Hardiness: USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Danger: Seed is poisonous if ingested Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Red Bright Yellow
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall Mid Fall Blooms all year
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From seed; direct sow after last frost
Seed Collecting: Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
On Jun 15, 2013, Mojave_Sun from Saint George, UT wrote:
This beautiful plant can thrive and is sold in nurseries in St. George, Utah, but is very under-used here as people tend to think just because they freeze back in the winter, and takes a long time to recover in late spring, they're dead. However, the few that are visible in yards throughout the area come back full and beautiful year after year with large, showy red-orange blooms on plants 6-8 feet tall even after having been cut down to near the ground in winter.
I live in an apartment, so I have one in a large pot on my patio that gets morning sun and it's thriving. Last year it bloomed late summer into fall and even had green foliage until late December when we got our first hard freeze.
It's not required to be covered or protected here, eventhough I would protect a newly planted one during cold snaps.
The cold hardier varieties, yellow bird of paradise and Mexican bird of paradise are much more common here, most likely due to the fact that they don't die back every winter, so locals are more in favor of these varieties. Me, personally, while I love them all, I think it's well worth the longer wait in spring for new growth of the red bird of paradise...they're fun to watch grow, and grow fast once they've budded!
In Hutto,Tx I found this plant growing in a neighbors yard on the west side of the house,with absolutely nothing around it.It was at least 5'.I was impressed as this was the worst drought we had seen in 100 years.we lost mannnnny plants and trees,but this one just looked beautiful while everything else was dead.
I grabbed some seeds,held on to them for a while and planted it a pot,not doing a thing,and it sprouted just fine!!! Going to plant the little guy now and hoping for the same results...It is a beauty!!
On Dec 20, 2011, GreenOliveTree from Christ Church Barbados wrote:
I have all the colour varieties and this is an extremely durable plant in hot weather. The orange coloured variety is our national flower here in Barbados and is grown all around the island. It is found on the national coat-of-arms or seal.
The other colour varieties include the yellow, pink and cream varieties. The pink has good vigour and flowers with the same frequency as the yellow or orange varieties. The cream variety is the rarest of the lot and tends to grow a bit slower but it is beautiful nonetheless.
We have a tropical climate so they grow really nice here with the exception of really dry weather they are very beautiful and low maintenance. You only have to be careful with the thorns outside of that no worries at all. If you are interested in the varieties just send me an email.
On Dec 27, 2010, solady from Monroeville, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:
I bought this plant in Tuscon (Wal Mart) and planted it at my home in Southern Alabama. It did real well the first year but died the 2nd year. Could it have gotten too much rain and drowned?
We are in the area that gets the most rain per year in the
On Dec 8, 2010, gardenpom from Melbourne, FL wrote:
I love this plant, however the last two winters have been tough on them here. I had a large one out in the front yard full of pods, and unfortunately I had to cut it way back to cover it. I want to keep it going so it will perhaps produce pods earlier next season. So many people have commented on how beautiful it was, and I was hoping to have seeds to give away. Maybe next year.
On Sep 6, 2010, Juttah from Tucson, AZ (Zone 8a) wrote:
Positives: Gorgeous when in bloom, vigorous, needs almost no water once established. We had a large specimen next to the patio and never watered it -- this is in Tucson mind you!
Negatives: It's deciduous so you get to look at dead sticks for 6 or 7 months. Sheds spent flowers, leaves, and seed pods. In late summer the pods explode with a SNAP which can be startling or annoying. Shallow roots are surprisingly thick; don't plant next to paving because it will buckle the pavers. (The guy who redid our patio says he sees this all the time with this plant.) Attracts lots of bees but only the occasional inquisitive butterfly or hummingbird.
For us, the negatives outweighed the positives and we took ours out. For the reasons I mentioned, avoid planting it next to a patio. Because it's conspicuously deciduous for so long, have a backup plan if you intend to use it as a specimen plant.
On Aug 31, 2010, colchie from Vashon, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Everyone in hot states mentions how easy it is to grow this. I got good germination of seeds, but a coolish summer - none of them survived outside, but the one in the greenhouse is a foot tall now. Hoping it gets even bigger next year.
On Aug 30, 2010, summerrain1006 from Houston, TX wrote:
I have been pulling these plants from my garden all year thinking it was a weed, which I have never seen. I went to home depot last week and recognized the leaf. I spoke to another shopper concerning this plant and to my amazement, she too had never seen this plant in her yard. Since, I have taken the larges plants and shared them with my co-workers, kept one in a pot and left a few in the ground. I have tons of seedlings in my yard.
The woman I spoke with said these were blown in from hurricane Ike.
On Aug 10, 2010, AZJeff from Sahuarita, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:
This bush is planted in many home and business landscapes in Tucson and other areas near to it. Most people in my area call this plant,"Red bird of paradise" or Red bird(for short name). It's a nice flowering bush,and surprisingly,even though it originates in the tropics of the West Indies,it does well in southern Arizona in the desert,as long as it gets plenty of water,to have it looking it's best. It takes hot sun,and heat well,especially of this area. I have one plant I planted from seed. It takes a few years before a seedling will become a bush and then flower. Mine flowered I think last year or the year before,with one or 2 small blossom clusters. The seeds are easy to grow,but should be soaked in warm water no longer than a day,to hasten germination. This plant can take drought which is surprising for a tropical bush,but doesn't look it's best or grow as well. Also, it can take some cold weather as long as it doesn't get to freezing and if it does,it just dies back a little or to the ground,but the plant will come back in Spring. Someone else in one of the forums for this plant asked about how to fertilize the plant or if it needs it. It doesn't hurt to fertilize it. I use just a little granulated fertilizer for bushes & trees,around early spring when it starts to grow or an all purpose fertilizer you can mix with water,one example being,"Miracle Gro".
