Bird of paradise seed

Bird Of Paradise Propagation – How To Propagate Birds Of Paradise

Bird of paradise is a unique and brightly colored plant that is native to South Africa. The beautiful flower resembles a colorful bird in flight, hence the name. This interesting plant grows to a height and width of 5 feet and prefers day temperatures of 70 F. (21 C.) and night temperatures of 55 F. (13 C).

Many people leave their plant outside in the warmer months but bring them indoors when temperatures start to drop. To keep these plants thriving or simply start plants of your own, you can learn how to propagate birds of paradise. Propagating bird of paradise is a common practice that does not require any special skills or tools and may be helpful should the fear of winter survival be imminent.

How to Propagate Birds of Paradise

Bird of paradise propagation is not difficult and is most easily achieved by plant division. Propagating bird of paradise cuttings should take place in early spring by severing a piece of rhizome with a sharp, clean knife. Sprinkle some rooting hormone on the open cuts. Each division should have a fan with attached roots.

Put each division in a small, clean pot with high-quality planting medium. Although the temptation is to water the new division, it is best to let the cuts heal for a few days without water Begin a regular watering schedule after this time.

Provide a high quality, general plant fertilizer the following spring.

How to Grow Bird of Paradise from Seed

It is also possible to grow this lovely tropical plant from seed. Learning how to grow bird of paradise from seed isn’t difficult but may require some patience. It is imperative that bird of paradise seeds are dry and fresh for best results. Plant seeds as soon after harvest as possible.

Soak the seeds in water that is room temperature for three days to aid in germination. Change the water daily. Alternatively, you can scrape the outside coat of the seed with a file to break the seed coat.

Seeds should be planted 1 inch deep in moistened, high-quality potting mix. Locate newly planted seeds somewhere hot, at least 85 F. (29 C.), with indirect light. Cover the pot with plastic to retain humidity and keep the soil moist.

The germination of bird of paradise seeds is slow, so be patient. It can take anywhere from one month to a year to see a sprout. It can also take the new plant up to 10 years to flower. Timing is dependent on soil temperature and freshness.

Although a little patience may be necessary, bird of paradise propagation is a great way to grow additional plants, whether to add to your existing plants or to ensure their survival year after year in colder regions.

White Bird of Paradise

Strelitzia nicolai

Nothing says tropical like white bird of paradise, with its enormous leaves, upright stems and exotic flowers.

The unique white bird grows in a clumping form and needs a large area in which to spread out and unfurl its big leaves.

The plant blossoms on and off during warm weather, with flowers that bear an astonishing resemblance to a bird’s head.

The blooms, however, are less important to your landscape than the ultra-tropical look created by the beautiful foliage. The leaves look like an elite version of a banana plant.

A white bird of paradise can be a real showpiece in a landscape.

It can be used to accent tall pillars near a home’s entrance, add a tropical note as a backdrop in a mixed bed, or as a striking container plant on the patio or pool deck.

The mistake most people make with a white bird – and many other South Florida landscape plants – is not planning ahead for growth.

This is a big plant. When mature, it’s going to be over 20 feet tall by at least 6 feet or more wide, and it can tower over a small one-story house.

Leaves of a white bird of paradise can become chewed up from wind damage, making the plant unattractive. Try to place it in an area protected from strong winds.

Because it’s a clumping plant that grows multiple stems, you can cut down some of the stalks without hurting the plant.

This plant is sometimes confused with Travelers Palm because they look similar when young, but birds won’t grow as big and don’t form a palm-like trunk.

Plant specs

White bird of paradise is a moderate grower to about 25 feet.

These tropical plants do best in Zone 10, though in Zone 9B you can grow them in a large containers that can be moved indoors during cold weather.

This plant does fine in sun to partial shade.

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat humus to the hole when you plant. You can also add composted cow manure to the mix.

Water on a regular basis with enough time for the plant to dry out a bit between waterings. Avoid placing a bird of paradise in soil that doesn’t drain well.

Keep mulch away from the base of the plant to keep it from staying too wet.

Trimming off old leaves and stems occasionally is pretty much all that’s necessary for a white bird of paradise. However, you can thin the plant out or cut back for size by cutting off the largest stalks at ground level. Pups sprouting from around the plant’s base can also be removed.

Fertilize 3 times a year – in spring, summer, and autumn – with a fine quality granular fertilizer.

Plant spacing

Place these plants 4 or 5 feet apart.

Come away from the house at least 4 feet to allow the tall stalks room to grow without interfering with soffits and roof gutters.

Allow some room for nearby plants so they won’t be overtaken. Avoid placing close to the A/C or other outdoor household equipment.

A white bird will grow well in a large container but at some point it will outgrow the pot.

