White Bird of Paradise: Think of them as tropical trees.

White Bird of Paradise plants aren’t true palms, ergo their nickname “Bird of Paradise Tree.” Too often homeowners mistakenly think they’ll get big but certainly never taller than their roof. But they can and do. It’s important that you plan for their growth so you can appreciate their beauty instead of cursing their size. White Bird of Paradise can be the showcase of your landscape when strategically placed.

Enormous leaves, enormous impact.

White Bird of Paradise is often confused with Travelers Palm or even banana trees. Instead, it’s a clumping palm-like plant with banana-shaped leaves that unfurl from multiple stalks. These leaves (more than 36 inches long) are the absolute star of the show, even overshadowing unique white blossoms that resemble a bird’s head. If you’re looking for a hardy exotic tropical with architectural style, spread your wings and ask your designer to include one or several in your landscape plan.  

White bird of paradise

Space requirements and care.

White birds can reach 20 to 30 feet with a spread up to 10 (although they’re often seen smaller). Still, allow for their maximum size. Plant at least four feet away from the house so stalks don’t interfere with your gutters and soffits. Don’t place too close your air conditioner. If planting two or more, place about five feet apart. Sun to partial shade is fine. Let dry out a bit between watering and keep mulch away from the base. You don’t want them too wet (they like moist, well-drained soil but not soggy soil). Otherwise, just trim off old leaves as needed. You can also thin out old stalks or new pups at the ground. White Bird of Paradise plants are resistant to pests/diseases and also tolerate moderate drought and wind conditions. But an area protected by strong gusts works best.

White bird of paradise

Let your imagination fly.

Now for the fun part — finding the perfect spot for your White Bird of Paradise. These upright evergreen plants can fit into tight spaces, so consider them near your home’s entrance or along a large “blank” wall like the one shown above. They also make gorgeous pool accents or filler plants for a corner of your yard. Looking for a large anchor or backdrop for your garden bed? Whatever your taste or needs, the result is sure to be dramatic. Give one — or better yet, a flock of them — a try.   

HOA landscape maintenance

ArtisTree provides landscape maintenance services for HOA communities throughout SW Florida. Contact Mike Casper at 941.488.8897 for a proposal. Services include irrigation/water management, turf/ornamental maintenance, mulching and seasonal color.

Want to get your Sarasota landscape renovation started? Browse ArtisTree’s portfolio and then call Jenni Lassen at 941.488.8897 to meet with one of our award-winning designers. We’ve proudly served Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties since 1990.



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