The Q&A Archives: Cutting back Bird of Paradise

Question: Have a Bird of Paradise plant that is at least 30 yrs old and driving me crazy - wild, not attractive. How do I cut it back w/o killing it?

Answer: You can do quite a bit of pruning without harming your established plant. In general maintenance, just cut off dead leaves as they appear and any dead flowers, down to foliage level. Bird of Paradise blooms best when clumps are crowded, and the soil is watered deeply and frequently. If your plants are really overgrown, you may want to dig them up, divide them (making sure each division has both roots and tops attached), and then replant. Then, if you provide minimal care by cutting away spent foliage and flowers, you should be able to keep your plants a more manageable size. If you'd rather not dig and divide, simply cut yours down by one half this year and by one half next year. Enjoy!

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