How to Grow Bird of Paradise From Seed
It looks like a tropical bird with vivid plumage, but the birds of paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae) isn’t even a tropical plant. This evergreen shrub with its orange and midnight blue flowers hails from subtropical South Africa and grows as a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12, advises Missouri Botanical Garden.
The central stalk grows slowly to 3 to 5 feet tall and is topped by the spathe, a hard covering from which the bird of paradise flowers emerge. The spathe grows perpendicular to the stalk, which gives the flower the look of a bird’s head. If you are not in a hurry for flowers, you can grow bird of paradise plants from seeds.
Extract Birds of Paradise Seeds
Remove a dried seedpod from a bird of paradise plant in springtime. Split it open and extract the black, pea-sized seeds. Fill a bowl with tepid water and soak the seeds in it for 24 hours, advises the University of Florida IFAS Extension.
Prepare Seeds for Planting
Drain the seeds and remove any stringy orange tufts attached to them. Nick each seed with a sharp knife or nail file.
Sow Bird of Paradise Seeds
Fill a planting tray with moist potting soil. Plant the seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep and several inches apart. Cover the pot with a pane of glass and move it into a warm location of over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, if possible, where it gets indirect light. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate; this will be about 8 weeks after planting.
Transplant Bird of Paradise Seedlings
Transplant the seedlings into individual 6-inch pots filled with potting soil when they have two to three leaves. Place the pots in indirect light and keep the soil moist. When the seedlings grow to 6 to 8 inches tall, transplant them in spring or fall to a permanent outdoor location.
Select a site with partial to full sun and well-drained, fertile soil. Dig planting holes the depth of the root balls but twice the width. Space them 3 to 5 feet apart since each plant can form a clump 3 to 5 feet wide. Plant the seedlings at the same depth they grew in the containers.
The six-month period after transplant is key to establishing bird of paradise plants. Irrigate the transplants regularly, providing sufficient water to keep the soil damp but not so much that it is wet. Too much or too little water can kill the plant.
Water and Mulch
Water the seedlings immediately after transplanting and frequently during the summer season to keep the soil moist to a depth of 3 inches. Mulch with a 2-inch layer of leaves or pine needles, keeping the mulch material 2 to 3 inches away from the plant.
Feed Bird of Paradise Seedlings
Fertilize the seedlings every three months during the summer growing season. Use a general-purpose organic fertilizer such as blood meal and apply it according to label directions. Expect blossoms in four to seven years.
How to Grow Bird of Paradise From Seed. It looks like a tropical bird with vivid plumage, but the bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) isn’t even a tropical plant. This evergreen shrub with its orange and midnight blue flowers hails from subtropical South Africa and thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant …
Bird Of Paradise Propagation – How To Propagate Birds Of Paradise
Bird of paradise is an unique and brightly colored plant that is native to South Africa. The beautiful flower resembles a colorful bird in flight, hence the name. This interesting plant grows to a height and width of 5 feet (1.5 m.) and prefers day temperatures of 70 F. (21 C.) and night temperatures of 55 F. (13 C).
Many people leave their plant outside in the warmer months but bring them indoors when temperatures start to drop. To keep these plants thriving or simply start plants of your own, you can learn how to propagate birds of paradise. Propagating bird of paradise is a common practice that does not require any special skills or tools and may be helpful should the fear of winter survival be imminent.
How to Propagate Birds of Paradise
Bird of paradise propagation is not difficult and is most easily achieved by plant division. Propagating bird of paradise cuttings should take place in early spring by severing a piece of rhizome with a sharp, clean knife. Sprinkle some rooting hormone on the open cuts. Each division should have a fan with attached roots.
Put each division in a small, clean pot with high-quality planting medium. Although the temptation is to water the new division, it is best to let the cuts heal for a few days without water. Begin a regular watering schedule after this time.
Provide a high quality, general plant fertilizer the following spring.
How to Grow Bird of Paradise from Seed
It is also possible to grow this lovely tropical plant from seed. Learning how to grow bird of paradise from seed isn’t difficult but may require some patience. It is imperative that bird of paradise seeds are dry and fresh for best results. Plant seeds as soon after harvest as possible.
Soak the seeds in water that is room temperature for three days to aid in germination. Change the water daily. Alternatively, you can scrape the outside coat of the seed with a file to break the seed coat.
Seeds should be planted 1 inch (2.5 cm.) deep in moistened, high-quality potting mix. Locate newly planted seeds somewhere hot, at least 85 F. (29 C.), with indirect light. Cover the pot with plastic to retain humidity and keep the soil moist.
The germination of bird of paradise seeds is slow, so be patient. It can take anywhere from one month to a year to see a sprout. It can also take the new plant up to 10 years to flower. Timing is dependent on soil temperature and freshness.
Although a little patience may be necessary, bird of paradise propagation is a great way to grow additional plants, whether to add to your existing plants or to ensure their survival year after year in colder regions.
To keep these plants thriving, or simply start plants of your own, you can learn how to propagate birds of paradise. Propagating bird of paradise is a common practice, and tips from this article will help.