Mexican bird of paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana) is also known by the name of Mexican Poinciana. It is an indigenous plant to Texas and Northern Mexico. Mexican bird of paradise is an herbaceous, perennial plant that can be grown as a small tree, or a large shrub. Mexican bird of paradise produces striking 3-to-6-inch clusters of fragrant, yellow flowers that bloom from spring through summer. Growing Mexican bird of paradise from seed is easily done at anytime during its blooming season.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Mexican bird of paradise seeds
- Sand paper or emery board
- Metal rake
- Chop stick or pencil
Remove the dried seed pods off a Mexican bird of paradise plant. You can do this during the spring or summer.
Split open the seed pods to remove the Mexican bird of paradise seeds.
Sand off a small section of the seed coat on each seed using a piece of sand paper or an emery board.
Fill up a bowl with warm water. Set the Mexican bird of paradise seeds into the bowl of water to soak for 36 hours.
Remove the seeds from the bowl of water and plant them.
Choose a sun-filled location in your garden for planting the Mexican bird of paradise seeds.
Rake the area free of any rocks, sticks, or other objects which can interfere with the germination of the Mexican bird of paradise seeds.
Poke 3/4-inch deep holes using the blunt end of a pencil or a chop stick. Space each of the holes 6 to 8 inches apart.
Plant one Mexican bird of paradise seed into each hole. Cover up each of the seeds with no more than 3/4 inch of soil. Mist the area generously with water. Germination of Mexican bird of paradise seeds can begin in approximately three to five days or take as long as 10 to 14 days, depending on conditions.
Thin out the seedlings to one every 24 to 36 inches once the seedlings have several leaves. Cut the plants off at the base of their stem to do this.
Water the Mexican bird of paradise once a week during the flowering periods, spring through summer, until they are established. Provide enough water to moisten then soil to a depth of three to four inches.
Prune out lower branches and foliage to shape the Mexican bird of paradise into a tree shape. Otherwise, let the branches grow and droop to grow it as a shrub, if you have room.
Fertilise the Mexican bird of paradise during its first year of growth. Fertilise once a month using a granular, 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 fertiliser. Spread rates vary by manufacturer so read the direction on the products label before using.
Planting Mexican Bird of Paradise Seeds
Tips and warnings
- Remove dead flowers to encourage the Mexican bird of paradise to blossom more.
- Mexican bird of paradise seeds are toxic, so keep the seeds away from children and small pets.
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