Bird of Paradise

This is the first year I have really tried my hand at gardening. I live in Florida. I recently bought a Bird of Paradise at Walmart. It is still in it's 3gal. pot. Any hints at how to care for this plant. It doesn't have any flowers yet but I have placed it on a patio with a lot of sunlight. I don't know anything about how much water or fertilizer if any i need to feed it to keep it growing and someday produce flowers. Help
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One thing I've learnt from growing Birds of Paradise in Melbourne, Australia (which has a slightly cooler climate than Florida) is that they don't mind being in direct sunlight or too much heat (we get over 100 degrees over summer though). I dug up a huge plant that was in partial shade on the site of our new home and replanted it into 3 pots in full sunlight in our small towhnouse garden for the duration of the 18 months before we could move again. The plants flowered in their temporary environment, and I fertilized them about every 6 to 8 weeks (varying with growing season). I've now replanted them back in the heavy clay soil from where they originally came (after installing adequate physical drainage and adding orchid mix as an additional drainage base to all our tropical plants). It's mid winter here, but the stalks look like they'll produce stronger flowers, despite their moves. I note that you've got them in 3 gallon pots. May I suggest you try for bigger ones, the plants can grow over 2 metres tall even in our cooler climate, with correspondingly large flowers. Just give them more water in Spring, as they flower in Summer (Down Under and in New Guinea, anyway!)
Good luck!
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Casey Herman

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Actually that is more than just one thing you have learned.

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