Bird of Paradise (orange) maintenance
Last week we had 3 beautiful, surprisingly healthy, large (5-6' tall/wide) Bird of Paradise plants randomly cut down to the root balls by our gardeners. I was told: "Gardeners do this ALL the time." "It is the routine maintenance of bird of paradise." "If you have a bird of paradise it will be cut to the ground at least once in it's lifetime." "That is how you treat a bird of paradise, It helps promote the health of the plant." "It will come right back." The plants have been there since 1990 and were full of energy and life, in spite of the stage 3 drought conditions. This makes zero sense to me. Please help me understand if this is, in fact, "the way bird of paradise are treated"?? I have lived here 20 years and have NEVER seen this! I am unable to find ANY information about why this would possibly be good for a beautiful healthy 27-year-old plant to cut it to the root balls during a drought? I have googled and come up with zero regarding this drastic practice. Please help me understand if you can. Thank you so much. Below is a photo of where the plants once were in front of a 20ft stucco wall and what they were cut down to. How long do you think it will take to "come back?" Thank you very much for any information. Cheryl
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I understand your frustration! Bird Of Paradise don’t require much pruning at all. You’ll want to remove the dead flowers & any unsightly foliage. Just be sure to take the stems all the way down as close to the base of the plant as you can.
They are a tough plant and hopefully with your watchful eye they can recover.