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