mexican bird of paradise....needing lotsa help....

hemeteer(9 SoCalif.)April 28, 2004

I HAVE 5 MEXICAN RED BIRD OF PARADISE AND 5 YELLOW BOP SEEDS. I HAVE USED THE PAPER TOWEL METHOD AND MOST HAVE STARTED A SINGLE WHITE "ROOT". I PLAN TO MOVE THEM INTO A PAPER CUP WHEN APPROPRIATE. BUT, I AM A NOVICE OF THE FIRST ORDER WHEN IT COMES TO GARDENING....I DO PRIZE THESE WONDERFUL PLANTS SO HIGHLY..THAT I HOPE TO GET HELP IN BEING SUCCESSFUL WITH THEM...

MY QUESTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS.....

  1. WHEN SHOULD I MOVE THEM FROM THE PAPER TOWEL TO THE PAPER CUP MEDIUM? DO I WAIT FOR SEVERAL APPENDAGES TO SHOW?

2. HOW DEEP DO I BURY THEM? AND WILL POTTING SOIL BE GOOD FOR STARTING THEM?

3. HOW MUCH SUNLIGHT SHOULD THEY GET IN THE BEGINNING AS THEY SPROUT?

THANK YOU FOR READING MY POST AND I DO HOPE SOMEONE WILL TAKE MERCY ON ME AND OFFER ME THE BENEFIT OF THEIR EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE...I WOULD BE MOST GRATEFUL IF YOU WILL...

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the_butterfly_lady(San Antonio)

If they've germinated (which they have, if you see the white shoot) plant them now (before it grows into the papertowel.)
Don't plant them too deep now, since they've germinated you don't have to bury them as deep as you normally wood. Remember: it's better to UNDER plant them than to over plant them. I just barly cover the seeds with damp vermiculite (this will pull the seed cover off the plant as it raises above the soil.)
Oh! Plant them with the white root down! Beleive it or not, it does make a difference.
Don't wait for several appendeges to appear, or you've waited way too long.
They'll need about 8 hours of sun, but not hot, direct sun at this time (too hot!) If you're in an area that's warm enough, put them outside. If not, be sure there is good air circulation for them too.
After the first true leaves appear (the first leaves are "seed leaves") you can start "weaning" your seedlings outside, with a little more direct sunlight every few days.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flying Flowers - my site

    Bookmark   April 28, 2004 at 9:22PM
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usha(z8AZ,Nscottsdal)

I think you are doing it the hard way. I soak my seeds for 24hrs in water. Then I put them in soil when it is warm. They germinate. They don't transplant well. So I use the 6pack annual containers so that when the plant needs to be transplanted you can use the whole ball of soil.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2004 at 1:45PM
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lantana_babe(z9 AZ)

I agree with usha. After soaking the seeds for 24 hours, I just plant the seeds directly into the ground. Since these plants are so numerous here, I gather seeds from plants yearly. And satart new ones in the spring.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2004 at 5:21PM
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hemeteer(9 SoCalif.)

My thanks to you of all, for your kind responses. i have the first stage behind me in getting my seeds started. I got the seeds on ebay, after seeing only two of these wonderful plants in this area. No one knew what they were called, and the local nursries were no help, maybe cause i didnt know the actual name...anyway, i germinated them in a paper towel, and have moved them to dixie cups, where they have started to show the first true fern like leaves. it has been hot here (97 yesterday) so i am shade exposing them only.

My next step will be to pot them, perhaps with tin foil in the pot first?????(any reason to not use foil?? with a hole for drainage) i think the foil will make it easier to move them into the ground later at a little more mature stage. I thank the three of you for your kind help. I had already started this method when usha and lantana_babe offered their kind ideas, and i am enjoying the hands on approach to seeing them develop.

thank you butterfly lady for your words of wisdom. you guided me to know exactly how to raise them successfully, and i do appreciate it!!! by the way, i tried to visit your site, but tripod seems to be out of operation, regrettfully......... :-(

thanks again, to you three for your generous suggestions .

    Bookmark   May 4, 2004 at 10:41AM
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the_butterfly_lady(San Antonio)

I'd use a peat pot, or one made from newspaper. These are recyclable, and will break down in the soil. When ready to plant, you just pop the pot and all in the ground.
You can just line a pot with newspaper (several layers thick) fill with soil and plant your baby. When ready to transplant, just put paper & all in the hole (remove the pot though.)

