How to propagate: Bird of paradise (Strelitzia)

A Strelitzia is, next to the Musa, perhaps one of the most famous tropical plants there is. The plant can grow as large as the ceiling in a living room, and in most cases also makes small pups. This makes it easy to propagate the Strelitzia.


  • Strelitzia (Nicolai or Reginae)
  • Knife
  • Disinfectant
  • Old towel
  • Glass, vase(s) or mug with water
  • Optional: cutting powder

Propagating a Bird of Paradise in 4 steps

Step 1: Disinfect

First clean the knife you might be using.

Keep the knife under hot water and clean them well. This prevents you from unnecessarily transferring bacteria during the propagation.

Do you happen to have disinfectant or pure alcohol? Disinfect the tools after using hot water. Let's get away with those bacteria and fungi!

Step 2: Dig out the plant

Dig out the mother plant and the pup you would like to propagate. It is best to remove the entire plant from its decorative pot. To keep everything clean we suggest laying down an old towel first. Digging out the plant does not only makes it easier to remove the cuttings, it also reduces damage to the plant.

If you removed the plant from it's pot, you can also repot the mother plant immediately after the propagation. When repotting, we recommend using a pot that is at least 20% larger than the previous one. Fresh potting soil is also important.

Step 3: Seperate the Strelitzia

You divide a Strelitzia by tearing it apart. However, tearing can cause some damage. We therefore recommend using a sharp knife.

Remove the cutting from the mother plant with a knife. Do this very carefully.

In most cases, the roots are well connected. It is important to separate the roots well. The best way to do this is with lukewarm running water. This loosens the potting soil and makes it easier to separate the roots.

It is important that the cutting of the Strelitzia has roots.

Step 4: Taking care of the cutting

After this you can position the cutting in fresh potting soil. Important: do not water for the next few days. This way you give the cutting and the mother plant time to heal the wound. After about a month the roots will have strengthened and grown. So be patient!

Shop our Bird of Paradise plants

Taking care of Strelitzia cuttings

Make sure to not water the cutting the first week. You can mist the cutting, just like the mother plant, to provide higher humidity.

After the first week, once a week a little water is enough.

Place the cutting on a location with direct sunlight. The Strelitzia is a real sun worshipper!

The cutting can best be placed near a window facing south. This is where most of the sunlight comes in. A north-facing window is a bad idea for your cutting. The cutting will then get too little water, which can cause the leaves to hang and stagnate growth.

It's possible that immediately after taking the cuttings, the cutting will hang limp. This is perfectly normal! The cutting must now take care of itself. And that can be quite difficult!

As soon as the cutting stands upright again or makes a new leaf, you know the cutting has been strengthened. Usually Strelitzia cuttings create roots after 2 weeks. From these 2 weeks onwards, new leaf growth is possible.

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