Red Bird of Paradise

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.

Red Bird of Paradise Plant

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 fertilizing and can tolerate poor soil. However, it is beneficial to lightly fertilize during the early stages of growth. 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.

Paul Guzman – General Manager of Guzman’s Greenhouse. Gardener, Husband, Father and Grandfather. Webmaster of Guzmansgreenhouse.com

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Comments

    • Mary
    • August 5, 2016
    Reply

    What is the best time of year to find and plant this?

      • Paul Guzman
      • August 5, 2016
      Reply

      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.
      Paul

        • Mary
        • August 9, 2016
        Reply

        Thanks! Any tips on working with a seed pod taken from a plant?

          • Paul Guzman
          • August 30, 2016
          Reply

          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 http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Plants-from-Seed

    • Moonbeam Schuren
    • April 27, 2017
    Reply

    Where can I get a bird of paradise

      • Paul Guzman
      • May 4, 2017
      Reply

      We have Red Bird of Paradise plants at both locations.

        • Moonbeam Schuren
        • May 5, 2017
        Reply

        How much r your red bird of paradise

    • Pete Duran
    • August 10, 2017
    Reply

    yes it is possible to start from seed wait till the pods fall off from the plant .wait till fall when the red bird of paradise drys up by this time the seeds are dry and ready for planting some times you will find little seedlings by the plant if you know some one dig them up and plant them protect from the full sun till they mature I started mine 2 years ago and they and have started to flower its a hit and miss throw 4 or 5 seeds in a hole about 3 inches keep soil moist.but not to wet, put a couple of bricks or something to show where your seeds are once they sprout in spring you will need to protect them from the heat the bricks will provide the shade be patient and the wait will be worth it.do not cut the plant to the ground until 3 years to allow it to mature and branch out good luck.

    • Paul Guzman
    • August 10, 2017
    Reply

    Hello, Pete thanks for this information. I do have a few questions? Will we have to use a greenhouse or indoor conditions in order for the seeds to germinate? In our neck of the woods it does get down to 15 degrees during the cold winter months. So planting them outdoors will not work for here.

      • Pete Duran
      • August 11, 2017
      Reply

      I live here in El Paso and found this to work after trial and errow. the reason for planting in the ground is based on time for seeds to germinate since we have on occasion mild winters and early springs the seeds will get an early start and by April or may, you will see little stems with burgundy color I have been able to transplant them and put some in pots and give away keep the strong one and go from there as for green house I suppose it would work I hope this helps thanks .

    • Paul Guzman
    • August 10, 2017
    Reply

    It depends on the size. One gallon around 9 USD and up to $89.00 for a large 15 ga.

    • Lani
    • September 16, 2017
    Reply

    Hello, I hope you can answer these questions for me. How far apart do you plant them, how many do you bunch together for a full effect, when do you plant them and do you have any pictures if the red and yellow birds of paradise growing together. Thank you.

      • Paul Guzman
      • September 17, 2017
      Reply

      Hello, Lani. I don’t have any pictures of the red and yellow bird of paradise together. The red bird gets about 7-8 ft. wide.
      Red Bird of Paradise

      Yellow Bird of Paradise - Not a good picture but it does get about 5 ft. wide.

    • Jim Feldmayer
    • October 6, 2017
    Reply

    What is the best fertilizer for The Red Bird of Paradise of the American Southwest? In our area (Tucson, Az.) we have lots of caliche and alkali in the soil, which is hard as a rock. We purchased a house and yard which has about twenty which are planted about three feet apart, are mature, and very tall and not spread out. Their height is about 15 feet. Blossoms are few and far between.

    1. Reply

      Hello, Jim, a good fertilizer for the Red Bird of Paradise is anything with an analysis of 20-20-20. This is a well balanced all-purpose fertilizer. Too much shade can also prevent the Red Bird of Paradise from not blooming. It’s also important to note that anything with a high content of phosphorus will help any plant that with new blooms or flowers.

      If you want to go organic Bat Guano and Steamed bone meal are good high phosphorus fertilizers. Fox Farm products have good organic fertilizers…ask for them at your local nursery.

    • Jim Feldmayer
    • October 6, 2017
    Reply

    Please see above! What is meant by “moderation”. Please be specific! Thank you!!!

    1. Reply

      “Moderation” means someone one on our staff has to approve your comment before it gets posted. We get a lot of spam and fake comments on the comment sections of our posts. Just post your comment and we will approve all legitimate questions or comments. Thanks for giving us a chance to explain what “moderation” means.

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