Answer: Bird of Paradise is generally only hardy to zones 10 and above, but I have 3 giant bird of paradise and am in zone 8b (20 degrees cold). They have survived two winters (last year we had 4" of snow that lasted 3-4 days). I mulched the base of the plant with pine boughs (like a teepee). Althoug several of the leaves usually have winter damage, the plants come out of it very well each spring/summer. If you have no pine boughs you can try making a cylinder out of chicken wire or hardware cloth, setting it over the plant and filling in and around the plant with shredded leaves or even straw. Either material will insulate the plant from cold temperatures. In the spring you can remove the cylinders, prune back any winter damage, and the plants should send up new sprouts. It's worth a try!
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