The bird of paradise plant can grow up to 5 feet high. The plant gets its name due to its uncanny resemblance to the plumage of a bird. The plant is not hardy to temperatures below 25 degrees F and does not grow well in North America except USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. You can keep the bird of paradise indoors or you can move the pot outdoors during the warmer months. The plant contains bright colors like green, red and purple with flowers that grow yellow and orange.
Things You’ll Need:
- Warm water
- Zipper-seal plastic bag
- Sharp knife
- Peat moss
- Seed tray
- Clear plastic bag
- 6-inch pots
- Slow-release fertilizer
Place your bird of paradise seeds in a bowl. Pour warm water over them to cover them completely, and allow them to soak for three to four hours. Drain the water carefully to remove the seeds.
Place the seeds in a zipper-seal plastic bag. Store the bird of paradise seeds in the refrigerator at a temperature between 40 to 45 degrees F. Remove the seeds after 14 days.
Scratch the outer layer of the seeds with a sharp knife. This will scarify the seeds and wound them to encourage germination.
Combine one part peat moss with one part perlite. Fill a seed tray with the mixture, and plant the seeds ½ inch deep and 3 inches apart.
Water the bird of paradise seeds to keep the mixture moist. Cover the seeds tray with a transparent plastic bag.
Set the seed tray in a location with indirect light. Water the seeds to keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate. Transplant the seedling to individual 6-inch growing pots, or transplant them outdoors if you live in the appropriate growing zones.
Choose a location to place the mature seedlings. Find a location that receives direct sunlight and has soil that appears to drain well.
Dig a hole as deep as the seedling’s root ball. Make the hole twice as wide, and place the soil into a bucket. Combine an equal amount of compost with the loose soil.
Place the bird of paradise into the hole. Add the soil mixed with compost and pack the soil down around the plant. Make a ridge of soil around the plant to catch rainwater.
Water the plant to keep the soil moist. It will need at least 1 to 2 inches of water a week.
Fertilize the plant every three months with slow-release fertilizer. Place it around the base of the plant, following the directions on the package.
Add 6 to 8 inches of mulch around the plant. Keep the mulch at least 3 inches way from the base to prevent a fungal infection from developing.