In an article in the magazine 'Florida Gardening', they speak of deadheading Bird of Paradise as "cutting the spent flower from the back of the spathe (bract), the new ones in front will shine. If you don't they look shaggy. " My question is 'What is the spathe, and how should the deadhead cut be made?'
Deadheading Bird of Paradise
'What is the spathe?'
This is where the flowers emerge from the stem. The hard beak-like bract/spathe sits horizontally. The spathe normally holds 4 to 16 flowers, each flower composing of 3 orange sepals and 3 blue petals.
'How should the deadhead cut be made?’
When the flower begins to look spent, it's time to cut it off. Cut the entire stalk unless there is another flower developing from the same stalk. If so, just cut the spent flower by itself...at the 'spathe'.
Hope this helps!