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Red Bird of Paradise Plant

Last updated on April 7th, 2024 at 09:05 am

 

Difference between bird of paradise plants
Nice looking Red Bird of Paradise Plant

The Red Bird of Paradise plant (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) is also called the Mexican red bird of paradise and the pride of Barbados. The flowers produce beautiful bright red/orange blooms and thrive in hot warm climates. The fern-like small-sized foliage resembles a Mesquite bush or a fern shrub.  If you are looking for that tropical landscape look… This is it.

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.  This means you will have to prune it back during the winter season.


Where to plant or place it?

Plant it in full sun or rock gardens.  It is an excellent plant for a xeriscape landscape design.  Use them with other desert-type plants.  Desert Plants Names and Pictures.

Red Bird of Paradise Plants
Red Bird of Paradise Plants backyard

 

A great plant that loves the hot sun including reflected sun from the walls. It needs considerable amounts 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 all 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.

Red Bird of Paradise Pant
The brilliant red and orange flower of the Red Bird of Paradise Plant.

How to care for the Red Bird of Paradise

It is easy to care for once it is well established. No pruning is involved since it grows to a nice mounding size. However, you must cut down to the ground for the first 2-3 years of its life. After it is well established you will only have to cut down about three-fourths of the way down.

It does not need a lot of fertilizer and can tolerate poor soil.   However, it is beneficial to lightly feed during the early stages of growth. A good 20-20-20 type of fertilizer will suffice. If you want to be safe, 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 initial 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.

What to do in colder regions?

Red Bird of Paradise gardening tip – If you live where you get consistent freezing temperatures trim the plant down to the ground its first year and place medium-sized rocks or good mulch over the top of the root system. This will help keep the root system warm during the chilly winter season.

Red Bird of Paradise produces bright orange and red blooms, if you are looking for bright flowering colors in your landscape blooms in your landscape design, I highly recommend this plant for a great southwest garden design.  Furthermore, the plant produces edible seeds and the flower can used as traditional medicine. Read more over at Wikipedia.

The Red Bird of Paradise is normally available at most Southwest Nurseries in late spring or early summer.

Red Bird of Paradise Plant
Red Bird of Paradise Plant – Often confused for the Mexican Bird of Paradise.

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.

The USDA gardening for this plant is 8 – 11

Do you know the difference between the bird of paradise plants? Find out here.

 

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Mary
Mary
7 years ago

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

Paul Guzman
Paul Guzman
7 years ago
Reply to  Mary

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
Mary
7 years ago
Reply to  Paul Guzman

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

Paul Guzman
Paul Guzman
7 years ago
Reply to  Mary

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
Moonbeam Schuren
7 years ago

Where can I get a bird of paradise

Paul Guzman
Paul Guzman
7 years ago

We have Red Bird of Paradise plants at both locations.

Moonbeam Schuren
Moonbeam Schuren
7 years ago
Reply to  Paul Guzman

How much r your red bird of paradise

Antonio Ramirez
Antonio Ramirez
2 years ago

I live in N. California can I purchase red bird of paradise on ur website if u have one

Paul Guzman
2 years ago

Sorry, Antonio, we do not ship out of City. However, you can go to Monrovia.com and search for the Red Bird of Paradise plant. They will add your purchase and send it to your local independent nursery. If your local nursery does not do business with Monrovia.com then this will not be possible.

Pete Duran
Pete Duran
6 years ago

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
Paul Guzman
6 years ago

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
Pete Duran
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul Guzman

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
Paul Guzman
6 years ago

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

Lani
Lani
6 years ago

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
Paul Guzman
6 years ago
Reply to  Lani

Hello, Lani. Here are the pictures below. The Red Bird of Paradise and the Yellow bird of Paradise image below.
Red Bird of Paradise

Jim Feldmayer
Jim Feldmayer
6 years ago

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.

Paul Guzman
Paul Guzman
6 years ago
Reply to  Jim Feldmayer

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
Jim Feldmayer
6 years ago

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

Paul Guzman
Paul Guzman
6 years ago
Reply to  Jim Feldmayer

“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.

Gail Dalton
Gail Dalton
1 month ago

Do you have the Red Bird of Paradise in stock? If not, do you anticipate getting any this year?

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