How to Remove the Roots of a Bird of Paradise Plant

Bird of paradise plants are beautiful, but they can get out of control. If the plants are allowed to grow too large, they may actually start interfering with housing structures or take over a yard. In these cases, many owners elect to remove the plant from the premises much in the same way one would remove a tree (in fact, often with a chainsaw). However, since bird of paradise plants can grow back from just the roots, you will need to take some additional measures to insure that your plant does not return.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel

  • Spade

  • Round-up

  • Tarp

Step 1

Expose as much of the root as possible. Bird of paradise roots can exceed 15 inches in diameter easily, and you need to get all the way to the bottom of the roots if possible. You will not be able to uproot this type of plant, so you will have to take other action to remove the roots. Use the shovel and your spade to expose the roots.

Step 2

Scrap the roots using your spade. In some cases, removing the crown of the root can kill the plant because the rest of the root will be unable to grow. If you can locate the end of the root, use your spade to scrap off the end. If you can, actually cut off the end and remove it from the plant entirely. Scraping the sides of the roots also removes other offshoots that might still have growing ability.

Step 3

Treat the roots with Round-up. Round-up will kill your grass and other plants, so be very careful to apply it only to the roots themselves. In 10 to 14 days, the roots will biodegrade and you will likely be able to remove the plant from the ground manually.

Step 4

Obstruct as much light from the plant as possible. Anything that will interfere with the growth of the plant will help impede the progress of the plant's roots. Cover the plant with the tarp to keep out light and moisture during the root removal.


Removing your bird of paradise plant's roots will kill your plant. Be sure that this is okay with you and that you have removal plans in mind for the rest of the plant before you initiate root removal.

References & Resources

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