Birds of paradise are attractive, often colorful plants that get their name from their bird-like appearance. While most come from the Strelitziaceae family, there are other types of flowering plants that are also known as bird of paradise, such as the shrub Caesalpinia gilliesii, also known as the yellow bird of paradise. Your ability to grow this type of plant depends a great deal on the hardiness zone where you live.
Zones 7 and 8
Zones 7 and 8 are both split into two parts – a and b. Zones 7a and 7b have annual minimum temperatures of 0 to 5 and 5 to 10 degrees F, respectively. In zones 8a and 8b, annual minimum temperatures range from 10 to 15 and 15 to 20 degrees F. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Little Rock, Arkansas, are found in zone 7, while Dallas, Texas and Gainesville, Florida, are both in zone 8. While these areas are not the ideal temperature for most birds of paradise plants, it is possible for certain types of the plant to survive here. For example, the yellow, or desert, bird of paradise can tolerate both zones 7 and 8.
Hardiness zone 9 includes zone 9a and 9b. The minimum temperature for zone 9a is between 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit and, for 9b, it is 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Houston, Texas, and Fort Pierce, Florida, are cities found in zone 9, according to the USDA Hardiness Zone Map. Examples of a bird of paradise plant that does well in these zones are the yellow and white bird of paradise. The white variety does well in hardiness zones 9B through zone 11 and can be planted in containers or planters.
Hardiness zones 10a and 10b are suitable for most bird of paradise plants. The minimum temperatures in these zones range between 30 to 40 degrees F. The bird of paradise grows well in zone 10 as well as zone 11, although it can survive in temperatures as low as 24 degrees F for brief periods. It flowers best in California and Hawaii's weather conditions; however, it also does well in Florida and other areas within these zones. Victorville, California, is an example of a city located in hardiness zone 10a and Miami, Florida in zone 10b.
Zone 11 has the warmest minimum annual temperature as it remains above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Like zone 10, its conditions are extremely suitable for various types of birds of paradise, including the Crane Flower, the white bird of paradise and the red bird of paradise. Honolulu, Hawaii, is an example of a zone 11 city.
- United States National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
- "Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas"; George Oxford Miller; 2006
- "Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South"; Norman Winter; 2003
- University of Florida; Strelitzia Reginae; Edward F. Gilman; October 1999
- University of Florida; Strelitzia Nicolai - White Bird-of-Paradise; Edward F. Gilman, et al; October 1994
- Arizona State University: Red Bird-of-Paradise
- University of Florida IFAS Extension; Bird-of-Paradise; Sydney Park Brown, et al