Birds of Paradise - Knowledgebase Question

St. Petersburg, Fl
Question by michellecoop
October 2, 2009
We have plante 4 Birds of Paradise in our backyard. They line a fence along the pool area that has pavers. We have run into a problem that they continue to wilt and one has already had to be replaced. Last weekend one pulled completely out of the ground and there were tiny white bugs that looks sort of like magets on the root. What can we do? Are there plants that may be better for soil w/ sand?

Answer from NGA
October 2, 2009


If your plants are struggling with compacted soils they can develop root rot, which invites all kinds of insect problem. In sandy soils, not enough moisture is held, which can also keep your plants from thriving. I'd suggest amending the planting bed with some compost or other organic matter. Organic matter will help hold just the right amount of moisture and also release nutrients into the soil to help your plants grow thick and lush. The planting hole should be dug 2 to 3 times the diameter of the root ball. Make it as deep as the root ball is tall. Before planting, thoroughly water the plant and remove it from the container. Gently place the plant in the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is no deeper than the soil surface. Planting too deeply may cause a delay in flowering. Fill around the ball with soil and gently firm the soil. Water thoroughly while planting to remove air pockets. Construct a saucer-like basin around the plant from the extra backfill soil. This will hold water until it drains down to the plant's roots. Best wishes with your landscape!

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