Bird of Paradise Seeds – All You Need to Know

How to find Bird of paradise seeds?

One way to collect seeds is directly from the Bird of paradise plant itself. You can find these during the springtime when the plant has been blooming. If you have an immature plant or one that is failing to bloom, then you will be unable to collect any seeds, as they come from the flower.

If you do not already own a Bird of paradise, or yours isn’t blooming, then you can purchase some online. Always read reviews and choose a reputable seller.

How to harvest the seeds of a Bird of paradise?

Select a healthy bloom on your Strelitzia. It should not have any visible damage, or sign of pest and the stem supporting it should be firm to the touch. Avoid any blooms with signs of an issue, as this can harm germination rates.

As the bloom begins to die, the seed pods dry out. As they dry out, the pod opens up, revealing small black seeds.

To collect the seeds, place an envelope beneath the pod. Gently crack the pod open and pour the seeds into the container.

The seeds of your Bird of paradise will be black with fuzzy little tufts of bright orange that stick out, giving them a unique appearance.

Store your seeds somewhere dark and cool until you wish to plant them. Ensure ventilation so that your seeds can fully dry out. If no ventilation is available, your seeds may go moldy.

When is the best time to sow a Bird of paradise seed?

There isn’t a right or wrong time to sow your Bird of paradise seeds, provided they receive the correct care. For practicalities sake, sowing your seeds at the beginning of fall makes the most sense. This is because, by spring, your plant should be ready to be transplanted, either outside, or into a bigger pot.

Growing a Bird of paradise from seed

Growing a Bird of paradise from seed will require a great deal of patience. Below is an easy step-by-step guide on how to grow a Bird of paradise from seed.

  1. Once you have collected your seeds, you’ll want to soak them in lukewarm water for a minimum of 24 hours. They will swell with time, indicating they are ready to be planted. 
  2. Remove the seeds from the bowl, draining any excess water. Remove any orange tufts sticking out from the seeds.
  3. To germinate, you need to break the skin of the seed. To do this, use a sharp knife, blade, or nail file. This is a process known as scarification.
  4. Prepare a seed tray or with your chosen soil mixture. 
  5. Mist your soil to make it slightly moist.
  6. Press your seeds into the soil at a depth of no more than 2cm (1 in).
  7. Move your seed trays somewhere that will receive indirect light throughout the day
  8. If you have a clear plastic container, place your seed tray inside to allow for ample humidity. An alternative is to place cling film over your seed tray. Be sure to remove the lid of the container or the plastic to allow ventilation. An environment that is too humid and moist will be a breeding ground for bacteria. 
  9. Keep a watchful eye on the moisture of your soil. Keep it slightly moist until it shows signs of growth. Do not overwater.

Germination will take place 8 weeks following planting your seeds.

Once your Bird of paradise plants have pushed out 2+ leaves, you can plant them in a small, individual pot. A 15cm (6in) pot is recommended.

If you intend to grow your Bird of paradise outdoors, once your plant reaches 20cm (8in), it will be safe to do so in the Spring.

Alternative methods to propagate your Bird of paradise

While rewarding, growing a Bird of paradise from seed requires lots of patience and tender care. It will also be a while before you’ll see any of those colorful blooms appear.

If you already own a Bird of paradise, you can divide your plant to create multiple individual plants.

You can read all about propagation methods here, and how to successfully go about them.