Can you grow a bird of paradise from a cutting? What you need to know

Birds of paradise are beautiful plants both in nature and in the home. This plant is well-known for its lush foliage and attractive tropical blooms, as a South African native plant with a vividly colored flower. The name comes from the stunning flower’s resemblance to a colorful bird in flight. Nevertheless, these plants can be costly to acquire and slower to cultivate from seed.

However, there is a more straightforward solution to adding this beautiful plant to your collection. Owners often wonder if they can grow a bird of paradise from a cutting. Let’s dive into this guide on how to grow a bird of paradise plant from a cutting.

bird of paradise leaf

Best way to propagate a bird of paradise

Many bird of paradise plant lovers understand that this plant is relatively expensive to own and maintain. Due in part to their exotic nature and demand for warmer climates, this plant can range from over $100 to upwards of $500, depending on the size of the plant purchased. For this reason, many owners often wonder if you can grow a bird of paradise from a cutting, a cost-effective alternative for producing a more significant collection of these plants.

There are two main ways to propagate this plant — growing from a cutting or from a seed. While both of these ways to separate and regrow this plant can be successful, seeding can require more patience and time than growing from a division will. For this reason, you’ll see faster results if you grow from a cutting rather than a seedling.

Considerations to propagating a bird of paradise

When aiming to propagate a bird of paradise plant, you must consider several things first. First and foremost, if opting for a cutting from the original plant, you can’t just rely on cutting a leaf from the plant to replant. While some plants can be reproduced from leaf and stem cuttings, a bird of paradise needs more than that to grow successfully. In order to propagate a bird of paradise sectioning, you’ll need to cut a portion of the plant’s root; the stem or leaf alone won’t have enough tissue needed to produce a new plant.

How to best propagate a bird of paradise plant

Bird of paradise propagation isn’t difficult and can be most easily achieved through plant division. Propagating a bird of paradise cutting should take place ideally in the early spring by severing a piece of bulb or root with a sharp and clean knife. You can disperse some rooting hormone on the open cuts to help produce greater root depth. With each plant division, there should be a fan with attached roots for the regrowth plant. Then you can plant the bird of paradise root division in a small and clean pot with high-quality planting soil.

Growing the cutting indoors is recommended to keep a more keen eye on the divisions while protecting them from outside elements to ensure proper regrowth. While for most gardeners, the temptation will be to water the new division, it’s better to let the cuts heal for a few days without water first. After that time, you can begin a regular watering schedule for the plant.

How to transplant a cutting into a pot

Whether you wish to display your plant outdoors or inside, once there has been solid regenerative growth from a division, you can repot the plant. Here are the steps for repotting your bird of paradise cuttings with ease.

  • Fill a large pot that’s at least 12 inches wide and deep, depending on the size of the plant.
  • Add 2 parts potting soil and one part perlite for best results.
  • Soak the root system with a running hose for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Wait about 20 minutes after watering it for the water to soften the roots.
  • Mark at least a 10-inch radius around the plant.
  • Use a trenching shovel to dig approximately 18 inches, following that marked radius line.
  • Lift the plant and its root ball into the pot while fanning out the roots.
  • Backfill the pot with soil and water thoroughly until liquid drains from the bottom.
bird of paradise bloom

For an avid bird of paradise plant lover, yes, you can grow a bird of paradise from a cutting, but you want to ensure it comes from a division of the plant with its bulb or root, not the leaves. Also, it’s essential to note that unless you live in a warmer climate that’s not subjected to freezing temps, it’s best to plant your birds of paradise in pots rather than the ground. This ensures that you can adequately propagate your plantings successfully.

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