Barbados Bird of Paradise Mexican Bird of Paradise
I have 7 Mexican Birds of Paradise and numerous pods of seed. How do you know if it is dried enough to remove from plant or do they just drop off when ready? Is it true the seed coat needs to be cut and soaked in water? When is best time to plant the seeds? I want to plant them where 5 butterfly bushes died.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Bird of Paradise seeds must be sown while they are fresh, so plant them as soon as possible after harvest. Allow the pods to dry on the plant and then break them open to harvest. The pods will turn brown and may even rattle when lightly shaken. Yes, you need to nick the seeds first. The hard seeds must be scarified (nicked or scratched) before they will germinate. To scarify, soak the seeds in lukewarm water for several hours, and then nick them with a knife or small file. Then you can plant them in moist potting mix. Scarified seeds will germinate in two to three months. Note: A bird-of-paradise grown from seed will take three to five years to bloom.