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Gardening tips on when to prune red bird of paradise

Author: Cathy Cromell
Issue: February, 2014, Page 121
Red bird of paradise



Q&A ASK THE EXPERTS

Q. What are the best months to prune red bird of paradise plants? Can they be pruned during bloom? My shrubs are very large. Also, how much pruning can they withstand?

A. The best time to prune Caesalpinia pulcherrima is during its winter dormancy, from December through February, remarks University of Arizona Maricopa County Cooperative Extension (MCCE) Master Gardener Susan D. Noack. It can tolerate light pruning after it blooms, including deadheading spent flowers and cutting back the occasional errant stalk. If plants have grown too large for their space, you may cut them to the ground (to about 3 inches high) at the end of winter and they will rejuvenate in a more natural form for summer. Red bird of paradise is one of the more dependable and colorful desert landscape plants that will persevere with annual pruning.

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