Care of the Plant Caesalpinia Pulcherrima


The Caesalpinia pulcherrima is a gorgeous perennial that thrives in warm climates or even the desert. It can also survive a yearly freeze. Also known as the red bird of paradise, or the pride of Barbados, this tropical plant can reach heights of up to 15 feet. A member of the pea family (Fabaceae), the species name pulcherrima translates to mean "very pretty." Its flower has five petals with a red, six-inch-long stamen. Perfect for USDA zones 8-11, it is very tolerant of drought conditions.

Step 1

Plant your caesalpinia pulcherrima six feet apart in an area that will receive full sun, although a little shade is well tolerated. Test your soil to make sure there are at least light amounts of alkaline present. The plant will grow well in salty conditions with well-drained soil.

Step 2

Fertilize your plant with any general type fertilizer as needed, usually one time per month. However, once this plant is well established fertilizer will not be needed.

Step 3

Water the plant enough to provide slightly moist soil. Although they are drought tolerant, this is only after the plant has reached full maturity. You will only need to do this occasionally if your area averages light rainfall. Do not saturate full grown plants with too much water.

Step 4

Prune the plant anytime necessary to maintain desired proportions. In November of each year, cut the plant all the way to the ground. Not doing this may cause plant overgrowth when it returns in the spring.

Tips and Warnings

  • The Caesalpinia pulcherrima seeds are toxic. Keep away from children and pets!


  • Desert Tropicals

Who Can Help

  • Pride of Barbados, A Great Heat Loving Plant and Future Texas SuperStar By: David Rodriguez
Keywords: caesalpinia pulcherrima care, pride of barbados, tropical perennial plant

About this Author

Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of "Pickin' Cotton Sure Is Hard Work" in the book "Golden Short Stories Volume 1" for the Dahlonega Book Festival. She has since written a true crime book published in 2010, with contracts for two more. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.