Bird Of Paradise Propagation
Bird Of Paradise,  Propagation

Bird Of Paradise Propagation

Birds of paradise are easy to propagate by dividing the pups at the base

Bird Of Paradise Propagation

Birds Of Paradise are beautiful plants. They look stunning inside and outside. We have a few in our small apartment and they transform the space. Here’s our guide to Bird of Paradise Propagation…

The key to propagating a bird of paradise is to wait until it produces smaller ‘pup’ plants at the base, then when they are a good size just take the plant out of its pot, shake off as much soil as you can then spit the pups at the rhizome, taking some of the roots with the pup, keeping damage to a minimum. Then pot them all up separately.

Bird Of Paradise Division

To divide a Strelitzia, ideally you need to take the main plant out of it’s pot so a good time to do it is when you are repotting. You can then separate them out. The best time to do this is in Spring. 

I took a picture (see below) of mine last time I did this and you can see the root of Birds Of Paradise are like big white carrots and they can sometimes be inseparable. This means you may need to cut them to divide them, just try to minimize damage to your plants. Don’t be scared, but do be careful! You want to some away with each plant separately with it’s own root system. If you do have to cut the roots, just try to get as much of them as possible left on the bottom of each plant.

I would then leave the plants for half a day or so so the cut wounds heal over. This will reduce the chance of them getting rot at the cut site.

Once they are separated, you can pot them up in separate pots using a well-draining potting compost. 

And you are done!

Here’s a picture of some of my plants after dividing them up. You want to make sure you take some roots/rhizome with each plant.

bird of paradise rhizome

Their roots are these huge carrot-like rhizomes. You must be really careful when separating out the plants and try not to damage the rhizomes.

Here’s a picture of mine, you can see how packed and tight the rhizomes can get.

This is the roots of one of mine that needed repotting – this is the ‘before’ picture to the first photo – you can see how difficult it might be to separate these out. Some will break in division but the plants should be ok. Just take as much care as you can.

Can You Grow a Bird Of Paradise From Seed? 

You can grow Bird Of Paradise from seed, but it takes a long time, it can take over 4-5 years for a seed to reach a mature plant. The best way to propagate your Strelitzia’s are to divide them at the roots to separate out the smaller plants, then plant them up separately.

Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.

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Can you grow a Bird Of Paradise from a cutting?

You cannot grow a bird of paradise from a cutting using water propagation. You need to wait until smaller plants (pups) grow around the base of the main plant, then you can separate them with division. If you take a cutting, for example a section of stem and leaf, and put it in water it will not grow roots.

How to encourage a bird of paradise to pup?

To encourage your BOP to grow babies (pups) you can give it optimum growing conditions – give it high levels of natural light, decent amount of humidity, and feed it in the summer. But do not repot it, let it get crowded. This will encourage pups in the plant once the plant has filled out it’s current pot.

For more info on BOP care see our article: Bird Of Paradise Plant Care.

When Is The Best Time To Divide A Bop?

The best time to divide your bird of paradise is in spring, then it will have the warmer growing months to develop on its own.

Can you propagate bird of paradise in water? 

Bird of Paradise pups should be separated or cut off at the roots of the plant. And then repotted in soil. Water propagation is not the best method for plants like this that are separated at the roots.

Can You Propagate Bird Of Paradise Without Roots?

You need a cutting that includes some of the rhizome, or it will not root. You cannot take a stem cutting and root it, unless the cutting has a chunk of rhizome attached to the bottom.

Can Bird Of Paradise Grow In Water?

A BOP cutting will exist in water for a few days, but you cannot grow a whole plant in water indefinitely.

How Tall Do Bird Of Paradise Grow?

They can grow up to 1.5 to 2 meters tall in some cases (5 to 6.5 feet).


Good luck with dividing your Bird of Paradise. Send us your pictures, or tag us on Instagram, would love to see how you get on. 

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