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Container Bird Of Paradise Plants

Q.How and When Do I Prune Bird of Paradise in San Diego, California?

Donna59 added on January 3, 2013 | Answered

I have two old ratty looking Bird of Paradise plants in front of my living room window. I occasionally prune back dead leaves and flowers, but the dried remnants remain throughout the plants. How do I cut back the plants to a smaller diameter and remove all dead material? When do I do this since the plants bloom pretty much throughout the year since we don’t have a real winter?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 4, 2013
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Answered on January 4, 2013

When cleaning my "birds", I cut the ratty/dead as close to the bottom of the stem as possible. It can be done with patience, and the results are rewarding. I've found that they bloom best when potbound. Unfortunately, I listened to advice to divide...,they didn't bloom for at least 18 months. When they were divided, the plants were quartered with a saw. Any roots or stems that were sacrificed were just discarded. It is easier to divide this way than to try to work the roots apart, and sometimes this method does less damage.

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