The Q&A Archives: Bird of Paradise

Question: I recently got a 3' tall bird of paradise plant. It is in it's original pot, but we would like to plant it in the ground. Everything I've read recommends growing it in a pot. Could we plant it in our yard and cover it during a freeze? We live in Houston so I think the plant will love the weather 8 months out of the year.

Also, we were planning on planting the bush under a newly planted red bud tree. Would this offer enough protection from the sun.

Answer: Laurel,

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. We are transitioning to a new Q&A system and your question was unfortunately lost in the transition. I have discovered it now and hope this reply is not too late to be of help.

There are at least two plants that go by the name called Bird of Paradise. One is a taller plant with compound foliage of small leaflets, Caesalpinia gilliesii. The other commonly called Bird of Paradise is Strelitzia reginae a tropical plant with broad foliage shown in the photo at the following web site:

I believe you are referring to the Strelitzia. It is a bit cold tender for your area. You might get by with covering it during freezing weather in winter but this is risky. However another option is to plant it in a large black nursery pot and sink the pot in the ground during the growing season, then lift and bring it into a protected spot for winter.

The following web site offers more information on this plant:

Thanks for the question. Please stop in again soon!

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