Bird of paradise plants are perennials and will stay green all year round. They will flower in winter but their growth will slow down. These plants will grow new leaves over the warmer months and old leaves can trimmed to neaten the plant and keep it looking green.
This article will explore how to keep your bird of paradise plant green and happy all year long. These plants are beautiful features and with the right care will add a green focus to an area of your yard.
How to keep your perennial bird of paradise happy all year
Here are my top tips to keep your bird of paradise green and happy all year and keep it looking great.
Place them in a good sized pot
The right pot choice is very important to keep your bird of paradise happy and growing well. Choosing a pot that is one size bigger than the original plant will give it the space it needs to grow. If they are planted in a pot that is too large, the excess soil can cool their roots and stunt their growth.
Brand new bird of paradise plants bought home from nurseries will usually need to be transplanted straight away. They are likely to be at their maximum size for the pot they are in so make sure you have prepared for this and have a new pot and good quality potting soil ready to transplant them.
This will keep their leaves and stems green and happy and get them ready to flower. Bird of paradise plants that are heading out to a space in your yard, make sure they have enough space and improved sol to be planted into.
Adding a small amount of compost and cow manure is a great way to boost the soil without adding too much nitrogen. Planting out bird of paradise in Fall or Spring is a great idea so they have time to settle in before extremely cold or hot weather hits.
Trim off old leaves and stems
To keep your bird of paradise plant looking bright and green all year round remove any dead leaves or finished flowers. Bird of paradise plants will naturally replace old leaves with new on the outside of the stems.
Brown leaves will not turn green again so once they have finished, trim them off near the base of these with sharp secateurs.
Remove old flower heads once they have turned brown and finished. These stems will turn brown all the way down to the base of the stem so trim them off and put them in your compost bin. Removing old flower heads will keep your plant looking neat and green all year.
Plant them in good quality potting soil
Bird of paradise thrive in pots when you make the right potting soil choice. Choosing a good all purpose potting soil with added organic fertilizers will encourage healthy plant growth and will allow free water drainage. This prevents root rot which can damage the plant’s leaf growth.
When repotting a large bird of paradise, move them to a larger pot and surround them with new potting soil. The extra 2-3 inches of space around the outside and bottom of the pot will keep the plant happy for the next 2-3 years.
Once bird of paradise plants have outgrown their pot, they can be lifted and divided into individual stems. This will give you more plants for free or they make a great gift for friends and neighbors.
Remember that once bird of paradise plants have been divided it can stop them from flowering for the next 2-3years. Another option is moving them to a larger pot without dividing them and keeping them as a large plant.
When I recently repotted my bird of paradise I trimmed their roots and any old stems and moved them to a slightly larger pot. These plants actually bloomed in the next 3 months but I didn’t aggressively divide them.
Keeping bird of paradise green over winter
Bird of paradise plants do not enjoy very cold winters or frosts but there are some ways to protect them and keep them happy until the warmer weather.
Bird of paradise plants hate being overwatered so if you are getting a lot of winter rain, reduce your watering schedule. The cold weather and wet soil can chill the plant, slowing down their growth or causing the roots to rot.
Reduce the amount of water you add because the lower temperatures will also reduce the rate at which the water evaporates out of the soil.
Avoid feeding bird of paradise over the winter months. Instead I like to give mine a feed of pelleted chicken manure in Fall and Spring. This is when they will best absorb the nutrients ready for new growth.
Mulching bird of paradise plants over winter is a great way to protect their roots from frosts and reduce winter weed growth. I like to use bark mulch in my garden beds and around potted bird of paradise. Both will help the plants to grow better in the long run and it looks great.
Move them in a sheltered area to protect from frost
Protecting bird of paradise plants from harsh frosts is important as this can burn the leaf tips and turn them brown. If you know that frosts are coming, cover the plant overnight with shade cloth and remove it later int eh morning after the frost has passed.
For potted bird of paradise plants, these can be moved into a sheltered area over winter, near a wall, or garage to keep the frost off of their leaves.
Will bird of paradise leaves stay green once cut?
Bird of paradise leaves can be used in a cut arrangement, either with your bird of paradise flowers, or to add height and mixed in with other flower types. These leaves actually stay green for a long time when placed in water and look great in the kitchen.
Are bird of paradise perennials? | Summary
Bird of paradise are perennials and look great all year round whether they are in flower or not. The deep green leaves look great in modern gardens as a feature plant or planted in a garden bed with a range of other perennial shrubs.
Plant them in good soil and feed in Spring and Fall and you will have a happy plant all year long.
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