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Description

The Red bird of paradise is a robust deciduous shrub with a soft feathery texture and mounding habit, growing 6-10 ft. tall and as wide. Its bluish-green foliage is bipinnately divided into numerous small leaflets; striking orange-red and yellow flowers occur in terminal clusters from late spring into summer.

Red bird of paradise comes from the West Indies and shows widespread adaptation to hot microclimate locations in the Inland Empire where it thrives in summer heat and low amounts of summer water. It is one of the most colorful flowering accent shrubs for courtyard and southwestern plantings in commercial and residential settings. Weekly watering during its summer flowering cycle will prolong blooms, otherwise it grows well with low amounts of supplemental water in summer. The many stems grow very fast and this plant should be pruned hard late in the fall to manage its size and encourage dense growth.

Water Needs

The Red bird of paradise is well adapted to normal winter rains and periodic summer irrigation throughout the Inland Empire. Established plants grow well with periodic deep irrigation in the summer. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; more supplemental water commonly results in a longer flowering season and larger sizes.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous
Habit: Upright, Robust, Low-branching
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 6 ft. - 10 ft.
Width: 6 ft. - 10 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Red, Orange
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Screening, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Parks and open space, Mass planting, Hummingbird plant, Grouped, Foundations, Flowering accent plant, Commercial spaces, Civic spaces, Borders, Banks, Background plant, Attracts butterflies

Maintenance

Prune to the ground in late fall or winter once the plant looks ragged. It will regrow abundantly in early spring (S).

References

Associations

Plant Lists