Bird of paradise culture

bea(9a FL)May 13, 2014

Recent transplant from KY. I bought a bird of paradise and need advise on light requirements. Checked out several reliable sources. I get conflicting info. Some say full sun some say partial sun. I live outside Jax. I am also finding that the sun 800 miles south of where I did all my gardening until a short time ago is a lot hotter. So what does this plant prefer?

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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Bird of Paradise can live in a wide range of light conditions. At my local demonstration garden they have a few planted in different light conditions. If you plant them in full sun or where they get more sun than shade, they tend to stay compact, 3-4'. If planted in shadier spots they grow much taller, upwards around 15' or taller. Personally, I would think a spot where they got a good bit of morning sun, but were shaded from 2-3pm to sunset would be fairly ideal.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:56PM
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bea(9a FL)

Thx. I have that very spot.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:52PM
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Crenda SWFL 10A

This bird of paradise grows in full sun. It's about 8 foot across and 5 feet high in this picture.

2 years ago we had to dig up and divide the plant. A dadburn schefflera was growing in the center and we could not get it out. We gave a dozen plants to neighbors and potted up a couple for our selves - just in case we killed the poor thing. I'm happy to report that all are doing well.

We put one plant under some palm trees. It gets more shade than direct sun. While the plants in full sun have all bloomed, the one in the shade has not. It is growing well and is nice and full, but hasn't bloomed. I don't know if that is a factor to consider or not.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 3:43PM
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Crenda SWFL 10A

I was told that if you divide or transplant your bird it will not bloom for a couple of years. This is false. Mine bloomed the next year. Obviously it is not as full as it was before we divided it, but it is doing just fine.

This was last year, one year after the great divide.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Crenda, I don't know how much of a factor shade plays in blooming, but they will bloom in shade. The Discovery Gardens has two 12-15' monsters under a thick canopy of oaks and other trees and shrubs. Very shaded. And they were both in bloom last Tuesday when I visited.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 5:23PM
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Crenda SWFL 10A

I'm not surprised to hear they will bloom in shade. My neighbors and other locals have told me many things that turned out to be wrong! LOL My plants under the trees may just be taking their time before blooming.

I was also told that the roots take years to develop well enough to hold up the plant. And the 2 that I put into pots shot roots into the ground within about 6 months. Found out the hard way that they were already rooted to the ground. Couldn't move them!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 5:39PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Hi Leekle,

Were those monsters in permanent locations? Disney is known for growing plants in peak, perfect conditions and then rolling them out for display. Once the hurrah is over, they roll them away, behind the curtain. Do you remember if those two birds were in the ground?


    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:56PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Yeah, Sea World does the same. But the ones at Discovery gardens are permanent plantings. These gardens are part of UF's demonstration gardens and are supposed to highlight what anyone (in Lake Co. ) can do. Those two BoP's have been there in that spot for at least two years, that I personally know of.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 6:12AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Here is a picture of one of their BoPs that I took last summer.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:08AM
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I planted a BOP this year as well and everything I have read states that the white get very large and like partial sun where the orange like full sun and don't get nearly as huge. I'm not sure if that is correct info...but something to look up before choosing the site.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:03AM
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I have had both the orange and the white for a long time. The orange has never reached six feet, it just spreads outward. On the other hand, the white is about 12 feet. The white has been the more dependable bloomer of the two.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 1:12PM
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Here is a photo of my BOP.
It only get's filtered sun from the sunrise, but mostly shade.
I feed it once a month and water it every two weeks.
It flowers mostly year round, and it is now September and it is starting to bloom.
I, too, have heard they need lot's of sun, but that is not the case with this bird. I think they will grow in both sun and shade,but I lean towards filtered sun so they don't burn.
The leaves are dark green and healthy!
Good luck :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2014 at 11:35PM
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