fertilizing bird of paradise

Ann_in_Houston(z9 Houston)May 27, 2012

What is the best fertilizer for this tropical? I have a dwarf variety, in a pot. It is healthy, but I wouldn't say thriving. I really want blooms on this plant. I seem to have gotten the watering balance right, but it's two or three years old and not one bloom, ever.

I wondered if it also needed to be in full sun to bloom, but was told at my nursery that it doesn't. They sell them in their shady area, so I don't think that's it. Other opinions?

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cjra(TX)

I always thought it needed full sun.

I have a few, all in fun sun. One is basically a weed - that is, it was here long ago and very long neglected before we took over the property. It's enormous, thrives, with spectacular blooms. Apart from pruning it a bit from time to time, I do nothing to it. I never water it directly (it may get some when I water the fruit trees nearby, but I never put water on it) and have never fertilized it.

The other two I planted as little saplings. I did water them the first summer to establish them, since then nothing except the pruning. Again, possible occasional water if I'm watering something else, but never directly and no more than once or twice a month. They're happy and healthy and blooming despite a few years of freeze/drought cycles.

All are in the ground, in full sun, so maybe that is the difference?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 2:06PM
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honeybunny2(Z9TX)

I have mine in full sun, I use coffee grounds. They bloom all the way into December. Barbra

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 6:45PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I don't think they like being in a pot.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 1:14AM
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honeybunny2(Z9TX)

I have 3 orange bird of paradise, planted in the ground, they have never froze. My white bird of paradise with 7 hugh stalks, taller than the house froze Feb 2010. It is just now coming back. I would have dug it up, but its trunk is about 5 ft wide, so I left it. It was such a beautiful display plant before it froze. Barbra

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 7:42PM
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beachplant(9b)

They do not do well in pots, I have one in almost full shade that blooms regularly, another in full sun that is a spotty bloomer. Sometimes they will not bloom for a few years after being repotted either.
Barb, our white one, which was bout 15' tall and bloomed all year did not survive Ike and the freezes that followed. We tried to dig it out but gave up, man that thing has a massive root ball
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 4:57PM
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honeybunny2(Z9TX)

Tally, we could not dig it out either, but to my suprise it has come back. There is new growth from the sides of the original plant base. 4 new plants are coming out next to the craters where we cut off the original frozen stalks. We just saw the new growth last week, and it froze Feb 2010. My Dr Moy ginger, and variegated rubber tree, are also coming back up. Its strange, all this time there was no sign of life, and now everything is starting to come back. I wish I would not have been so quick to dig up my papaya, and brugmansia plants when they froze. Barbra

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:36PM
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