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Plant Care For Bird Of Paradise Plants

Ask The Expert: I recently moved to Florida and have Bird of paradise.  Do I need to cut them back..and if so, when if the proper time to do so.

Thank you,
Daniel Lenzi

Strelitzia reginae

Caesalpinia gilliesii


  1. Daniel,

    I have inserted two photos in your question above. Each are commonly known as Bird Of Paradise. The first one is the Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) that is used in flower arrangements because of it’s striking bloom. It is also grown as a landscape plant in Florida and other warm areas and a houseplant in other areas. The second one is really known as Yellow Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii). Although they share a common name they are in no way related.

    Strelitzia reginae – Bird of Paradise is fairly easy to take care of and you don’t have to cut it back going into winter. Pruning is really more of a maintenance issues of removing dead leaves and flower stalks on a as needed basis. This plant will need some winter protection even in Florida. Mulching is very important to these plants. You can find more information about this type of Bird of Paradise in the FSN newsletter Bird of Paradise A Tropical Surprise or the University of Florida Bird of Paradise page (which is where the picture came from).

    Caesalpinia gilliesii – Yellow Bird of Paradise are shrubs that are native to Argentina but can grow in zones 8-10. In cool climates they can drop their leaves but do not require any prune back. For more information about this plant check out The University of Oklahoma’s Cal’s plant of the Week Yellow Bird Of Paradise (which is where the picture for it came from). In fact, if you love to learn about new plant Cal’s is great. I get an email from them every week containing a piture and information about a plant.

    I hope this information was beneficial.

  2. i have a white bird of paradise plant and apparently i’m not caring for it right cause the leaves keep turning brown at the tips. i live in ky and some nights are really cold so i bring it in. at what tempuratures is it safe to leave them out overnight and what can i do to keep the leaves from turning brown?

  3. Tracie,

    Until Late April or May, I would leave the plant inside. Move it back and forth during this time of year is not good for it. Place it in the house where it can get as much light as possible. Keep the soil moist but make sure that it drains well. The plant should recover from the stress in a couple of weeks. Good luck and keep me posted.

  4. My Bird of Paradise suffered a freeze this year in Texas………..how to I bring it back to health? Should it be pruned all of the way back to the ground or leave those areas that did not totally suffer the freeze? All of the leaves were browned and had to be taken down………….it looks bad! Help!

  5. Not much you can do. Removing all the damaged leaves will help some what. Only time will tell.

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