How to Propagate Bird of Paradise

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The bird of paradise, known scientifically as the Strelitzia reginae, is a flowering member of the banana family. Instead of having a trunk, however, it has many stalks that grow out of a unified root system. You can propagate birds of paradise by dividing an adult plant or cultivating them from seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Rooting hormone
  • Pots
  • Potting soil
  • Bowl
  • Vermiculite
  • Glass jar

Division

  • Propagate an adult bird of paradise plant in the early spring, before it gets its new growth.

  • Remove the bird of paradise from the pot.

  • Locate the natural divisions where the plant seems to be splitting. In a large plant, there may be two or three distinct clusters where the bird of paradise is already trying to split apart.

  • Separate the roots from each other as much as you can, leaving each section with its own clump of roots.

  • Cut the plants apart with a clean, sharp knife. Be careful not to disturb the roots more than you have to, but the plant itself is fairly hardy.

  • Dust the cut areas with a rooting hormone to encourage new growth.

  • Re-pot each section in its own large container, using a normal commercial potting soil.

  • Avoid watering the plants for 2 or 3 days to let the new cuts heal a little, and then water moderately until the plants are established.

Seeds

  • Fill a bowl with room temperature water and soak the seeds in the bowl overnight.

  • Nick the seeds with a very sharp knife to facilitate sprouting. The hard case of the bird of paradise seed can make germination difficult if there is no opening.

  • Plant the seeds in a pot filled with vermiculite. They should be planted about ½ inch in the vermiculite.

  • Place a glass jar upside down over the seeds to keep them humid.

  • Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. The seeds should germinate within 8 to 12 weeks.

  • Transplant the bird of paradise seedlings when they have produced two leaves.

References

  • Photo Credit bird of paradise image by Earl Robbins from Fotolia.com
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