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Bird of Paradise
Invite this elegantly clad bird into your garden, and you'll delight in festive blossoms year-round. Bird-of-paradise forms 3- to 5-foot-tall clumps of leathery leaves. The flower stalks are actually a combination of blue petals and orange petal-look leaves that emerge from a beaklike leaf structure. Count on the blossoms to last for a couple of weeks. Bird-of-paradise's long-lasting foliage and upright nature is especially useful in mixed borders as it provides energy and texture. And because it rarely sheds foliage, it's good for poolside planting.
Plant bird-of-paradise in full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil. Its success often depends on adequate moisture during the six months after planting. Water it regularly so the soil is moist but not waterlogged.
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Part Sun, Sun
Under 6 inches to 20 feet or more
To 15 feet wide, depending on type