The bird of paradise is a tropical, evergreen plant known for their giant leaves and exotic flowers. If you own a bird of paradise plant and want to know how to propagate it, you are at the right place.
Propagate a bird of paradise plant through division:
- Select a healthy rhizome with proper stem and roots from a mature bird of paradise.
- Cut it off by using sharp and sterilized pruners.
- Cover the open cut with the rooting hormone.
- Plant the newly divided plant in a pot with a high-quality potting mix.
- Avoid watering the soil for a few days until the plant heals from transplant shock.
In this article, I will explain how to propagate a bird of paradise plant and the conditions required for successful propagation.
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Why should we propagate the bird of paradise plant?
The bird of paradise plants is loved for their banana-like leaves and beautiful blooms.
There are several reasons to propagate a bird of paradise plants.
Firstly, propagation is an excellent way of getting many plants at once so that we can enjoy them for years.
Buying new bird of paradise plants from the market can be expensive, so propagation is a practical way of getting many new plants without spending money.
Furthermore, you can share these beautiful plants with your friends and family and help them spread.
Secondly, propagation is a way of knowing your plant more and will help you understand how it grows so that you can provide better care in the future.
Thirdly, propagation is also an excellent way to use healthy stems instead of throwing them after pruning.
Fourthly, if your bird of paradise plant is dying, you can save it by propagating its healthy stem.
Sometimes, the roots come out from the pot or split, which is another reason for propagation.
This problem usually happens when your potted bird of paradise has grown too big to develop this condition.
Propagation is the best way to multiply this beautiful plant around your space.
Sharing my propagation experience of my bird of paradise plant
I bought my bird of paradise plant 6 years ago.
It was a tiny baby at that time.
I provided my plant with the best-growing conditions and cared for it.
After 6 years, it turned out to be a healthy and mature plant.
So, I considered dividing my plant into more plants to add more beauty to my space.
I followed some steps to propagate my plant, which I will share in this article.
I now have 3 beautiful bird of paradise plants, including the mother plant.
I had a beautiful experience propagating my plant, and I wish you the same.
Read this article for all the details if you plan to propagate your bird of paradise plant.
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When is the best time to propagate a bird of paradise plant?
The bird of paradise plants can be propagated differently, and each propagation method needs different times and seasons.
The best time to propagate a bird of paradise plant through division is during the early spring when new growth appears.
The plant is highly active during this time as it receives abundant light, warmth, and humidity.
Also, the soil remains moist and warm during spring, helping the roots develop and spread well.
Hence, it is the best time to divide the plant.
Equipment required for propagating a bird of paradise plant
You will require equipment and tools to propagate your bird of paradise plant.
Here is a list of what you will need:
- A healthy bird of paradise plant
- Rubbing alcohol
- Disinfectant spray
- Sterilized and sharp pruners
- Sharp knife
- Cotton sways
- Spare pots
- Clean distilled water and fresh potting soil
Different ways to propagate a bird of paradise plant
There are two ways of propagating a bird of paradise plant:
- Propagation of the bird of paradise plant through the division.
- Propagation of the bird of paradise plant from a seed.
Let us now discuss each propagation method in detail.
1. Propagating bird of paradise plant from division
The division is the best way to propagate a bird of paradise plant.
In this propagation method, you will need a segment of rhizomes from which more rhizomes and stems will grow.
The rhizomes are enlarged horizontal tubers where the shoots and roots are linked.
Propagation by division is a more practical approach by gardeners since growing new plants is easy and fast.
The bird of paradise plant, which has been producing flowers for 3 years, is suitable for dividing.
Let us now understand the steps in propagating a bird of paradise plant through division.
First, you must remove the mother plant from the pot.
If your bird of paradise plant is root bound, add some water to the soil before removing it from the pot.
The water will loosen the soil around the roots making it easier for you to remove the plant.
Brush away the soil covering the rhizome and roots of your plant.
Brushing will remove the soil and provide a better view of the rhizome and root structure.
Now check the rhizome and roots for any signs of root rot and fungal infections before moving ahead in the propagation process.
The rhizome and roots are healthy if the rhizome and connected roots are firm and whitish.
But, if they are mushy and black, they suffer from fungal diseases.
Use a sharp, sterilized scissor to prune the diseased roots of your plant.
Now it is the time to divide your bird of paradise plant.
A small plant is easier to divide, but dividing a big plant is a little tricky as it has clumped rhizomes.
Take a clean, sharp knife to separate each rhizome.
If the rhizome cluster is compact, you must cut apart existing rhizomes to allow the newly divided plants to get an equal portion of healthy rhizomes.
After separation, cover the open cuts with the rooting hormone.
Please ensure each divided plant will have rhizomes with healthy roots and stems growing from it.
Take a pot that is 3 to 6 inches broader and deeper than the diameter of the joined roots structure and rhizome.
Use a bigger pot since the bird of paradise plants are fast growers, and in the right growing conditions, they will need repotting every 1 to 2 years.
