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How to Plant Bird of Paradise Seeds

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How to Plant Bird of Paradise Seeds

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Overview

The Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae), or Crane flower, grows 3 to 5 feet tall and exhibits vibrant orange blooms. The tropical plant thrives in warm, moist conditions and retains green leaves throughout the year. Bird of Paradise propagated from the large black and orange fuzzy seeds will take 3 to 5 years to fully mature and produce flowers.

Step 1

Place the seeds in a bowl of room-temperature water and soak for several hours. Nick the surface of each seed with a small knife. This process, called scarifying, allows the hard seeds to germinate.

Step 2

Fill a plastic tray three-quarters full with vermiculite. Moisten the vermiculite until you notice water leaking from the drainage holes along the bottom of the tray.

Step 3

Sow the scarified seeds evenly around the tray 1/2 inch deep. Cover the tray with plastic wrap to retain moisture, and place the tray in a warm room under indirect sunlight. Keep the soil consistently moist. The seeds should germinate in 2 to 3 months.

Step 4

Remove the plastic wrap when the seedlings begin to emerge from the potting mixture. Transplant the seedlings into their own containers after they develop a set of true leaves.

Step 5

Place containers outdoors in partial shade. While the Bird of Paradise will tolerate full sun, the blooms will be smaller. Bring your plants indoors if the temperature threatens to drop below 32 degrees F.

Step 6

Water your plants to keep the soil moist during the summer growing months. As the temperature cools in the fall, let the soil dry out between watering. Cover the soil with a layer of mulch to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. Leave a 3-inch ring of un-mulched soil around each plant.

Step 7

Apply a slow-release fertilizer to your plants according to the manufacturer's instructions every 3 months during the growing season. Apply the first application as soon as the seedlings have been transplanted.

Tips and Warnings

  • Remove dead foliage and blooms to prevent rot and fungal problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Bird of Paradise seeds
  • Small knife
  • Plastic tray
  • Vermiculite
  • Plastic wrap
  • Large container
  • Mulch
  • Slow-release fertilizer

References

  • University of Florida Extension: Bird of Paradise
  • My Kinda Living: Tips on Growing and Propagating Bird of Paradise
Keywords: growing bird paradise, bird of paradise, Strelitzia reginae seeds, crane flower seed

About this Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, SheKnows.com and various other Web sites and has been published in "Stringing Magazine" and "Xiamen Wave." Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.