Bird of paradise tree
Caractéristiques de la plante
- Caesalpinia gilliesii : Flamboyant oiseau de paradis
- Family : Caesalpinioideae
- Origin : Argentina
- Height in its natural environment : 3 m
- Hardiness : -12°C (looses its leaves under 0°C)
- Flower colour : yellow with red stamens
Height : about 10 to 30 cm (depending on seasons)
Description of the plant
Here is the most rustic Flamboyant and undoubtedly the most spectacular in terms of flowering!
Whether you have a green thumb or not, you will know how to cultivate this bird of paradise which is very adaptable. It tolerates frosts down to -12°C (a true hardy tropical shrub), even if it loses its leaves at the first frost, and stays at reasonable heights.
And its flowering... A real firework of beauty! With its bouquets of upright flowers, its yellow corollas from which a bundle of red stamens emerge, it will fascinate you as much as the butterflies and bees that love to frolic in it.
It is known to cure coughs, fever and wounds, it will certainly cure any untimely melancholy!
Also known as : Bird of paradise bush, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Paradise Caesalpinia, Paradise Poinciana, Barba de chivo, Desert bird of paradise, Yellow bird of paradise, …
When you receive your plant, repot it in a pot slightly larger than the bucket, which must be well pierced. Avoid pot covers which prevent residual water from draining away and encourage fungal diseases. Choose a fine potting soil, ideally with added perlite or sand to lighten the substrate (do not use garden soil or acidic soil such as heather). Then plan two repottings per year (spring and autumn), gradually increasing the size of the pot and adapting it to the size of the root network (the roots must have room, but not too much as the plant must be able to dry out its substrate between waterings). This avoids having to add fertilizer, which always risks burning the fragile roots of the plants and making the plant wither as soon as the fertilizer is stopped.
Copious watering: when watering, the entire root ball should be wet, then wait for the substrate to dry on the surface before watering again. These plants are greedy in water, but you should not drown the roots either. Always water at the base of the plant, and do not mist it, because stagnant water in the armpit of the leaves favors cryptogamic diseases. If your atmosphere is too dry, put bowls of water nearby (above radiators for example), so that evaporation humidifies the air.
For an indoor planting
Unless you want to try a bonsai culture (yay!), this plant is not recommended as an indoor plant, but is meant to be planted outdoors (see next section).
For an outdoor planting
If your climate allows it, you will be able to plant your plant in full ground, a full sun is recommended. We advise you however to cultivate it in pot the first year and to make it spend the first winter in the heat, in order to strengthen it well. Plant it between the end of the risk of frost (generally at the beginning of May) and the end of August, in a soil which must be light and draining; do not hesitate to add sand and fine potting soil if necessary. Be careful with the minimum temperatures indicated: they are given for a mature plant, and you have to take into account the wind which accentuates the cold felt, as well as the water retention capacity of your soil, which can rot the roots if it is not sufficiently draining. So take a little safety margin!
This plant supports the pruning, but we do not advise it because that would make it lose its native form.
Our plants are grown naturally, without chemical fertilizers, so we advise you to repot them regularly (twice a year) rather than adding fertilizer.
In case of pest attack
If your plants are under attack by aphids or other pests, the best way to control them is by hand. Change their soil, remove as many undesirables as possible by hand and then shower your plants with a strong stream of water to eliminate any eggs that may be present. Spray them (insist on the underside of the leaves) with liquid black soap diluted in water. Repeat the operation several times at a few days interval. Take them outside in good weather, rain, sun and wind will kill most of the aggressors!