One of the most popular plants in Florida, the Bird of Paradise requires little care and produces spectacular flowers. The blooms of the plant make for great cut flower displays in your home. The cut flowers stay beautiful for several days, if kept in a vase with water.
The plants are sold in just about every plant nursery and big box store in the state. Once planted, the plants often take a year or two before producing flowers.
They require about the same water amounts as Florida lawn; the plants flourish with about an inch of water per week in the summer. During the cooler winter season, water is only needed when the ground dries out according to the Florida State University master gardeners.
Honestly, I don’t do anything special for them. The plants get watered when the irrigation system runs for the grass. A bit of fertilizer every few months keeps them in flowers most of the time.
The more sun the plant gets the more flowers it produces, so for best results make sure you place them in a sunny location.
About the only maintenance required is a yearly thinning out of dead stalks and flowers. We cut ours back quite a bit and it seems to promote even more growth. If you like, the plant can be divided into two or more parts and planted in other parts of the landscape. I have never tried this and have been told that it takes two to three years after the splitting for the plants to begin flowering again.
We have three plants around the house that flower almost all year long. Nothing says Florida more than “The Bird”.
FOG sez: Hmmm, I thought giving the bird was a bad thing.