The Q&A Archives: mexican brid of paradise

Question: How much time on the drip system does the mexican bird of paradise need? It was growing fine until it got too hot. I turned up the watering time but still not doing well.

Answer: Mexican bird of paradise is well adapted to the southwest desert, surviving on one deep soaking per week. If you're watering too frequently and you have clayey soil (which holds water quite well), you may be driving needed oxygen out of the soil near the roots. This can actually suffocate the roots. You can cut the plant back to soil level and it will regrow, so it doesn't need to be pampered. Since your plant is on a drip system, you can either plug the dripper leading to the plant and water by hand, or you can use a one-gallon emitter and run the system once a day for about 15 minutes. This will provide enough water for a 3' tall and wide plant. You can adjust the time depending upon the size of your plant.

Best wishes with your garden!

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