bird of paradise help and questions

plantlover13(5)June 3, 2013

Hello. I have a small bird of paradise plant in a container. I just set it outside after being in my basement all winter, and miraculously, it was green and alive. It had no leaves. However, i noticed that the center had become mushy and brown. i am pretty surethat that was rot, so i kep cutting the plant back until i got to the soil level, where there was no rot. did i do the right thing?

Also, i dug around under the plant to loosen up the soil (had compacted after long winter). i noticed a very interesting root system, large, fleshy rhizone/tuber seeming things extending almost three times the size of the plant into the soil. I accidentally broke one off, but the plant had like five more. if i was to take the fleshy root thing, could i pant it and have it grow a new plant? i would like to have some extra in case i wasn't able to remove all the rot and it kills the rest of the plant.

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I have no experience of over-wintering plants so I can't comment on the transition from basement to outdoors that you have experienced.
However having grown BOP both in pots and in-ground, I can say that they can achieve a very substantial root system, and I think what you've described are roots. And if so, I don't believe the broken part will re-generate.
The most usual way to multiply these plants is either by seed (slow growth) or division of the crown/clump but that is a bit risky as you may lose all of it.
I hope your plant survives, and without stressing it too much I'd suggest a replant to a larger container might help it re-constitute. Don't overwater as they are a very hardy plant and will probably fight to survive.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 2:27AM
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They're not actually a tropical plant. They come from a mediterranean climate, hot dry summers and wetter cooler winters. So they like a lot of sun. But like any plant, moving from complete shade into direct sun needs to be done gradually.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 4:40AM
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