How to Get Rid of a Bird of Paradise Plant

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A flowering perennial of the Strelitzia genus, it is colloquially referred to as a bird of paradise plant. The shrub is native to certain parts of South Africa, though it can now be found in various warm and tropical climates. The plant is grown for ornamental purposes thanks to its large white, green, blue, red and yellow flower clusters. Bird of paradise shrubs can grow up to 32 feet tall and may become a nuisance. Get rid of the flowering shrub to make room for other plants.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need:

  • Protective gear
  • Broad-spectrum herbicide
  • Pruning shears or saw
  • Stump killer
  1. Put on protective gear including covered shoes, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, eyewear and gloves. Clear away any plants you may wish to keep that are near the bird of paradise.

  2. Apply a broad-spectrum herbicide such as Monsanto’s Roundup or Dow AgroSciences’ Remedy. Spray the herbicide onto the bird of paradise according to the specific manufacturer’s guidelines as herbicide potency and application varies by product. Cover all exposed surfaces of the plant, including its dense inner column of foliage.

  3. The bird of paradise will absorb the herbicide and carry it through all parts of the plant’s system. The plant will slowly begin to wilt and turn brown. You will typically see the herbicide’s effects within 14 days, depending on the size of your bird of paradise.

  4. Cut down the wilted bird of paradise with pruning shears or, for larger shrubs, a handsaw. Cut back the shrub to a stump height of 1 foot. Remove the poisoned foliage and discard away from your garden as the wilted leaves may still contain trace amounts of herbicide.

  5. Apply a stump killer solution to the bird of paradise’s exposed stump. Stump killer can be purchased at your local nursery, garden supply outlet or from an online retailer. The killer will ensure the bird of paradise’s entire root system is killed, preventing the plant from growing back.

Tips & Warnings

  • For best results, apply the herbicide during a dry period and do not water the bird of paradise after application.

  • Herbicides and stump killers are toxic to other plant life. Exercise caution when applying.

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