How to Trim a Bird of Paradise

Overview

The bird of paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae) is a tropical shrub that produces large orange and blue flowers on impressive 5-foot stalks. This warmth-loving plant can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 9B through 11 and can make for a conversation-starting centerpiece in your backyard. Though the plant needs little care, annual trimming is required to help the plant maintain its vigor and appearance.

Step 1

Survey the bird of paradise plant at the start of the spring growing season in February or March. Identify dead flower stalks, which will stick 5 feet in the air long after the blossom has shriveled and fallen off, and any dried foliage and branches in the middle of the plant's central bunch.

Step 2

Trim off the dead plant parts as low to the ground as you can. Use standard pruning shears. Cut at an angle so water doesn't collect on the cut end and begin to rot.

Step 3

Clear away the cut vegetation. Discard the vegetation or cut it into 2- or 3-inch pieces and toss them into your compost bin.

Tips and Warnings

  • Exercise caution when handling the pruning equipment to avoid cutting yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Gloves

References

  • "Tropical Flowering Plants: A Guide to Identification and Cultivation"; Kirsten Albrecht Llamas; 2003
  • University of Hawaii: Bird of Paradise
Keywords: trim bird of paradise, prune bird of paradise, bird of paradise care

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.