I don't know why my site didn't work. Maybe Tripod was temporarly down.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2004 at 7:14PM
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hemeteer(9 SoCalif.)

my dear butterfly lady....your helpful information is greatly appreciated. i will proceed as suggested. and, so far so good with my plants....thanks to the kind ideas i have received.

i enjoyed your site, so comprehensive and extensive. i will peruse it further as i have time...

    Bookmark   May 6, 2004 at 3:39AM
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hemeteer(9 SoCalif.)

well, it seems i have more questions than i expected and you, butterfly lady, have been so helpful, i am so appreciative... i was dismayed the other evening to see my seedlings had folded their leaves together ... :-(
i was concerned i had over watered them, or something, but, the next morning the leaves were open again...it seems they do that every night to preserve moisture perhaps... anyway, my next question is this...i have three red and two yellow MBOP seedlings...i was going to locate them in four different spots, but since they are single stalks...should i plant them all in one area close together to make a bush? will it take some years for them to become bushy plants on their own? it would be the front of my mobile home so i want them to appear bushy as soon as possible....might i impose on the benefit of your experience about this issue of how they develop??? thank you so much.....

Ken McInnes

    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 3:44PM
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the_butterfly_lady(San Antonio)

Always plan your plantings for the mature size of the plant. You have 4 plants, not a bush. I'd plant them apart, but close enought to make a cluster, if you'd like.
I know you're anxious, but you just can't rush Ma Nature.
I don't think it'll take years, but maybe a year. This year, your plant will be busy establishing a root system. Branchs appear from other stems and branches, and yours may develop more branching as it gets older.
Patience, Grasshopper! :-)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2004 at 5:09PM
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quercus1(8)

I have the desert bird of paradise, which is related. In my yard they sprout up after a good rain. When they are small I have no problem transplanting them. They do have long tap roots so move them when they are small.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2004 at 7:30PM
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Aegis(z9 CA)

I just got a couple of the reds, so don't know a lot about them. But I have loads of the floppy yellow ones. They self seed very easily and seem to grow fairly rapidly, although I don't know how long until they flower. Transplanting can be difficult, as the tap root is hard to get...but they seem to recover from the shock after a month or so and regrow the lost leaves quickly.

-dr

    Bookmark   May 27, 2004 at 1:16AM
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hemeteer(9 SoCalif.)

thank you all for your very kind support. i thought i might update y'all with the status of my BOP's. The five shoots are about 8 inches tall now, in their individual dixie cups, and being exposed to several hours of late and early sunshine.

perhaps this is doing it the hard way according to some of your kind suggestions, but, these are a scarce item around here, and for example, we dont get much rain at all, so....i am nursing them along.

Actually, i am concerned i might overwater them,(even with drainage holes in the bottom of each cup)....... so far so good, but i am flying blind and have no idea about what they need daily. (if any one wants to tell me how they judge the right amount...that would be great!!)

My next move will be to pot them in about 30 days...and maybe stake them too, as we have some strong gusts of wind. I will use newspaper to line the pots, for ease in transplanting. any added suggestions are greatly appreciated....as always
Ken

    Bookmark   May 27, 2004 at 2:16AM
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hemeteer(9 SoCalif.)

oooops...i just measured them..they are only four inches high....i had said eight inches tall...wishful thinking i suppose...

grasshopper... :-)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2004 at 11:08PM
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psa146_2(z9 AZ)

One thing I had to do after planting them outside was to put a screen cover over the first season. For some reason, the cutter bees love the leaves. :-) Once they get bigger, you don't need to bother. They will still eat the leaves, but not enough damage to hurt the plant.
I used what they call I think-construction cloth? (is actually metal) 1/4 " size, then some weed cloth over the top. Much better than chicken wire, which is too soft to hold shape and holes too large to keep much of anything out.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2004 at 5:06PM
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hemeteer(9 SoCalif.)

thank you, psa, and all of you others, for your kind suggestions...i am patiently taking them outside daily for about 8 hours of sun per day..they are sloooooooowly getting bigger. i have had no problem with insects thus far, perhaps we dont have that particular nuisance bug around here.... i will refer to these messages again when it comes time to plant the seedlings...and i do appreciate the guidance...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2004 at 1:43PM
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Carletta(9 TX)

I just came across this thread. The leaves do fold up at night somewhat. I have some seeds of the red/orange type - caesalpinia pulcherrima, I think the call it - if you want more. I think you are worrying too much about the plants; they are quite sturdy here and I just do what others have suggsted - soak them in water for 24 hours and then plant. They come up almost 100%.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 4:41PM
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Tropical_Nuts

I'm planting a Mexican bird of paradise in Northeast Florida. Is it's native soil more alkaline than mine? How should I ammend the soil before planting?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 2:42PM
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cindy_ash

Hee, I had to smile at this question - we started with three MBOP in our back yard when we moved in six years ago. We now have ten - with absolutely no help from moi! All seeded themselves. Which for me is ok, because I have the type of yard where it doesn't really matter where they grow. I do understand starting from seeds if you are needing to be a bit more careful.

