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Propagating Bird Of Paradise – Strelitzia

Ask the Expert: where are the seeds on a white bird of paradise?
I want to propagate my white bird of paradise but am unable to get the entire root system of the babies. I’ve attempted it and not been successful, seeing as how they’re too deep in the ground. They stay green for about a week or two then die. Is there a specific time when I should be doing this? I’m thinking maybe the seeds. Are the seeds in the flower itself? If not where? Arcelia

Plant Expert Reply:
To propagate Bird of Paradise (Strelitizia) you divide the root suckers from the plant in the late spring. You want to dig up clumps that have 4 or more shoots. You will separate them into single stems removing the dead leaves & roots. You can wash the roots and even soak them in a bleach water solution (1 part bleach – ten parts water) for ten minutes – this will help with any bacterial problems that can arise. Then you can plant the divisions – be sure they are plant at the same depth as they were originally. It can take up to 12weeks for new roots to form. So be patient. This propagation method will take 1 to 2 years to achieve a mature blooming plant.

You can start Bird of Paradise from seed. However, it will take 3 to 5 years for the seed to become a mature plant. If you plan on harvesting the seeds from your own plant, look for black round seeds that have a fuzzy orange cover on one end. Before you plant them you will need to soften the hard exterior of the seed. Do this by soaking the seeds in room temperature water over night. You will need to also nick the seed before you plant it. Keep you soil moist as the seeds germinate.

Good Luck and let me know how it goes.

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