How to Get Rid of a Bird of Paradise Plant

Overview

Originally hailing from the African continent, the bird-of-paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae) is known for its broad foliage and vibrantly colored flowers that resemble the shape of a tropical bird. The plant can reach up to 6 feet tall and just as wide across, sometimes overwhelming your landscape. You can get rid of the bird-of-paradise plant using a multi-pronged approach to ensure the plant is dead and won't spring back with renewed vigor.

Step 1

Put on gloves, safety glasses and a face mask, as well as standard outdoor wear including pants and closed-toe shoes. You will be handling sharp garden tools and toxic herbicides.

Step 2

Use garden shears and cut off the bird-of-paradise plant's foliage. This reveals the plant's numerous central stalks emerging from the soil. Discard or compost the cut foliage.

Step 3

Saw down the central stalks to a height of 6 inches from the ground. Discard the cut stalks or chop into smaller pieces to compost.

Step 4

Dig out the bird-of-paradise plant's remaining stumps with a garden spade if the plant is a juvenile specimen. This is typically impossible if the plant is established with an original height of 3 feet or more. If your plant is established, skip to Step 5.

Step 5

Coat the remaining bird-of-paradise stumps with a standard triclopyr-based stump killer available from all garden stores and nurseries. Apply according to the product's label, as toxicity varies by product. This kills the stumps and the plant's underground root network to prevent it from growing back.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure you put on gloves, safety glasses, a face mask, and outdoor wear including pants and closed-toe shoes before starting this task, to protect your skin from sharp garden tools and toxic herbicides.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective gear
  • Garden shears
  • Saw
  • Garden spade
  • Triclopyr-based stump killer

References

  • University of Hawaii at Mano: Bird-of-Paradise
  • "American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants"; Christopher Brickell; 2004
  • "Tropical Flowering Plants: A Guide to Identification and Cultivation"; Kirsten Llamas; 2003
Keywords: bird of paradise plant, remove bird of paradise, kill bird of paradise

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.