Landscape uses for white bird of paradise

  • single yard specimen
  • corner-of-the-house plant
  • large anchor for a garden bed
  • accent by the pool
  • along the property line
  • center of a circular drive (best with a two-story house)
  • in pairs flanking each side of a gate or driveway entrance
  • filler plant for a corner of the yard
  • privacy screen
  • architectural accent

A.K.A. (also known as): Giant Bird of Paradise, Bird of Paradise Tree
COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Yellow elder, selloum philodendron, ixora, croton, areca palm, downy jasmine, foxtail fern, and cordylines.

Other plants you might like: Orange Bird of Paradise, Travelers Palm

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Dividing and Propagating new Bird of Paradise Plants

Strelitzia reginae

Robert Smout wrote and asked: “I have a large bird of paradise which needs to be transplanted.”
I need info on how to do it, so I don’t kill it.
It seems to be splitting into two but I need to know if I separate when transplanting or leave as one.
This is the first time it has bloomed since I got it ten years ago, and I would like to keep it this way.
Considering I live at 9600 ft. in the rockies I thought this was a good sign.

To someone living in L.A., the fact that your Bird of paradise bloomed, is just another ho-hum.
However, since I live in the mountains of Washington, I assure you that you deserve an ‘atta boy’.
My Strelitzia regenia took 7 years to bloom, and it was in a hothouse!
Now you can be twice as proud…….

Dividing Bird of Paradise Plants

Dividing your Bird of Paradise will be easy once you have removed it from the pot.
The roots are very thick and fleshy, so be careful, but don’t be nervous, these plants are pretty tough.
Try to separate (unravel?) the roots coming from each division, and then carefully cut between the two plant sections with a CLEAN, sharp knife.
It is a good idea to dust the fresh cuts with a rooting hormone, such as ‘Roottone’.
Cut off any of the roots that may have been badly damaged during the operation.
Repot each section in a sterile pot, using a good commercial potting soil.
Keep in mind that Bird of Paradise plants bloom best when they are rootbound, so keep the new pot size as small as is feasible.
Do not water the plants for 2-3 days to give the cuts a chance to ‘callous’ over before resuming moderate watering
Give your Bird of Paradise a shot of all purpose fertilizer next spring, and watch them grow! Your Strelitzias should be blooming again in the following year.

Growing the Bird of Paradise from Seed

Bird of Paradise seeds must be sown while they are fresh, so plant them as soon as possible after harvest.
Soak your seeds in room temperature water for 3-4 days prior to planting (Be sure to change the water daily!)
Plant the seeds about an inch deep and keep the potting mix moist and very warm (about 85° F.)
It doesn’t matter which side of the seed is “up”.
Germination can take anywhere from one month to a year, depending on the soil temperature and freshness of the seeds, so be patient.

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Bird of Paradise Seeds – Strelitzia Reginae Flower Seed

Flower Specifications

Season: Perennial

USDA Zones: 9 – 11

Height: 24 – 48 inches

Bloom Season: Fall through spring

Bloom Color: Mix

Environment: Full sun to partial shade

Soil Type: Moist, well-drained

Planting Directions

Temperature: 85F

Average Germ Time: 42 – 63 days

Light Required: No

Depth: 1 inch

Sowing Rate: 1 – 2 seeds per plant

Moisture: Keep moist until germination

Plant Spacing: 24 inches

Care & Maintenance: Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia Reginae) – These Strelitzia Reginae seeds produce a very unusual yet prized flower. This seed grows into a long-lasting 4 foot plant, and the Bird of Paradise flower is similar in appearance to a bird’s head. The center bloom stalk is 3 feet long and the multicolored bloom is 6 – 8 inches in length. Colors include orange, copper, blue and red. The Bird of Paradise plant likes temperatures above 50 degrees F, so in most places it is better to grow it in a pot and keep the plant indoors during the winter and move outside in the summer. Move the pot outdoors slowly for brief periods of time each day, and let the Bird of Paradise acclimate or the plant can get sunburned.

Bird of Paradise flower seeds are slow to germinate, taking up to 8 or more weeks to germinate, and it will take 4 – 7 years for the plant to start blooming. When planting, soak the hard Strelitzia Reginae flower seeds for 24 – 48 hours and remove the orange tuft of hairs. Plant the flower seeds an inch deep in moist potting soil. Plants bloom best when pot-bound. If you need to re-pot a plant it might take a couple of years or more for the plant to start blooming again.


Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 25°C for this species.

  1. Nick seed with a sharp knife or abrade with coarse sandpaper.
  2. Soak seed 24 hours in warm water and remove the bright orange hairs attached to one end.
  3. Sow seed 1cm deep.
  4. Water with fine mist spray to avoid disturbance of the seed.
  5. Place in a warm shaded or semi shaded position to avoid dying out.
  6. Keep warm & moist, avoid drying out or waterlogging the growing mix.
  7. Germination generally occurs in around 4-8 weeks @ 25°C.

