Red Bird of Paradise Plant

 (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)

Red Bird of Paradise PlantRed Bird of Paradise plant is also called the Mexican red bird of paradise and pride of Barbados. The flowers have a beautiful bright orange that thrives in hot warm climates. The fern-like small sized foliage resembles a Mesquite shrub.

In tropical, zones it will last throughout the year-long season. In the Southwest where temperatures get below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it will go dormant.

Where to plant or place it? Plant it in full sun or in rock gardens.

It loves hot sun including reflected sun from walls. It needs plenty of water during its first two years of growth. It will go dormant during the cold seasons unless you live in an area where it rarely freezes. If so you will have a great looking plant year-long. Give it plenty of space to grow, since it will get about 5-6 ft. tall and about 5 ft. wide. It will get much larger in tropical areas.

How to care for the Red Bird of Paradise

It is actually easy to care for once it is well established. No pruning involved since it grows to a nice mounding size. You will have to cut down to the ground the first 2-3 years of its life. After it is well established you will only have to cut down about 3/4 of the way down. It does not need a lot of fertilize and can tolerate poor soil. However, it is beneficial to lightly fertilize during the early stages of growing. A good 20-20-20 type of fertilizer will suffice. If you want to be on the safe side dilute at half the ratio just in case. It is a plant that is insect and disease resistant.

Red Bird of Paradise Plant

Keep an eye out for powdery mildew and aphids during the early stages of growth. Many times people confuse the Yellow Bird of Paradise tree or shrub (C. mexicana) with the Red bird of paradise. Here is information on the Yellow Bird of Paradise.

Red Bird of Paradise gardening tip – Trim your plant down to the ground its first year and place medium-sized rocks over the top of the root system. This will help keep the root system warm during the cold winter season. Red Bird of Paradise for Bright Orange blooms It you are looking for bright red-orange blooms in your landscape design, I highly recommend this plant for great Southwestern color

The Mexican bird of paradise is another plant that is similar in looks.  For more information on the Mexican variety please follow this link. Mexican Bird of Paradise.

About Paul Guzman

Paul Guzman - General Manager of Guzman's Greenhouse. Gardener, Husband, Father and Grandfather. Webmaster of

7 thoughts on “Red Bird of Paradise Plant

    • Hello, Mary. The Red Bird of paradise loves full hot sun. Thus, planting it during July or August is the best time to plant. Just, make sure it gets plenty of water. Thanks for your comment.

        • Hello, Mary. Thanks for commenting. I’ve never tried growing a Red bird of Paradise from seed. However, it is basically the same procedure as most seeds. It is important to note these plants are not native to this area so….you will have to provide your Red Bird of Paradise seed a greenhouse to keep the soil moist and warm throughout the season. Here is a link that might also help

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