Q:

How do I prune a bird of paradise plant?

A:

Quick Answer

Prune a bird of paradise plant by cutting back dead foliage, deadheading flowers, removing suckers, trimming unruly growth and selectively pruning its stalks. You need pruning shears, a shovel and gloves to properly trim the plant.

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Full Answer

  1. Cut back dead foliage

    Remove dead stems by cutting them down to the ground using the pruning shears. Clip off damaged or ragged leaves.

  2. Deadhead flowers

    Remove dead, wilting blossoms as they occur by removing not only the flower, but the stem it is attached to as well. Since this plant does not drop its dead leaves or flowers, they need to be manually removed in order to reduce the risk of fungal diseases occurring due to rot.

  3. Remove suckers

    Remove any rhizomes or suckers growing at the plant's roots by cutting them off using a shovel blade. Allowing suckers to grow results in a large, unruly plant.

  4. Trim excess growth

    Trim any limbs or foliage that start growing outside the boundaries of the planting location. This strategic trimming keeps the plant healthy and well-manicured.

  5. Prune the stalks

    During the winter, when the plant is dormant, prune the stalks to keep the plant at the desired height and size. If needed, heavily prune an overgrown plant in order to remove any dead limbs in the center of the plant and allow for airflow.

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