How To Germinate Bird Of Paradise Seeds
Unlike many flower and vegetable seeds which you can simply plant and grow, Bird of Paradise seeds must undergo both stratification and scarification before they can be successfully germinated. Stratification involves keeping the seeds in cold storage to bring them out of dormancy, and scarification refers to breaking the outer husk of the seed to help the juvenile shoots break through and grow. Bird of Paradise plants thrive outside in a Mediterranean environment. If you live in a cooler climate then you can still grow them indoors as an exotic house plant.
First soak the Bird of Paradise seeds in a bowl of lukewarm water for between 24 and 48 hours. Afterwards, drain the water away and wrap the seeds in a damp paper towel. Place the seeds in a re-sealable plastic bag and store them in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
Remove the seeds from the refrigerator and remove them from the paper towel. Sterilize a sharp knife or razor blade with rubbing alcohol, then use the blade to nick each seed. This technique – called scarification – will allow them to germinate.
Fill a planting tray with moist potting soil. Plant the seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep and several inches apart. Place clear plastic planting tray covers on the tray. If you used pots, wrap each one with a clear plastic bag or cover the tops with plastic wrap. This helps retain moisture and heat, both of which are needed to get Bird of Paradise seeds to germinate. Move it into a warm location of over 26 degrees Celsius, if possible, where it gets indirect light. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate; this will be about 8 weeks after planting.
Place the trays or pots in a warm room with indirect sunlight.
Water the soil regularly to keep it moist while the plants are germinating. Transplant the Bird of Paradise seedlings to larger pots or to a permanent location outdoors after two to three months. If you transplant them outdoors, dig holes as large as the containers and space them about 2 to 3 feet apart. Fertilize the area with a slow release fertilizer.