How to Harvest Bird of Paradise Seeds

Overview

Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a striking plant with large leaves and blooms that look like exotic, tropical birds. If you have access to a bird of paradise plant, you may want to try harvesting a few seeds. However, harvesting seeds from a bird of paradise can be a tricky proposition. If you harvest the seeds too early, the seeds won't be dry, and will be difficult to preserve. If you wait too long, the bird of paradise will have expelled the seeds.

Step 1

Select a large, healthy bloom on a bird of paradise plant. Keep an eye on the bloom, and watch for the bloom to wilt and turn brown. The long, brown seed pod containing the bird of paradise seeds will be exposed.

Step 2

Hold the bird of paradise seed pod over a paper plate. Break the seed pod open with your fingers and allow the bird of paradise seeds to fall onto the plate. The bird of paradise seeds will be about the size of a pea, and will have orange fuzz on one end.

Step 3

Put the paper plate in a cool, dry, well-ventilated room for one to two weeks, or until the bird of paradise seeds are completely dry. When they're completely dry, the bird of paradise seeds will be very hard and brittle.

Step 4

Place the dry bird of paradise seeds in a paper envelope, and label the envelope. Store the seeds in a dry, cool place until you're ready to plant them.

Things You'll Need

  • Bird of paradise plant
  • Paper plate
  • White paper envelope

References

  • University of Wisconsin: Bird of Paradise
  • Washington State University: Saving Seeds
Keywords: bird of paradise, bird of paradise seeds, bird of paradise plant

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.