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How to Remove Bird of Paradise

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017
Brighten your backyard with bird of paradise blossoms.

Few plants can rival the bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) for its bright orange-and-blue blossoms that look like parrots' heads. Though the bird of paradise is native to Africa, it's now grown throughout USDA Hardiness Zones 9 and higher, according to the University of Hawaii. Despite its ornamental value, you may have to kill and remove the bird-of-paradise plant if it outgrows your yard or to make room for other plants.

Cut back the bird of paradise plant's dense stem and foliar growth using pruning shears, or a saw for larger stalks. Trim it down to a couple of inches above the ground.

Collect and discard the trimmed plant parts. Or chop the bird of paradise plant stems and leaves into inch-long pieces and add it to your compost pile.

Dig out the remaining bird of paradise stump with a spade, working the spade in a circle around the base of the stump to loosen it. As a low-labor alternative, treat the stump with a triclopyr-based or glyphosate-based stump killer herbicide. Apply the herbicide to all exposed surfaces of the freshly cut stump according to its labeled guidelines since toxicity varies widely by brand. This kills the stump and keeps the bird of paradise from resprouting.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears or saws
  • Spade or herbicide


  • Exercise caution when handling all sharp gardening tools and herbicide products.

About the Author


Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.