Prune a bird of paradise tree by regularly removing dead foliage, old flower stems and side shoots. Pruning shears, gloves and a rake are needed. The process should be done a few times a year and take less than an hour.
- Cut back dead flower stalks
Locate dead flower stalks by looking for their wilted, brown appearance. Bird of paradise trees tend to refrain from shedding dead flowers; this can create an abundance of dead organic matter on the tree. Older trees may need to be sheared to allow access to dead material in the middle of the plant. Prune the dead stalks close to the plant base.
- Cut back dead foliage
Remove dead and wilted foliage, which also tend to remain on the tree. Removal is essential to minimize rotting and the risk of fungal infections and diseases.
- Prune side shoots
Trim side shoots back to the base of the plant to prevent spreading of the tree. Leaving side shoots results in the formation of a new specimen and can affect the overall shape of the tree.
- Removed pruned material
Rake pruned material into a pile and place in a large garbage bag. Dispose of the material by throwing it away, shredding or chopping it, and adding it to a compost pile.