How to Prune a Bird of Paradise Plant


Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a South African native and a close relative of the banana plant. Bird of paradise is generally grown as a focal point in the residential landscape and is prized for its interesting flowers that resemble the head of a tropical bird. Bird of paradise can produce over 30 flowers per season, according to horticulturists at the University of Florida, and the blooms are long-lasting as cut flowers. The bird of paradise can become quite large, and many gardeners prune to keep the plant to within a manageable height. Prune the bird of paradise in early spring.

Step 1

Cut off dead leaves and flowers frequently, as these provide an environment for pests and fungus. Remove bird of paradise leaves that become torn and tattered in high winds. Cut the leaves back to the ground.

Step 2

Prune the entire plant to one-half its height if you wish to control its size.

Step 3

Remove all pruning debris from the planting bed and water the bird of paradise until the water puddles at its base.

Step 4

Add a fresh, 3-inch layer of mulch, spread to the plant's drip line (the tips of the widest part of the plant), completely surrounding the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Rake
  • Mulch


  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Bird of Paradise
  • ‭"‬California Master Gardener Handbook"; ‬Dennis R.‭ ‬Pittenger‭; ‬2002
Keywords: bird of paradise, prune tropical plants, trim tropical plants

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.