Note: Some research has shown it may also be beneficial to place the seed in a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for two weeks prior to the process note above.

General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.

Strelitzia Nicolai Giant White Bird of Paradise DM1 Seeds

Strelitzia Nicolai Giant White Bird of Paradise DM1 is a tall growing variety of Strelitzia that produces beautifully large vanilla white flowers accented by two striking blue anterior petals. The generally single-stemmed flowers are very long lasting and provide a spectacular display over an extended period in both garden & landscape settings. Bird of Paradise varieties are grown for their beautiful silvery green bold foliage and spectacularly beautiful flowers. Strelitzia Nicolai Giant White Bird of Paradise DM1 is one of the more popular varieties of Bird of Paradise varieties as it is a very strong garden performer which is both drought and frost tolerant, requires very little maintenance and is very resilient towards many common pests and diseases.

Strelitzia Nicolai Giant White Bird of Paradise DM1 is specifically suited to large-scale landscape applications because of the generally large size of this variety, making it ideal for screening (hide unsightly buildings or provide privacy) and can be used as a medium-sized tree with a more exotic touch due to the large fan-like leaves emanating from the ornate stems and trunks. Common and wild varieties and names of Strelitzia include, bird of paradise palm and wild banana. The orange flowering Strelitzia Reginae Bird of Paradise TCF3 is also available at our store.

Advantages of Strelitzia Nicolai Giant Bird of Paradise DM1

  • Large elegant white flowers accented by two striking blue anterior petals
  • Strong healthy vegetative growth ideal for landscaping screening and tropical-looking texture
  • Extra-low maintenance


  • 3 – 5m height at maturity (will clump up to 2-3m)
  • 2m apart is suitable planting distance for clumping
  • Flowers warmer months (spring, summer, autumn)
  • Suitable for part-shade and full sun
  • Drought & frost tolerant
  • Will grow in most regions of Australia
  • Perennial plant fully mature in 2 – 5 years

Seed Sowing Instructions

  • Easy to follow seed propagation notes are provided with every seed purchase
  • Seeds of this variety are best started in seed raising mix or Jiffy® pellets before planting into the garden

What am I Purchasing?

  • Premium seeds of Strelitzia Nicolai Giant White Bird of Paradise DM1
  • Easy to follow seed propagation notes

Growing White Bird Of Paradise From Seed – Knowledgebase Question

Strelitzia, or Bird of Paradise seeds can take up to 180 days to germinate and have the following requirements:
Do not chip the seedcoat but remove the orange tuft and soak the seeds overnight in warm water. Sow the seeds in moist sand, pressing them into the sand until only a small part of the seed is visible. Place the pots or trays in a dark area and maintain a temperature of 75F. Check frequently and keep the sand moist. After 7 days inspect the containers once a week. As soon as any bulges, roots or shoots are seen, remove the germinated seed and pot up in a growing medium of half peat and half sand. After repotting provide light and fresh air (to avoid damping off). Germination can start within 7 days and continue for 6 months or more.
Some seeds will produce roots without shoots and some will begin with shoots and no visible roots. Provide the best growing environment possible for your strelitzia seeds and you should have good success.
Maybe the best way to advertise your seeds is through a seed exchange column in National Gardening Magazine.

How to Grow Bird of Paradise From Seed

bird of paradise image by Earl Robbins from

Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae), also called the crane flower, is part of the banana family and native to South Africa. The bird of paradise can reach a mature height of 4 to 5 feet, with thick, waxy green leaves and a large, striking, vibrantly-colored flower that looks like a flying bird. The canoe-shaped, leaf-like bracts are green, red and purple, up to 8 inches long, and sprout the bright yellow and orange flower petals. This tropical perennial plant blooms during the fall, winter and early spring, usually from September until May. Growing a bird of paradise from seed is a slow process and requires some pretreatment to get the seeds to germinate.

Soak bird of paradise seeds in lukewarm water for three to four hours. Drain away the water.

Place the seeds into a plastic sandwich bag and store them in the refrigerator for about 14 days at 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scratch or nick the hard outer layer of the seeds with the tip of a sharp knife to scarify them, a process in which you “wound” the seeds for them to germinate.

Fill a seed tray with a 3- to 4-inch layer of vermiculite or one part peat moss mixed with one part perlite. Plant the bird of paradise seeds about 1/2 inch deep, spaced about 3 inches apart.

Water the seed tray thoroughly and evenly moisten the potting mixture. Cover the seed tray with a clear plastic bag or tray lid.

Place the seed tray in bright, indirect light. Water the seeds and soil mixture lightly and evenly every day to keep it damp until the seeds germinate, which can take two or three months.

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