The success rate for this type of plant is very high. The bird of paradise can grow new plants quite easily, so it’s important not to disturb the plant too much when splitting it.
You can produce new plants by snipping off young suckers from the plant or digging up old clumps and removing them with a sharp knife.
Method 1: Older Plants
Dig spade around the plant and lift out the entire clump. Lay it on a flat surface and chop back all of the stems with a sharp knife to half their height.
Method 2: Younger Plants
For younger plants, snip off suckers from throughout the clump just below a joint using scissors. Lay them on a flat surface and chop back all of the suckers to half their height.
Age and Timing
The easiest way to grow Bird of Paradise is by dividing the existing plants. Mature Bird of Paradise plants that have been blooming for at least three years is the ideal candidate to be split.
Once you’ve easily divided and cut up your desired plant, be sure to cut it back and keep in mind that there are leaves at the top of the stem which will die off after time has passed. If you want to get cuttings, then the best time to do so is in the fall when plants are dormant and before frost.
Why is it Important to Split Bird of Paradise?
As any perennial gardener knows, it’s important to divide perennial plants every few years so that they don’t become too crowded or start competing with one another for resources such as light and water. Be sure you have room before you dig them up because once you plant them in their new location there’s no going back.
Taking care not to damage the taproot (the thick, vertical root on the left) is critical when dividing bird of paradise plants, as this might kill the plant.
About Splitting Bird of Paradise
Many people want to know how to trim the leaves of a bird of paradise plant. While it’s alright to clip off dead or dying foliage, you shouldn’t prune living ones, and doing so will damage the flowering heads and can potentially harm the plant itself.
When it comes time to divide you can transplant them or simply replant clumps in 5-gallon containers. Perennials should be planted at their ultimate size – smaller pots will need frequent repotting as they grow larger.
Planting Bird of Paradise Correctly
Dig up the plant, taking care not to damage the taproot where it emerges from the soil. This might kill the plant. Place potting mix into each of your empty pots or containers.
Lay down plants so they are spread out and roots are evenly spread among rootballs in containers or individual beds, for easier water distribution during dry times of day and a year respectively.
Remove any dead leaves before planting.
Add another layer of the mix if necessary to cover roots with 2″–3″ (5-7 cm) of topsoil or compost mix) then pack down firmly with hands or tamping implement, put taller plants at back center area).
Water well after planting by using a slow trickle from a garden hose or use a spray bottle.
If you have time, place some type of organic mulch or groundcover fabric around the newly planted plant to retain moisture and keep weeds out for up to six months, or as necessary.
Water well after planting by using a slow trickle from a garden hose until water is absorbed into the soil, then water as necessary.