The "queens" of the plant world (it's in their name!), birds of paradise are sculptural, elegant, and room-filling. Even without their flower, they make a dramatic statement and will flourish in a well-lit, bright room. Their large, paddle-shaped leaves can tear, but that is a bird's adaptive technique to keep its stems from being snapped in tropical windstorms. Kept happy, they'll continue to unfurl new leaves as old outer leaves die off, looking beautiful for a long time.
Watering: Weekly. Allow the top third of soil to dry before watering deeply. Do not allow the pot to sit in water.
Toxic to pets: can cause mild mouth irritation and digestive distress.