, too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, and they prefer cooler temperatures at night.

In their native environment they can grow 6 metres tall, but grown indoors in the UK their ultimate height is usually about 3 metres, whilst their leaves can eventually grow to reach an enormous 2 metres on mature plants

To prevent yours from growing so tall, they can stay root bound happily in the same size pot for many years.

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14 customer reviews for Strelitzia nicolai

I have bought from the Palm Centre previously and been impressed with the quality,size and professional packaging of their plants. The strelitzia nicolai was no exception. These plants are notorious for the leaves splitting if you breathe on them too heavily, but due to expert packing it arrived with leaves in excellent condition. I would definitely by from them again.


Ordered a strelitzia nicolai online. Customer service has been excellent, very fast at replying. Theyve sent me a pic of the plant I was going to get before I ordered and they managed to schedule a delivery for next day. I would order from them again!

Paul T

Delivery had to be delayed because of frost (understandable) but after it had past the delivery was very prompt. The plant was very well packaged and came in excellent condition. My only complaint is the plant was too big for the pot and the roots had come through the bottom so much the plastic pot had to be cut off to allow for repotting (hence 4 not 5 stars). Overall though an excellent seller that I would highly recommend.

Ismaeel Ramzan

A very healthy plant despite arriving in flimsy packing. But that’s a first as prev orders packing much better .
Not the size I was expecting. This measures 70 cm inc pot not 90-110 cm as described

Belinda G. (verified owner)