Thanks to its beauty, the Mexican bird of paradise is no stranger to many gardeners and plant enthusiasts.
But to maintain and enhance its look, you must frequently undertake Mexican bird of paradise pruning.
How could you do so? How many steps does this process entail? Everything will be addressed in this article.
Apart from that, information about the tree’s planting method and caring guide is also provided. Let’s check them all!
About The Mexican Bird Of Paradise
The Mexican bird of paradise, or Caesalpinia Pulcherrima, is a species belonging to the flowering family Fabaceae. It mainly thrives in tropical and subtropical regions, like the Americas or West Indies.
This plant has common names, like the peacock flower, dwarf poinciana, or pride of Barbados. It could reach a height of 3 meters and grow larger in some areas where temperatures are not very cold.
Meeting the ideal condition, this drought tolerant plant can grow well because it is less susceptible to frost.
By contrast, it could die back to the ground in a freezing region yet rebound when the weather becomes warmer.
Its green foliage has a typical length from 20 to 40 centimeters. Each will bear up to 10 pinnae pairs, followed by 20-millimeter-long leaflets.
The blossoms grow in racemes with mixed colors, ranging from orange and yellow to red.
Is The Mexican Bird Of Paradise Pruning Necessary?
Yes. The bird of paradise Mexican requires low maintenance. But you must pay attention to this procedure because wilted, faded, or dead parts of the tree greatly hinder its flower production.
Heavy pruning also comes in handy if you want to train the shrub into a shape that improves its appearance.
Ensure you use disinfectant to clean your gardening tools, like pruning scissors, to prevent fungal spores and bacteria from the previous pruning.
When pruning, you are advised to wear protective garments, like safety glasses and gloves, to safeguard your health.
Anyway, this flower plant could develop well under conditions of irregular pruning.
How To Prune A Mexican Bird Of Paradise?
Many people are worried about the bird of paradise pruning because a small mistake could affect its development. No need to panic because detailed instructions are presented as follows.
- Step 1: You must prepare the necessary pruning tools, including lights, pruning shears, garden forks, hand trowels, rakes, etc.
- Step 2: Wear your protective garments properly. Putting on thick fabric gloves to handle branches and leaves is highly recommended, so you can avert sharp thorns and leafy branches.
- Step 3: Take a glance at the entire plant to locate dead or faded parts and cut them off with a specialized tool. Don’t forget that the pruning cut should be from ¼ to ½ inch above a lower leaf of the branch junction.
- Step 4: Reduce the branches’ length with a view to controlling your tree’s size and shape. Follow the pruning rule in the third step, as pruning branches too deep might wreak havoc on their growth rate. Remember to prune branches at an even angle.
- Step 5: Apart from branches, you should deadhead faded flowers and wilted petals as well. Try to cut off old flowers in the summer because it is an ideal season for a Mexican bird of paradise to thrive.
- Step 6: When you have completed the pruning process, you must clean the ground and get rid of dropping branches and old blossoms. They could ruin the landscape greatly.
- Step 7: Carefully clean and disinfect gardening tools you have already used. If not cleaned properly, a load of invisible bacteria and fungi still remain on them, which can harm the entire shrub in the next pruning. Good luck!
How To Grow A Mexican Bird Of Paradise?
Here is an all-inclusive guidance for growing a Mexican bird of paradise from seeds that you should pay close attention to.
- Step 1: Prepare tools, like a shovel, a pair of gardening scissors, protective clothing, and equipment.
- Step 2: Choose a suitable seed that you want to sow.
You should gather seeds by reaching a reliable store to purchase or picking pods from the tree and spreading their content throughout the garden.
- Step 3: Use a towel to spread your seeds on. Place them under full sunlight to dry before keeping them in a sealed jar and storing them in a fridge.
- Step 4: After four or six weeks, take the jar from the fridge. Create a small hole in its openings and sink all the seeds underwater.
If some cannot sink to the bottom, they are rotten or die, so you need to discard them.
- Step 5: Add soil to the pot. Pour some compost, perlite or coconut mulch over it to soften and improve its moisture.
Don’t forget to make some drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil.
- Step 6: Sow the seeds with an equal distance of 2 inches. Plant them to a depth of about half an inch and water them regularly.
- Step 7: Cover the pot with a layer of plastic with the purpose of increasing the air moisture inside and protecting seeds from cold temperatures. Take close notice of the room temperature as well.
- Step 8: Keep the soil damp until you remove the plastic. From this time, place the pot near a window or other locations receiving full sunlight.
- Step 9: When the seedling appears and you notice four green leaves at the top, you should transplant each in a new pot.
- Step 10: Until your plant is strong and grows big enough, you could plant it outdoors, like in your garden. This is the best location ever, facilitating its development permanently.
What Are Some Care Guidelines For A Mexican Bird Of Paradise?
Below are caring tips for you to consider.
The shrub is capable of handling nearly every soi, from loan to clay types. You don’t need to worry about soil types unless their drainage is not excellent.
Ensure to make the soil moist and damp during your seedling’s premature growth.
Lots of sunlight is a perfect facilitator for the plant’s development by boosting its flower production.
However, long daylight hours are not very good, so you can temporarily move the pot to partial shade.
Water your Mexican bird paradise regularly, especially once every two weeks during the peak growing season.
This frequency can be changed depending on the plant’s development state, surrounding environment, and season.
The Mexican bird of paradise falls within the USDA hardiness zone of 9, so it can greatly endure cold weather.
An ideal temperature range is between 60 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The shrub could die prematurely if temperatures are below 32 degrees F.
Mature plants require a minimal level of fertilizer, as it doesn’t need to rely on this product to grow. If needed, organic compost is advisable as a perfect alternative.
Pests And Diseases
A plant Mexican is pretty susceptible to diseases caused by aphids and powdery mildew.
They all result in serious infestations, wreaking havoc on its sensitive parts, like leaves, flowers, or branches. Some mites can cause green galls on the bush.
You should undertake the deadheading steps to help the plant self-sow when the growing season is about to begin.
Try to snip flower stalks off and remove some wilted and dead petals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Some Common Bird Of Paradise Types?
Besides a Mexican bird of paradise, there are two other common types of plant you should be clear about.
- A red bird of paradise is the national flower of the Caribbean island. It is notable for its bright red colors, shown by its spray, stamens, and showy flowers.
- A yellow bird of paradise is renowned for its yellow flowers and petals. It often lives and grows in some desert regions and dry climates, like in Arizona and Texas.
When Does A Mexican Bird Of Paradise Bush Bloom?
Summer is the best season for its healthy growth, and this is also the time it starts to bloom. As mentioned earlier, you must prune the shrub thoroughly to promote its flowering production.
How To Create A Tree-Like Shape For A Mexican Bird Of Paradise?
Due to its spreading and rounded appearance, the task of creating a tree shape seems quite daunting, but the following are some possible methods you could try:
- You start from the two-thirds and half of the trunk’s bottom to remove some lateral branches.
- Cut the branches along the trunk with an acute angle to let the water run off the cut edge.
Note that initial cuttings should be done in the dormancy period, from late winter to early spring, and you continue this procedure when the weather gets hotter in the summer.
The Bottom Line
The task of the Mexican bird of paradise pruning seems not as hard as you have imagined, right?
Regular pruning is a facilitator to the shrub’s development, and you must undertake a proper planting method to ensure it can grow well.
Thank you for your genuine support, and wish your garden full of grace!