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Help Question about moving Giant Bird of Paradise?

Posted by ladybarber101 9a (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 17, 06 at 21:54

Okay I have a friend who has 2 clumps of giant white birds of paradise and she wants to thin / move and remove any dead plants.. The problem is that they are so big she has no idea how to go about it.. These things are gigantc I mean taller than the house...She said she tried to use water to remove the soil and lssen them, she tried dgging and ect.. I dont know how much or how hard but please anyone know the best way to go about this??? She told me if we could figure it out without killing them we could have a few of the (smaller..LOL) ones for here in our yard..
O she said in the keys they call they variation traveling palms.. I dont know if that helps or not..
Please any help is appreciated...Donna

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RE: Help Question about moving Giant Bird of Paradise?

  • Posted by baci z10Ca (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 18, 06 at 1:41

Does she have a travelers palm? If you post a picture you can get an ID.
I have a few tips. They can be split to remove the offsets. However, I have known people that split during the summer who have lost the plant.
Plants that are that large are very heavy. You will need at least a couple of people to prevent bodily injury with movement. Birds of paradise can be tipped near the base of the trunk which can expedite movement.
The average dolly will not be strong enough to move a large bird. You will need one with a large lip. Commercial growers have special moving dollies for these plants. The weight capacity should be about 1000 lbs.

RE: Help Question about moving Giant Bird of Paradise?

I dont have a pic but i can take one wednesdayand try to figure out how to post it.. I am still trying t post it.. I know it bloomed last month with the white birdsbut they are so bg I have never seen them this big before they literally are planted beside the house and the fans are taller than the roof.. Will post again when I get a photo..

RE: Help Question about moving Giant Bird of Paradise?

Be aware, Travellers Palms are NOT giant bird of paradise (Strelizia Nicholae). Two different things. Do NOT do the advice below if it is a travellers palm. If it is, you'll likely kill it.

If it IS a giant bird, your best bet is to actually cut it back to the ground. The rhizome/root can be divided like a banana plant.

I've tried to move bananas and BoP before (they're both similar herbaceous plants) and by far the most successful where where I cut back most of it, perhaps leaving only some very small new plants coming out of the root.

Just do a google search for "Propogating Bird of Paradise" and you'll see how to divide the roots after they get cut back.

With a root ball that large, I wouldn't be surprised if it's back bigger than the house within a year or so, even from a full ground level cut back if it gets enough water, sun and fertilizer.


RE: Help Question about moving Giant Bird of Paradise?

  • Posted by baci z10Ca (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 20, 06 at 17:49

I spoke to my neighbor today who used to grow birds of paradise commercially. It is possible to dig up a giant nicolai & move it without cutting it down he has done so & it does not sound like it is terribly hard to do. Just heavy work. Before you start, find out if you have a travelers. If you have a travelers palm, it may have a different root system, and then you should probably go to a nursery that specializes in giant travelers palms.
S. nicolai blooms in late spring/early summer I am not unsure of when the travelers bloom.

RE: Help Question about moving Giant Bird of Paradise?

Hi, I'm new here.
I live in Dallas (Zone 7). I recently found what I thought was a discarded Banana tree, which are common in this area, but a friend told me it is a Traverller Palm. It is at least 15' tall. After reading this forum I'm not sure if it is not, in fact, a Bird of Paradise.

Either way, I know nothing about the care of this plant. It is so large and beautiful I don't want to risk killing it.

Do they prefer to be pot bound or in the ground? If in the ground, what do I do about Winter care? I have Bananas and Elephant Ears which I lets die down and then mulch. They do well and come back every year. Do I do the same for this plant?

RE: Help Question about moving Giant Bird of Paradise?

A GBOP in zone 7?...they can grow so fast in hot summer climates like Texas i can see where they can get large before you have a REAL zone 7 cold freeze.
Moving them is for the pros after they have been in the ground for more than a year or two. Sometimes one shoot or more will be pushed to near the surface-those you have a good chance to dig out and get to come right back. Trying to divide or dig up those shoots and trunks that root deeper is just impossible for the average joe.I said that once before and the reply i got was it could be done-they have a crew to prove it!

RE: Help Question about moving Giant Bird of Paradise?

My father has a large GBOP that I just did a "Partial Move on" we wanted to split the large plant into several smaller ones. First I cut back some of the foliage to make the plant a little easier to work on. Then I spent about 2 hours on it and it was tough labor. Be aware that most of the smaller plants coming off of the main plant are just suckers (no roots) the easiest thing for me to do was to take a small pruning saw and cut the root ball in half from the top. I dug into the rootball from the side angled down to cut the roots out (not too close to the plant). I was able to Keep half of the original plant in it's place and it is already coming back strong in 2 weeks. I was able to take the other half and get 4 large 10' sections and 3 small sections that are all thriving now. Even just one little root dangling down will let the plant grow in.

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