The Red Bird of Paradise is a flowering shrub that attracts hummingbirds and is native to Mexico. It becomes more like a tree than a shrub in the warmest locations. The blooms are red, orange and yellow and the plant can grow from 3 feet to 10 feet tall. Blooms will appear from May to September and some varieties will bloom year round.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Plant the Red Bird of Paradise after the last frost in early spring. Nighttime temperatures need to be over 40 degrees. Seedlings are generally 4 inches in height when ready for planting. Plant in soil that is loose and drains easily. If the soil is hard, add peat moss or other organic compost to the first 6 inches to aid in draining. The location will need to receive full sun or only very small amounts of shade.
Water the soil around the shrub once a week for several minutes to moisten the soil several inches deep. Watering needs to be reduced to once monthly during the winter months.
Feed the Red Bird of Paradise in early spring with a slow-release fertilizer.
Spread a 2-inch to 4-inch layer of mulch in a circle around the base of the shrub after the first frost of the year. Remove the mulch in early spring.
Cut fading blooms from the shrub to prevent spreading. The seeds can be removed from the blooms and replanted if desired. Prune periodically to shape if preferred.
Removing spent blooms from the shrub will also encourage new growth and produce more blooms.