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White Bird of Paradise

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by tkhooper on July 07, 2005 10:24 PM
Here is a picture of the plant that I bought the seeds for today.


I can't wait to get them. I like the bird of paradise flowers they are so unusual so I'm really hoping I can get this to grow. Does anyone have any planting/growing instructions for me please?
by PAR_Gardener on July 08, 2005 01:34 AM

I'm growing these too. I bought the seeds when I was in Hawaii in 2002. My plants need to be re-potted at this point.

You need to soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting. I used a cactus/succulent mix, added perlite, and some compost to try to simulate tropical soil to plant them in. The germination period is 4-6 weeks. Yes weeks. I believe that placing them on a heating mat will help germination. The plants like to stay moist but don't like to sit in standing water. I'll double check the instructions that came with my seeds when I get home.

This is my 3rd attempt at growing BoP. The first time, they never germinated. The second time, the germinated and then died a month or two later. This time, I have 4 plants. At least one of them is white. I didn't do a good job of labling the seedlings. I seem to recall reading that it can take 7 years before brid of paradise will bloom. Talk about a lesson in patience. Mine are now 2-3 years old. I'll include a picture of mine once I have them re-potted.

Good luck with your plants.

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Composting is more than good for your garden. It's a way of life.
by papito on July 08, 2005 01:41 AM

From Clemson University:


The Bird of Paradise can be propagated by either seeds or division of the crowns. Seeds take considerably longer than division to grow into a blooming plant.


The Bird of Paradise seeds have a very hard seed coat. Before planting them you must scarify (break the seed coat). Take a file and scrape the outside of the seeds just enough to break the seed coat. Sow seeds in a propagating mix or make your own mix by using equal parts of sand and potting soil. Seeds must be fresh, less than 6 months old and absolutely less than a year old. Germination occurs best at 75-80 degrees F. Germination is a slow process for Strelitzia seeds. Anywhere from 2-3 months.

Once your seedlings have emerged and have three to four leaves move them into a well drained potting mix. As the plants grow keep moving them to larger pots.

Remember though that they bloom better when crowded, so be slow to repot and quick to leave alone. One of the best specimens of Strelitzia reginae I have ever seen is one at a garden center that is about 15 years old and hasn't been repotted for at least 10 years. The container has burst from the pressure of the numerous crowns, but it always has three to four flowering stalks on it year round!

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by tkhooper on July 08, 2005 02:23 AM
That is going to take a lot of patience. I guess it will be my patience practice plant. I'll remember to scarify them. I'm wondering what I can use as a file. The only thing I have are emry boards lol. that's very girlie of me isn't it. Hum, I'll have to think about that one.

I did good waiting on the caladium. I guess maybe that was my practice run with patience. But they didn't take as long as the directions said they would so that may not count.

Thanks for the information. I'm going to paste it in my garden log.
by papito on July 08, 2005 06:46 AM
No file, no problem. You cook, don't you? Check your kitchen gadgets... a multi-purpose grater will do just fine.

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by tkhooper on July 08, 2005 06:24 PM
oh I have a grader. Never would have thought of that lol. Thanks Papito.
by atreus on July 15, 2005 07:32 AM

Seeds, I hope you are patient!

Thats strelitzia nicolai the 'Giant Strelitzia'.

It will grow huge and beautiful, but it could take up to six years before you get a single flower.

Beautiful plant though.

Good luck [Smile]

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by tkhooper on July 15, 2005 07:37 AM
Yeah I did see that. But this is the first year I have had houseplants that are growing and appear to be doing well. And I am so pleased. I thought I would try some exotics as long as I could start them from seed and it didn't cost me that much.

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