The exotic bird-of-paradise plant was named for its brilliant orange and blue flowers, which have the appearance of brightly colored flying birds. Bird-of-paradise makes an attractive ornamental flowering plant in the home or garden, with its height reaching up to 5 ft. tall. The bird-of-paradise thrives in rich soil with excellent drainage, full sun and in temperatures between 65 to 70 degrees during the day and no less than 50 degrees during the night. Growing bird-of-paradise from seed can take between three to five years to produce flowers. If you live in a warm climate without danger of frost, you can plant bird-of-paradise seeds directly outdoors.
Fill a small bowl with warm water and soak the bird-of-paradise seeds for four hours. You can also place the seeds into a plastic sandwich bag and store them in a refrigerator for two weeks.
Rub one side of each bird-of-paradise seed with a file or sandpaper to make a small nick or scratch in the hard skin, which will help the seeds sprout quicker. Avoid scratching the tiny indentation along the seed’s rim that looks like a scar to protect the seed’s embryo.
Sow bird-of-paradise seeds 1/2 inch deep in ready-made soil mix. Put two to three seeds in each hole, since not all the seeds will germinate. Keep the soil constantly moist until the seeds germinate. Plant the bird-of-paradise seeds in a one gallon pot or larger container if planting indoors and keep it in indirect light. Cover the pot or container with clear plastic to help create a humid, moist environment which will help the seeds to germinate.
Water the soil daily. Cut down on your watering after the seedlings sprout, but don’t allow the soil to dry out. Add a low-nitrogen fertilizer to the soil every three months to help the young bird-of-paradise plants establish a strong root system.
After the bird-of-paradise seedlings have produced two leaves, you can transplant them into individual containers.