The Q&A Archives: Growing White Bird Of Paradise From Seed

Question: I have 60 White Bird of Paradise seeds. I want to plant some of them but do not understand "scarifing". Also, which end of the seed goes down? ("Seed" or orange fuzzy end?) What depth? Should I start it in a 10" pot or 4" and repot as it grows. I have a small greenhouse (plastic)with 12-6 packs. Will this work?
I would like to find someone who would be interested in some of these seeds. I can not use all of them and would like to share with some fellow BOP lovers.

Thanks for your help!

Patti Dillard

Answer: Strelitzia, or Bird of Paradise seeds can take up to 180 days to germinate and have the following requirements:
Do not chip the seedcoat but remove the orange tuft and soak the seeds overnight in warm water. Sow the seeds in moist sand, pressing them into the sand until only a small part of the seed is visible. Place the pots or trays in a dark area and maintain a temperature of 75F. Check frequently and keep the sand moist. After 7 days inspect the containers once a week. As soon as any bulges, roots or shoots are seen, remove the germinated seed and pot up in a growing medium of half peat and half sand. After repotting provide light and fresh air (to avoid damping off). Germination can start within 7 days and continue for 6 months or more.

Some seeds will produce roots without shoots and some will begin with shoots and no visible roots. Provide the best growing environment possible for your strelitzia seeds and you should have good success.

Maybe the best way to advertise your seeds is through a seed exchange column in National Gardening Magazine.

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