Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bird Of Paradise

This tropical bares mentioning because it is one tough cookie for our desert climate. Of all the tropicals to survive our severe freeze, this plant defied the odds. While I lost only one of these plants, the rest all came back.  If you were quick to pull, you may not have noticed that the heart of the plant(where the new shoots come out) may still have been okay.  I had seen it once before so I knew not to quickly pull the plant out of the ground.  Instead I gingerly poked at the center of the plant and found a lovely emerald green middle.  Today, several of the plants have new leaves on them and are on their way back to recovery.

This is one of the few tropicals that can withstand our extreme temps AND be placed into our soil if the ground is prepped properly.  Here are some important tips for growing this plant in Tucson. FIRST. Make sure you DON'T place this plant in direct sunlight or it will burn and die.  I've watched many people make this mistake.  Instead place in shade, filtered shade, or bright shade for best results.  Second.  I mentioned that you can place this tropcial into the soil, but you will need to prep the ground first.  If you place it in hard soil, you will stunt the growth of this plant which can get quite large over time.   Dig a whole twice the size of the container and fill with regular gardening soil and it will do well.  These plants also do well in pots and planters and make a statement to the entrance of your home. You can fertilize once a year and it will need regular watering once established.  Overall, this is a highly recommended tropical for your garden.  If you do have freezing temps during the winter and it's in the ground, cover as you would any frost tender plant. Our extreme freeze however proves that this plant is a tough survivor. One last thing......there are a couple plants with the title of Bird of Paradise.  Don't confuse this plant with the Mexican Bird of Paradise which requires absolutely the opposite conditions than those of this tropical beauty.  Remember that with most tropicals here in Tucson, you need to keep them in the bright shade(exceptions are Canna and Musa).


  1. Bird of Paradise (the tropical) just seems like such an oxymoron for Arizona! I'm curious if you have luck growing orchids?

  2. It requires daily misting but I have seen them grow here in greenhouses and bathrooms. I'm terrible at remembering to mist so after my first few died along with my ferns.....I stopped:) African violets love bright light in the bathrooms:)


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