The Q&A Archives: How Do You Transplant A Giant Bird Of Paradise?

Question: How do you transplant a giant bird of paradise to be a potted plant? Do you remove it from the plastic container it came in before placing in the permanent pot?

thanks for your help!

Answer: A Giant Bird of Paradise has the potential to reach 30' tall and wide, so keeping it in a container might be a real challenge! These plants have a clumping growth habit and can produce 5'-10' long leaves, arranged fanwise on erect or curving trunks. Now that you know how very large a plant this can be, you may want to reconsider and plant it in the ground.

If you're still convinced you want to plant it in a pot, choose your container wisely. It's important that your Giant Bird of Paradise have ample room for root growth, and that the container have adequate drainage holes in the bottom. You may have to transplant into successively larger containers as your plant grows, or you may have to unpot it and divide it into several new plants to keep it smaller than standard size.

When you transplant, remove the plastic container it came in and, if you're planting in the ground, amend the soil with a generous amount of organic matter. This will help the soil retain moisture and yet drain quickly, which will make your plant happy. If you're planting in a large pot, fill about half full with potting soil, spread the roots out in a natural fashion, then fill with additional potting soil. Make sure the plant is sitting at the same soil level in the new pot as it was in the old one. Water well, and as often as required. Don't feed until the roots have become established and new growth begins. Then feed lightly with a general-purpose garden fertilizer, in amounts listed on the label. Enjoy your spectacular new plant!

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