Bird of paradise

marc

Bird of paradise

Post by marc » Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:12 am

Hi, could anyone tell me at what height a bird of paradise plant might flower in the UK please?

And does anyone have any pic's of what an emerging flower looks like so i know what to look out for please?

I have 3 plants and this is my biggest.

Cheers.
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Chalk Brow

Re: Bird of paradise

Post by Chalk Brow » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:39 am

I have had them flower at around two to two and half foot. Looking at your plant is it seems big enough to flower, but I would say that you have it in much too large a pot. To get them to flower early they need to be kept in as small a pot as possible, they like to be root bound.

The flower bud emerges in the same way as a new leaf, but if I remember correctly it is a little more plump than a new leaf; I would think you will recognise the difference when one starts forming.

stephenprudence

Re: Bird of paradise

Post by stephenprudence » Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:16 pm

Also to promote flowering put them in a sandy, gritty soil rather than compost.. compost helps foliage growth but does not induce flowering that well.

Also probably not the best idea for Reading, but keeping it outside over winter bullies it into performing well the summer after - well that's what I found anyway - but you don't want to chance it with a plant that size and nice looking :)

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redsquirrel
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Re: Bird of paradise

Post by redsquirrel » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:29 pm

francis has one in flower,no more than 8-10 inches tall.
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pete G

Re: Bird of paradise

Post by pete G » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:48 pm

It looks a nice healthy plant and its big enough to flower.

I would say its not going to this year, I find the flower spikes start to appear in the autumn, then go dormant for the winter and flower the following spring/summer.

The flower spikes arise from between the older leaf blades as a sharp point, they dont come from the growing point, if that makes sense.
Cant show one emerging at the moment, but you can see from this single crown the flower stalk arose to the left of the growing point last autumn.

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Re: Bird of paradise

Post by redsquirrel » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:55 pm

that is the first time ive seen one flower in someones garden.i have only seen them bloom in conservatories and hot houses before believing that was the only way to do it.thanks pete.something else ive learned this week.
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pete G

Re: Bird of paradise

Post by pete G » Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:35 pm

That one is in a large pot, but I do have one that flowers, that is planted out.
I do protect it in the winter though.

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Re: Bird of paradise

Post by redsquirrel » Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:33 pm

even in the pot,it is outdoors.round here,in the nurseries,garden centres etc,you see them in flower but always indoors or under cover. i think that is why i just took it for granted they were a houseplant
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pete G

Re: Bird of paradise

Post by pete G » Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:07 pm

Definitely not a house plant, a cool greenhouse maybe.

Summer outside in a hot spot is good for hardening them up, but even bops can suffer leaf burn if they are grown soft indoors, during the winter.

I dont like the temp to go below zero, although it surprising how hardy they are.

sanatic1234

Re: Bird of paradise

Post by sanatic1234 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:12 pm

Marc - This may be a silly question but did you know that Bird of Paradise's can take up to 5 years to flower depening on the climate.
The height doesn't really matter when it comes to flowering its more based on the tempatures and how old the plant is.
Also make sure that the root ball is just under the soil and not too deep as this will prolong flowering. :)

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Re: Bird of paradise

Post by Dave Brown » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:31 am

Sanatic, I don't know where you have got that information from, but what we are trying to do here is tell how we see it happening in the UK as our growing conditions are very different from most areas that grow them. If you have just read that on the internet beware of following U.S. instructions as their climate is very, very different to ours. What works for them may not for us. :wink:

They are not a garden plant here even in the mildest places, but can take a degree or 2 of frost provided under some sort of canopy. Below -2C they will survive but be damaged and are so slow growing that it may take a full season or two to completelty recover. Mine was very badly damaged at -5C under the eaves and covered with fleece. Now in season 2 is starting look ok-ish. Did not flower at all after being chilled, but has a couple of buds emerging now. Best year was 2006 with 19 flowers (from memory)

Generally do not over pot, do not give lots of feed or you will get leaves at the expence of flowers. Mine was baked dry all summer and got watered if the leaves started to curl.

The flowers start to emerge from OLD leaf bases in July/August and one of the problems is people tidy up the plant and cut off the bit that would flower. :roll: If you must cut old leaves off, only cut the leaf blade and upper stalk off. :wink:

In warmer climates the flower buds continue to grow and flowering is in Autumn, but here as the temperatures cool off the buds slow down and stop, as PeteG said. Overwintered frostfree the buds will start to grow again in the spring and here at least flowering is in late May to early July. The further north you are maybe the later that will be.
Best regards
Dave
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sanatic1234

Re: Bird of paradise

Post by sanatic1234 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:44 am

I just googled Bird of Paradise info dave could be from anywhere mate :lol:
It did say though to let the leafs fall off on there own accord so may be that is something worth trying to help flowering?
Either way good luck with it hope it flowers soon for you as these are gorgeous plants. Shame they are so tender over here like dave explain but this certainly isn't gonna stop me from growing them. :)
I know what you mean by slow growing mine have taken about 2 months just to germinate. and thats in a heated propagator and was soaked for 48 hous. :roll:
Last edited by sanatic1234 on Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

sanatic1234

Re: Bird of paradise

Post by sanatic1234 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:48 am

SORRY Marc and Dave i should really read the small print the information i posted was from the University of Florida :oops:

How much of a plank do i feel. :oops:

countrylover

Re: Bird of paradise

Post by countrylover » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:09 pm

My Bird of Paradise showed it's first bloom this year (after 6 years). I know it's small but had no room by the windows and placed it in a pretty dark corner. I like it anyway.
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countrylover

Re: Bird of paradise

Post by countrylover » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:06 pm

Thanx mate.
No, I don't live in Florida but our summers are equally hot and sunny. From early Spring till Autumn I keep my Bird of Paradise in my mini-greenhouse with other plants tightly packed so it doesn't get too much sunlight.

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