How Do I Take Care of a Bird of Paradise in Louisiana?
- 1). Prepare a well-drained location that receives full sun to plant a bird-of-paradise plant in southern Louisiana. Although the bird-of-paradise will grow in shade, it will not bloom as well as when it receives at least six hours of direct sun each day. The location should be near a water source, as the bird-of-paradise is not drought tolerant. Also, a location protected from wind helps prevent the broad leaves from splitting.
- 2). Dig a hole to plant the bird-of-paradise that is three times as wide as the container or root section. This helps loosen the surrounding soil so the roots of the plant can easily get established.
- 3). Mix the soil removed from the hole with well-rotted compost at a rate of one-half soil and one-half compost.
- 4). Plant the bird-of-paradise in the hole at the same depth it was planted in the container or previous location. Fill the hole around the roots with the soil and compost mixture. Add water into the planting mix to prevent the formation of air pockets around the root zone.
- 5). Add a 3-inch layer of mulch around the bird-of-paradise plant and over the root zone. Adding mulch not only controls weeds, it helps conserve moisture.
- 6). Fertilize once a month with a water soluble liquid fertilizer. You can also use a timed-release garden fertilizer if you prefer. The bird-of-paradise plant responds well to fertilizer. Read and follow the instructions carefully on the fertilizer container label. Too much fertilizer will adversely affect bloom production and may cause browning of the leaf margins.
- 7). Water the bird-of-paradise plant as often as needed to keep the soil around the plant moist, but not wet. The root system of the bird-of-paradise plant will rot if the soil remains waterlogged. During a typical summer in Southern Louisiana, you may not need to water more than once a month. Withhold water and fertilizer during the wet and cool winter months.
- 8). Remove old blooms and foliage by cutting the old stems with a sharp knife near the base of the plant. This can be done at any time of the year.