Answer: Bird-of-paradise thrives in most soils, but does best in rich loamy soils with good drainage. The bird-of-paradise is salt tolerant and can be grown near the ocean, but not on the dunes. For good flower production, place plants in sunny or partially shaded locations. Plants grown in partial shade will be taller and have somewhat larger flowers. In full sun, plants are smaller and flowers are on shorter stems.
Bird-of-paradise tends to produce more flowers along the periphery of the plant. Thus, spacing the plants at least 6 feet apart will allow adequate space for flowering.
For best growth and flowering, bird-of-paradise requires fertilization. Slow-release fertilizers, such as sewage sludge and bloodmeal, or an inorganic complete fertilizer such as 12-4-8, can be used. Apply slow-release fertilizers at a rate of three to five pounds per 100 square feet of bed area and 12-4-8 at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet of bed area. Spread fertilizer around plants every three months during the growing season.
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