BTW, I had always heard that you trim back MBOP after the frost. But recently I read something that suggested this is not a good idea. My plants have always done well, but wonder if they would do even better if I left them alone. Comments?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 8:26PM
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hemeteer(9 SoCalif.)

thanks for the input cindy...well, i should update my status here...since people have been helpful and deserve to satisfy their curiousity...so, here it is... i slowly brought my plants into the strong sunlight till i felt i could let them stay that way all day...but, it got quite hot..(desert temps of 105)... so, i watered more..however, they seemed to stall, and after several days, i inspected them, and the new shoots coming out from the stems were brown and dead!! the heat was too intense for those new shoots, it appears....in addition, they slowly turned a pale green, i thought it was adjustment to the heat...but it turned out to be spider mites..grrrr!!
so i sprayed,trimmed and moved them to shade again, and now i have fresh shoots starting again...at this rate it will be several years before i get a blossom, i suspect...
well, the point is enjoyment and not results...or do i have that backwards???? :-D

cindy, i have observed two owners here in the desert area of southern california, and they both cut their bushes back to about a foot high over the winter...when spring arrived both plants produced new leaves and now they both have beautiful flowers blooming profusely...and the plants have grown to about three to four feet high again....

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 8:44PM
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cindy_ash

That's pretty much been my experience - I trim mine back and get rewarded with spectacular results in the heat of the summer. So that's why I was surprised by the comment that you shouldn't trim, and wondered why.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 2:01AM
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azlcd(z8 / TX)

I just planted two red and one yellow mbop. I noticed the bottom set of fronds are turning yellow. Too much water? not enough? otherwise seem happy. They are all one stick though, and I want a bush!!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 10:58AM
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hemeteer(9 SoCalif.)

hello azlcd.. i got five "sticks" and i want a bush too :-D
i played golf the other day (112 degrees)..and the whole course in palm springs was covered in these mbop plants..amazing!! but, they did look very wild and uncultivated. The ones I have seen at people's residences have appeared much more plantlike and orderly. I wish i had information for you about the yellowing leaves.... all i can relate so far is that mine turned very pale and i found that was due to spider mites. i hope someone with more experience can add their thoughts to benefit you... Good luck....

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 12:17PM
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rogersheavylift

How do you transplant 2 year-old MBOP....Thanks

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 3:41PM
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rogersheavylift

How do you transplant 2 year-old MBOP....Thanks

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 3:42PM
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lazy_gardens

rogersheavylift ... like any shrub ... get the new hole ready (fill it with water and let it drain a couple of times), prune it back heavily. dig it with as big a root ball as you can handle in your shovel, and move it over to the new location.

Slide it in the hole

Gently pat the dirt down and soak it thoroughly. Water it daily for a week, \twice daily for a month, and then back off on the watering. Now is a good time to do this, because it has time to get established before winter.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 1:16PM
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sunnyque

duplicate post

This post was edited by sunnyque on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 16:43

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 5:01AM
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sunnyque

duplicate post

This post was edited by sunnyque on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 16:44

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 5:02AM
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sunnyque

duplicate post

This post was edited by sunnyque on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 16:45

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 5:03AM
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sunnyque

i planted 10 pink Mexican bird of paradise seeds. First I soaked them in half hot half boiled water until the water went cold then repeated this process twice until the seeds were plump. I used Jiffy pots and Jiffy pellets and then placed them in small plastic pots that were slightly to small for the Jiffy pots.I just covered them with soil and put them in a small plastic tray with a clear lid. (mini green house about $5.00). I put them in their cheap little green house in the sun about half the day for 5 days taking them in after the sun spot has shaded over. They have all sprouted after the 6th day. The Jiffy pots allow you to replant the seedlings without disturbing the seedling. They break down in the soil as the plant grows.
Sonia

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 5:05AM
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