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How to Prune a White Bird of Paradise

White bird of paradise (Strelitzia nicolai) is a lesser-known variety of the typical bird of paradise flower. It is much more difficult to find than the standard version, but has been grown popularly as a house plant over the last 20 years. There are also giant white birds of paradise that are planted outdoors in warm climates. Its banana-like leaves are 5 to 8 feet long and give an exotic feel to a landscape. The plant can grow up to 30 feet in height, resembling a Traveler's Tree. As it grows, the lower trunk sheds its older leaves. White bird of paradise needs little pruning but can benefit from some attention to improve its appearance and keep it healthy.

Wear gloves when pruning the bird of paradise. This will keep your hands protected and clean.

Cut off leaves that appear yellowed, wilted or dead. Make the cut with the pruning shears where the leaves meet the stalk. This will improve the overall appearance of the plant.

Thin out extra growth that is sprouting from the base of the white bird of paradise's trunk. Cut off the leaves that grow very low on the plant.

Remove root suckers or sprouts that grow at the base of the plant in order to control the growth. They will become full-sized, mature bird of paradises and create a massive clump that ruins the landscape.

Add water to the white bird of paradise plant following pruning, to ensure that it recovers. Don't over-water, as the plant doesn't need much moisture.

Tropical Bird Of Paradise: White Vs. Orange

Bird-of-paradise and white bird-of-paradise both belong to the plant family Strelitziaceae. When reading plant names, the first capitalized name indicates the genus and the second, lowercase name is the species. The white bird-of-paradise (Strelitzia nicolai) goes by the alternate name giant bird-of-paradise, a name befitting its ability to grow up to 30 feet tall with a spread of 6 to 10 feet in an ideal natural habitat. The flowers bloom periodically throughout the year. The more commonly found orange bird-of-paradise (Strelitzia reginae) grows 3 to 5 feet tall in clumps. A spot in part shade to full sun is ideal. The seeds germinate most reliably with a consistent bottom temperature between 68 and 70 F. They require damp sterile soil and complete darkness until germination occurs and shoots emerge.

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