If the root structure is too big for the pot, you can trim it off by 15 to 20%.
Apply a layer of grit in the pot’s base before placing your newly divided plant.
Fill the pot with fresh high, quality potting soil.
Ensure the potting soil has sand or perlite to give the plant good drainage.
I suggest you use the same potting soil you used for the mother plant.
After planting, water the soil and keep the newly divided plants in a bright area away from direct light.
The newly divided plant can suffer from transplant shock, so you can find yellow leaves on them.
Avoid watering the plant for a few days until they heal.
Also, avoid fertilizing the new plant until the next growing season.
2. Propagating bird of paradise plant from seeds
The bird of paradise plants produces flowers and seeds, which can be used to germinate and grow new plants.
The flowers of this plant have a bright orange color with black seeds present in them.
In this propagation method, you will first need to remove the seeds from the flowers once they are dried.
After that, you must open the seedpods to get the seeds.
Each seedpod has at least 60 to 80 seeds present in it.
The seeds have rigid shell covering, so you must pre-treat them before planting them.
The correct time for planting the seeds is during the fall.
So let us now understand the steps involved in propagating a bird of paradise from seeds.
First, get some seeds of a bird of paradise plant.
You can get the seeds by harvesting your plant or by buying them from a nursery.
Split the seedpods so that you remove the seeds from there.
Then, soak the seeds in room-temperature distilled water for 24 to 48 hours.
Remove the seeds from the water and check for any bright orange tuft of hair from the seed.
If you find tufts of hair, separate them by cutting them off at their base from the seed.
Sow the seeds ½ to 1 inch deep in a planting tray filled with clean, loose, moist seed starting media.
Plant the seedlings in a new pot after they have sprouted and developed tiny leaves.
Usually, the seeds will take 8 to 10 weeks to sprout.
However, the plant will take many years to mature and bloom.
Provide your newly propagated bird of paradise plant with plenty of sunlight, warm temperatures, and high humidity.
If the temperature falls below freezing level, bring the plant indoors.
Which propagation method is better for a bird of paradise – division or seed?
The selection of the propagation method for your bird of paradise plant depends on your preference.
Propagation through division is better than propagation through seeds.
The division will give you faster results than seed propagation.
Seeds can take 2-3 months for germination; after that, they will take many years to grow into mature plants.
Also, the plant grown from seeds can take 10 years to bloom for the first time.
The plants propagated by division will look the same as their parent plant.
But plants grown by seeds can be different in terms of their characteristics from the parent plant.
If you want your new plants to be the replica of their parent plant, then you should go for division.
But remember, all bird of paradise plants are not suitable for division, and you can only divide healthy and mature plants.
However, you can propagate your plant by seeds if you have all the resources for germination.
Seed propagation can be a fun and knowledgeable experience for plant lovers.
Care for a newly propagated bird of paradise plant
Below I mentioned the care tips you could follow for your newly propagated bird of paradise plant.
|Light||Give your newly propagated bird of paradise plants at least 6 hours of bright, indirect, or direct sunlight to help them mature. Avoid keeping the plants in extreme direct sunlight as they are too sensitive to tolerate.|
|Watering||The bird of paradise plant likes to grow in moist soil but not soggy soil. So, always check the soil before watering and water the plant only when the top 2-3 inches of the soil is dry.|
|Soil||Use rich, well-drained, slightly acidic, loamy soil for growing your new plants. Add compost, perlite, orchid bark, sand, etc., to provide the plants with aeration and drainage.|
|Temperature and humidity||Try maintaining an ideal temperature of 65-85°F for your bird of paradise plants. Keep your new plants away from hot drafts and old drafts. Try to maintain a minimum of 50-60% around your newly propagated plants by regularly misting the leaves or using a humidifier.|
|Fertilization||The newly propagated bird of paradise plants will not need feeding until the next growing season. From the next growing season, fertilize the plants with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10:10:10.|
Propagating bird of paradise plants is more challenging than propagating other varieties of plants. The bird of paradise plants needs a lot more for successful propagation.
It is because you can’t simply grow this plant from a cutting. You will need to take a portion of the plant’s rhizome as the leaf and stem don’t have enough tissues for growing into a new plant.
There are commonly two ways to propagate a bird of paradise plant, i.e., division and seed propagation. In general, propagation through division is a more widely used method for propagating bird of paradise plants.
Remember, the newly propagated plants can suffer from a transplant shock for 1 to 2 months, so they will need time to adjust to their new surroundings. Provide your new plants with proper growing conditions and care to give them the best possible start.
Can I propagate my bird of paradise plant in water?
No, it is possible to propagate a bird of paradise in water. The leaves and stems will not be able to grow and develop in water alone. The plant can only be propagated through root division in a high-quality potting mix.
Is it possible to propagate cuttings of birds of paradise without roots?
It is impossible to propagate bird of paradise plant cuttings without roots since they are required to support new growth. New growth will not emerge without roots, and propagating the plant won’t become possible.