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How to Prune a White Bird of Paradise

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.


Things You Will Need

  • Gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Water


About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.