How to Dry Bird of Paradise Flowers
Bird of paradise flowers are tropical blossoms that have brightly colored petals. These flowers can be very difficult to dry properly because they are incredibly delicate. According to gardening expert Linda Yang, the best way to preserve bird of paradise flowers is to gently remove their moisture with silica gel. For best results, dry these flowers when they are still fresh and vibrant; if they begin to wilt and lose color, they are much more difficult to dry successfully.
Pour a few inches of silica gel into the bottom of an airtight container. Spread the crystals so that they are lying in an even layer.
Place the bird of paradise flower bloom-side-up on top of the silica gel. Arrange the petals and leaves so that they are not overlapping, then gently fill in the sides and top of the container with more gel. Make sure that every part of the flower is covered with the gel, but do not pour the crystals directly onto the bird of paradise. That can crush the petals.
- Bird of paradise flowers are tropical blossoms that have brightly colored petals.
- Arrange the petals and leaves so that they are not overlapping, then gently fill in the sides and top of the container with more gel.
Place the lid on the container and put it in a cool, dry place. The bird of paradise flower will take two to five days to dry completely.
Remove the dry bird of paradise flower from the silica gel and gently brush any debris from its petal. Dried tropical flowers are easily damaged; to protect the bird of paradise, place it in a closed clear container to display it. A sealed glass or plastic floral display container works best for this purpose.
Bird Of Paradise Plant Flower?
The standard bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) grows 6 feet tall with orange, blue and white heron’s head-shaped flowers, while the giant variety (Strelitzia nicolai) can reach a height of 30 feet with blue and white blooms. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 to 11 and often used as a houseplant elsewhere, bird of paradise leaves and seeds are considered mildly toxic and should not be consumed. The plant may prove difficult to bring into flower if it is immature, improperly planted, sun-deprived, over-indulged or indoors year-round. When setting a bird of paradise in the ground or a pot, make sure that you don’t bury its tuberous roots too deeply, as that also may delay flowering. Water a potted one only when its soil has dried out to a couple inches beneath the surface. For example, start with a granular organic palm fertilizer such as 6-4-6 -- nitrogen being the first number -- applying 1 cup per in-ground plant once every two months from March through September. Water well before and after fertilizing.
- Place the lid on the container and put it in a cool, dry place.
- When setting a bird of paradise in the ground or a pot, make sure that you don’t bury its tuberous roots too deeply, as that also may delay flowering.
Both the silica gel and the floral display case can be purchased at most mainstream craft stores. Florists may also sell the items.
- NDSU: Methods of Preserving Flowers
- New York Times Garden Q&A
- Identification, Selection, and Use of Southern Plants for Landscape Design; Neil G. Odenwald and James R. Turner
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Bird-of-Paradise1
- SunSentinel: Getting Bird of Paradise to Bloom
- Houston Chronicle: Why Doesn't My Bird of Paradise Bloom?
- Akron.com: Grow Bird of Paradise Indoors for Beautiful, Long-lived Houseplant
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Bird of Paradise/Flowering
- Floridata: Strelitzia Reginae
- Floridata: Strelitzia Nicolai
- Right Diagnosis: Bird of Paradise Poisoning
- The New Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel
- Both the silica gel and the floral display case can be purchased at most mainstream craft stores. Florists may also sell the items.