How to Propagate Bird of Paradise Plants


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Bird of paradise plants are beautiful, exotic flowers with amazing colors and shapes. They also make great houseplants for their beauty.

Bird of paradise plants aren’t just pretty; they’re also extremely valuable. In fact, bird of paradise plants are one of the most expensive ornamental plants in the world.

That’s why it’s important to propagate these plants yourself. Once you’ve propagated your own birds of paradise plants, you’ll always have fresh blooms.

In this article I’ll teach you how to propagate bird of paradise plants through root division and seeds. 

Bird of Paradise Propagation

The two main ways to propagate the bird of paradise is through cuttings or seed germination. Cuttings can be taken from the plant at any time during its life cycle.

How to Propagate Bird of Paradise through Division (Cutting)

You should take care when propagating birds of paradise through division, because you can’t simply cut off a leaf or a branch and expect it to grow into an adult plant. You need to cut off a piece of the roots as well.

Root division is a great way to propagate because you don’t have to wait until the plant has matured. It’s easy to do and requires no special equipment.

Here are the steps to propagate a bird of paradise plant through root division: 

  • In the early spring, cut a piece of the root rhizome off with the stem. Use sterilized garden shears or a knife. 
  • Fill pots with quality potting soil. 
  • Dip the tip of each cutting in rooting hormone and place it into the pot.
  • Don’t water just yet either. Wait a few days before watering to allow the cutting to adjust to the soil first. 
  • Place the containers in a warm location with bright indirect sunligh and start watering after a few days. 
  • New roots should start forming on your cuttings in about a month. You can tug on the plant gently to verify this. If you feel some resistance, that means the root system has started developing.
  • Once you see that new roots have formed, you can remove the plastic cover. Continue with proper care. 

Here’s a good video on dividing a bird of paradise plant:

How To Divide Bird Of Paradise Plant 🔪🌱 Strelitzia Nicolai

How to Grow Bird of Paradise from Seed 

Seeds are another option for growing bird of paradise plants. Seeds will sprout slower than cuttings, since you’re growing from scratch.

You can get seeds from your local nursery or online retailers like these on Amazon.

HAWAIIAN Bird of Paradise---10 seeds---Comes with the Hawaii Seal of...
HAWAIIAN Bird of Paradise---10 seeds---Comes with the Hawaii Seal of...
Bird of Paradise Strelitzia Plant Seeds Exotic Tropical Flower Seeds 2 Packs; widely cultivated for its dramatic flowers. In temperate areas it is a popular houseplant.

Last update on 2022-05-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The other way to get seeds is to harvest the seeds yourself from the bird of paradise flowers. Once you get the seeds, here’s how to harvest seeds and grow bird of paradise plants from seeds: 

  • Cut the flower stalk when you start seeing the seed pod turn brown.
  • Collect the seeds and place them out in the sun to dry. 
  • Once the seeds are dried, put them in a glass jar container, seal the jar, and place them in a refrigerator. 
  • About 6 weeks before the final frost, take the seeds out of the fridge to start the scarification process. 
  • Nick the seeds and place them in warm water for 24 hours. Any seeds that are still floating and do not sink will not germinate. Remove and destroy the floating seeds. 
  • Get a pot with drainage holes. Fill it with fresh potting soil. 
  • Place the seeds one-half inch into the pot and space the seeds two inches apart. Lightly water. 
  • Cover the pot with a plastic bag to help keep the humidity in.  
  • Place the pot in an area where the temperature is around 75°F to assist in germination. 
  • Keep the potting soil moist. 
  • Germination can take 4-8 weeks. Once germination happens, remove the plastic bag and put the pot in a place with full sun. You can also use a grow lamp if there isn’t a good location. 
  • When the seedlings have grown 4 leaves, you can transplant them to individual peat pots. Peat pots are great because you can plant the peat pot and bird of paradise directly into the garden together. This will help prevent transplant shock since you won’t be disturbing the root system. 
  • Once the final frost is over, you can begin hardening the seedlings outdoor for several hours a day. Increase the amount of time outside gradually. When the seedlings are able to remain outside for six hours a day, they can be transplanted into the outdoor garden. 

Bird of Paradise Propagation Final Thoughts

The two main ways of propagating birds of paradise plants are through root division and seeds. Both methods require patience and time. The best method for you depends on what kind of environment you are propagating in.

For more on the bird of paradise, check these articles out: 

Bird of Paradise Propagation FAQs

Can you propagate bird of paradise in water?

The bird of paradise cannot be propagated in water. The leaves and stems won’t continue to grow and develop in water alone. It needs roots or rhizomes to grow. You can propagate through root division in high-quality potting soil. 

Can you propagate bird of paradise without roots?

The bird of paradise can’t be propagated without roots. It needs to have a section of the rhizome or roots to be able to propagate. If you cut leaves and stems to propagate, make sure that you are also including part of the rhizome with it for successful propagation. 

Can you divide a bird of paradise plant?

Yes, you can divide a bird of paradise. It’s best to only divide mature plants that have been growing for at least 3 years. Simply divide part of the rhizome at the base of the plant. Make sure you keep the new division and pot in a warm place until it grows into a healthy plant.

Do birds of paradise multiply?

Birds of paradise do not multiply naturally. They need to be propagated through root division from the mother plant in order to multiple. The divisions (cuttings) are then planted in pots filled with high quality potting soil.  

Can you propagate a bird of paradise from a leaf?

No, you can’t propagate a bird of paradise by taking a leaf off of a plant. You must take a piece of the rhizome along with the leaf.