How to Prune a Bird of Paradise


The bird of paradise is a South African plant with thick, long, oblong leaves and brilliant orange and blue flowers that resemble the head of an exotic bird, hence the name. Under the right conditions--warm climates with moderate (no frost) winters--they are vigorous growers. They require regular pruning, both to keep them at the desired size for your garden and to eliminate dead stalks and flowers to lessen the likelihood for diseases and improve their appearance.

Step 1

Clip off dead flowers, stalks and leaves on a regular basis. Once a flower dies, cut off its stalk at the base, making a clean, smooth cut across.

Step 2

Check for leaves that are cracking and turning brown. Cut them off at the base, as well.

Step 3

Once a year, preferrablyi in the late fall or early winter, cut off any leaves or stalks that make the plant too big for your liking. Work your way around the plant and trim from the outside until the plant is cut back to its desired size.

Step 4

Check inside the plant with your hands to see if there are any dead branches or flowers that had been hidden from view. If so, remove them. You also might want to thin out the interior, leaving only the strongest stalks.

Step 5

Fertilize after every pruning, so the injured plan can stock up on nutrients from the soil and speed up its "recovery."

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Garden gloves


  • Gardening Know-How
  • College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Keywords: birds of paradise care, pruning birds of paradise, trimming birds of paradise

About this Author

Thomas K. Arnold is the publisher and editorial director of Home Media Magazine and a regular contributor on entertainment to "USA Today", "The Hollywood Reporter," "San Diego Magazine" and other publications. An alumnus of San Diego State University, Arnold has appeared on such TV shows as "CNN", "E! Entertainment" and "G4's Attack of the Show" to discuss home entertainment and technology issues.