The Mexican Bird of Paradise is the perfect summer-blooming tree for small urban lots, low-maintenance medians and even large patio planters. Plants have small round dark green leaflets that provide a soft airy or ferny texture. In warmer climates this tree can maintain its foliage year round. Their prolific yellow blooms form clusters at the end of the stems and reach up to 6-inches in diameter. The bright blooms attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The flowers are followed by tan to yellow seed pods. Plants are particularly showy when planted en masse. This small tropical tree, or large shrub, can reach 15’-20’ tall and wide once mature. However, plants remain smaller in cooler climates and may freeze to the ground in marginal zones. Where plants are perennial, you can control their size with annual pruning. Mexican Bird of Paradise does best in well-draining soil and has low watering requirements once established. This tree thrives in full sun but can tolerate some shade.
1. Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat.
2. Soak the seed in water for several hours.
3. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
4. Put the seeds on the soil.
5. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
6. Water the seeds.
7. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
8. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.