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birds of paradise seeds

Birds of paradise seeds
Transplant the seedlings into individual 6-inch pots filled with potting soil when they have two to three leaves. Place the pots in indirect light and keep the soil moist. When the seedlings grow to 6 to 8 inches tall, transplant them in spring or fall to a permanent outdoor location. Select a site with partial to full sun and well-drained, fertile soil. Dig planting holes the depth of the root balls but twice the width. Space them 3 to 5 feet apart since each plant can form a clump 3 to 5 feet wide. Plant the seedlings at the same depth they grew in the containers.

How to Grow Bird of Paradise From Seed

Bird of paradise seedlings can take seven years to blossom.

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It looks like a tropical bird with vivid plumage, but the bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) isn’t even a tropical plant. This evergreen shrub with its orange and midnight blue flowers hails from subtropical South Africa and thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. The central stalk grows slowly to 3 to 5 feet tall and is topped by the spathe, a hard covering from which the flowers emerge. The spathe grows perpendicular to the stalk, which gives the flower the look of a bird’s head. If you are not in a hurry for flowers, you can grow bird of paradise plants from seeds.

Remove a dried seedpod from a bird of paradise plant in springtime. Split it open and extract the black, pea-sized seeds. Fill a bowl with tepid water and soak the seeds in it for 24 hours.

Drain the seeds and remove any stringy orange tufts attached to them. Nick each seed with a sharp knife or nail file.

Fill a planting tray with moist potting soil. Plant the seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep and several inches apart. Cover the pot with a pane of glass and move it into a warm location of over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, if possible, where it gets indirect light. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate; this will be about 8 weeks after planting.

Transplant the seedlings into individual 6-inch pots filled with potting soil when they have two to three leaves. Place the pots in indirect light and keep the soil moist. When the seedlings grow to 6 to 8 inches tall, transplant them in spring or fall to a permanent outdoor location. Select a site with partial to full sun and well-drained, fertile soil. Dig planting holes the depth of the root balls but twice the width. Space them 3 to 5 feet apart since each plant can form a clump 3 to 5 feet wide. Plant the seedlings at the same depth they grew in the containers.

Water the seedlings immediately after transplanting and frequently during the summer season to keep the soil moist to a depth of 3 inches. Mulch with a 2-inch layer of leaves or pine needles, keeping the mulch material 2 to 3 inches away from the plant.

Fertilize the seedlings every three months during the summer growing season. Use a general-purpose organic fertilizer such as blood meal and apply it according to label directions. Expect blossoms in four to seven years.

Updated: March 29, 2019

How to Grow Bird of Paradise

Updated: March 29, 2019

Bird of paradise, or strelitzia reginae, produces thick, leathery leaves and colorful flowers that resemble the shape of a bird’s head. The plant is native to South Africa and requires a steady climate between 50-72 degrees Fahrenheit (10-20 degrees Celsius) to thrive. Bird of paradise is easy to grow indoors in a pot, provided you expose it to adequate sunlight and keep the soil consistently moist. Bird of paradise is a striking and beautiful plant that doesn’t require much maintenance.