How to Harvest Bird of Paradise Seeds

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The bird of paradise is a plant native to South Africa. This plant is a relative of the banana tree. The bird of paradise received its name because the flower looks like a bird in flight. The leaves are around 6 inches wide and 18 inches long. This is a tropical plant, grown as a houseplant in places where the temperature gets below freezing. Collecting your own seeds is an economical way to save money that you would otherwise spend in purchasing a new plant or seed. You can give the seed away to family or friends, or sell it online or at farmer's markets.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Tray
  • Envelope or sealable bag
  • Watch the bird of paradise for seedpods after it has flowered.

  • Pick the seedpods when they are mature. You can tell they are ready to pick then the pods are tan colored with dark brown stems. The pods are woody and pointed with large, shiny black seeds inside. The bird of paradise seeds have a woolly orange tuft on them.

  • Have a bag or a bowl ready, because the seedpods may be opening at this point and you do not want to lose them.

  • Put the seeds in a paper-towel-lined tray so they can finish drying.

  • Pop the pods open and remove the seeds. Place the seeds back on the tray and allow to dry completely.

  • Place the seeds in an envelope or sealable bag.

  • Label the outside of the envelope with the contents inside, the color of the flower and any other information you may need. Inside the plastic bag, you can write the information on a piece of paper and put it inside with your bird of paradise seeds.

  • Store the envelope or bag in a cool, dry place until ready to plant.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before planting, soak the seeds for 24 hours. Remove the orange tuft and scratch the outside of the seed coat with a sharp knife.
  • Bird of paradise seeds are slow to germinate. It can take 8 weeks or longer. For your plant to bloom, it will take another 4 to 7 years.
  • Saving your own seed will help save money and you can use these seeds in seed swaps.
  • Parts of the bird of paradise plant are poisonous if ingested.

References

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