Republished from my blog gardeningbytes.com.
Bird of Paradise gets its name from the striking flower heads produced on long stems. These tall plants can grow up 3 to 5 feet in height. I remember my father growing a bed of purple bearded iris and a Bird of Paradise plant. I finally decided to purchase seeds and try my hand at growing Bird of Paradise. From what I've read once Bird of Paradise starts growing from seed it can take 3 to 5 years before the plant blooms, but the beautiful flowers are worth the wait.
You can help the Bird of Paradise seeds sprout quicker by scraping the seeds with a metal nail file. Scrape a small section of the side of the seed, then soak the seeds for at least 4 hours or overnight. Plant in the ground directly or in a pot. Another method is to cool the Bird of Paradise seed before planting for a few weeks, then nick each seed (called scarification) to help the seeds germinate.
I'm not sure how well this plant will do with my coastal weather but I'm willing to give it a try. So far the seeds that were simply filed and soaked in water have not sprouted, while my sweet peas that received the same treatment are growing well. The next set of Bird of Paradise seeds are in the fridge being cooled and will be planted in the coming weeks. Since Bird of Paradise is a tropical plant perhaps a warmer weather area will help the seeds sprout and grow more readily.
Learn more about How to Plant Bird of Paradise Seeds.
You may also want to check here to learn more about How to Grow Bird of Paradise Plants.
And here to learn how to help Bird of Paradise plants bloom their best.