Q. Can I deadhead my ten foot white bird of paradise plant as it's getting quite large. Will it grow back or will that kill it? Thank you!
Strelitzia (Bird of Paradize)
Deadheading bird of paradise flowers simply refers to removing bird of paradise blooms that are dead. These dead blooms are often referred to as spent blooms and are dead and wilted, blooms that are generally brown in color. Removing old blloms encourages new and bigger blooms, not to mention the fact that this process keeps the plant visually appealing.
The process of deadheading is done in a particular way. Start with the basics and make sure you have a solid pair of gardening gloves and a sharp pair of pruning shears ready to go. The stalks can be as wide as 6 inches, so you’ll need a good grip. You will want to cut the spent bloom, which lacks the typical orange and blue colors, at the flower’s base. You also want to cut the stalk to which the bloom was attached so long as there is not another flower already developing on that very same stalk. Get as close as possible to the base when cutting the stalk. Don’t forget to make sure to remove stems, leaves and other dead foliage.
According to the University of Hawaii, failure to properly deadhead bird of paradise flowers can result in a shrub that is completely covered in dead organic matter. Fungal infections and disease are also common when the bloom and its leaves and its stalk are not cut back.
Hope this helps.
Strelitzia reginae is a beautiful plant that can be successfully grown inside. The biggest drawbacks are their size—they grow 5 to 6 feet—and the fact that the plants need three to five years before they flower.