The bird of paradise is a brightly colored, tropical flower with a unique shape and a bold size. It features a tall, sleek, green stem topped with a bloom that resembles a bird’s beak, which points away from the stem at an approximately 45 degree angle and has feathery petals of orange and purple. When cut, bird of paradise flowers can seem hesitant to bloom open. This can be frustrating for, without their blooms, they can seem rather unimpressive and monochromatic. It is possible, however, to help a bird of paradise flower to display its unique beauty and bloom.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Clean the vase for the bird of paradise flower thoroughly using hot water, dish soap and a sponge. Using a clean vase will help to eliminate and prevent the growth of bacteria that may shorten the lifespan of the bird of paradise flower and prevent it from blooming. Make sure to rinse the soap completely out of the vase.
Fill the vase with warm water. Add about one tsp. of bleach to the water in the vase. Note that bleach will work to prevent the development of harmful bacteria that may shorten the life of the bird of paradise flower and prevent it from blooming.
Cut 1 or more inches off of the bottom of the stem of the bird of paradise flower using shears. Make the cut at a sharp angle; doing so helps to create as much surface area as possible at the very bottom of the stem, which enables the flower to drink in more water.
Place the freshly cut bird of paradise flower in the vase of warm water. Warm water will travel up into the flower with greater ease than cold water, and encourage the flower to bloom.
Run the tip of your forefinger through the slit at the top of the bird of paradise flower’s closed “beak.” Gently use your finger to open up the slit. Note that inside are the orange and purple petals that comprise the flower’s colorful bloom.
Watch the bird of paradise flower to see when the colorful petals tucked inside of its beak begin to emerge out of the slit. When they start to show, you can help the flower to bloom more readily by lifting the orange, yellow and purple petals out of the flower’s beak using your thumb and forefinger. Gently pull them up and out through the slit at the top of the beak. You can also do this even before the petals start to emerge on their own, but it is important to take care to avoid tearing the petals.
Add a tablespoon of powdered flower food to the vase of warm water before placing the cut bird of paradise flower in it; this will prolong the life of the flower and encourage it to bloom.
If the bird of paradise flower is planted rather than cut, you can still help it to bloom by coaxing the petals out of the slit at the top of the "beak" as described in steps 5 and 6.