On May 31, 2010, abken from New Orleans, LA wrote:
I have been growing this plant in the New Orleans area for about ten years. Started from seed, it didn't perform well for a year or so, then really took off, branches sprawling octapus-ily over and around an island bed. Bloom is nearly constant all summer. Subject to branch breakage in strong summer squalls, though it doesn't seem to affect the plant's vigor. May be cut to the ground in dormancy if desired. New growth in multiple shoots may be left as such or nicked off to achieve desired size and shape.
I bought two of these last summer. They were noted as cold hardy to 8a which is my zone. However, both died this past winter even though they were in a sheltered area. I love the plant, so I may try again.
On May 31, 2010, kaydiehl from Pasadena, CA wrote:
One of the last shrubs to leaf out here in Pasadena -- late April/early May is not uncommon. Bloom time here is August -- September, which is perfect because little else is blooming at the time and it puts on quite a show. Many positive comments from passers-by. In cooler winters there is a little die back at the tips, but never down to the ground. And yes, I lucked into a late summer sale at Home Depot and scored two healthy plants for about $10@.
On May 31, 2010, burien_gardener from Burien (SW Seattle), WA (Zone 8b) wrote:
I brought back seeds of Ceasalpinia from a trip to southern France in 1997. Around the Riviera they call it Parrot Flower.
Over the last 13 years, the 2 successful seeds have grown to more than 12 feet. The foliage is an exotic point on my lower patio. Curiously, the foliage closes at night similar to the sensitive plant - a relative.
Unfortunately, the plants have never set any flowers. I think Seattle doesn't get hot enough for long enough to encourage blooming. I'd love for it to bloom before I become compost, but I'll enjoy the lush, tropical foliage every summer.
On Mar 26, 2010, dixielol from Dunmor, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I am growing this in a pot right now but am going to plant it in the ground when it gets warmer. I think I might leave one in the ground all winter this year & see what happens...
**If starting from seeds, I have found it works best if you nick the seeds then soak them until they swell up a lot. I had 90% germination with the ones that was nicked & soaked but only about 20% with those that were only soaked.****
On Aug 14, 2009, Dutchman09 from Tucson, AZ wrote:
This plant was given to me in 1993. I planted and watered it for one season and forgot about it. I remarried in 2006 and in March my wife asked me if she could pull out the weeds in front of the patio. I told her the story and started watering it. It is now 8' by 8' and 7.5 ' tall and has blossoms all summer. Last November I did not cut it down to the ground as in the previous two years and it just got bigger. I deep soak it with a soaker hose for 4 hours a week and have never fed it. I highly recommend this as a decorative plant/shrub. This Paradise plant is in Zone 9a. My wife just bought another one and would appreciate any information on the best time of year to transplant from the pot into the ground. Also what kind of fertilizer to use if any.
On Jun 4, 2009, AliceB777 from Las Cruces, NM wrote:
I just discovered this beautiful shrub while traveling through the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.
I am looking forward to checking out the local nurseries this weekend to see if they have one. I know I can get the standard yellow bird-of-paradise (they are all over this area), but have never seen the Caesalpinia pulcherrima. I am in the Las Cruces, NM area.
Another common name for this plant, especially around Dave's Garden is 'Trois Flower' ...
Trois was an active and wonderful member of Dave's Garden. One of his favorite plants was Pride of Barbados. He shared seed from this plant with friends from all over the world and since his passing on September 1, 2008 several of his friends and his daughter; SingingWolf, continue what her father started. I think the world is a more beautiful and much nicer place because of people like Trois, SingingWolf and you too.
On Nov 11, 2008, agentdonny007 from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 8b) wrote:
Highly used tropical accent throughout Las Vegas. From residential areas to strip mall medians, this plant/shrub can be found tucked among common Las Vegas landscapes. The leaves tend to be deciduous during the winter in outer areas of the Las Vegas valley but growth quickly comes with the arrival of spring heat. I have seen small trees growing in and around the airport/Strip in protected pockets. Very beautiful flowers!!
On Nov 7, 2008, GrandmaKoi from Cape Coral, FL wrote:
I'm looking for information about the Pink dwarf variety. My house is pink, so that would be the one for me but I can find very little about it. Is it as hardy as the reds and yellows? The red poinciana grows huge here and is an incredible show-stopper.
On Oct 4, 2008, hernandey10 from Santa Ana, CA wrote:
i am currently working in palm desert, calif. (10/1/08)
i went to local home depot, and lo and behold, they
dozens for sale in 1 gal. and 3 gal. the 3 gal size that
day was on sale for $10.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On Jul 11, 2008, Turtlegaby from Decatur, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:
I started the seeds a couple of weeks ago. First sanded them a little bit with sandpaper, then soaked them in warm water. I totally forgot about them and 4 days later, the water looked deeply brown, I thought everything is lost. But I planted them though. They germinated in only 2 days! Now 2 weeks after germination they are 3 inch tall and have their first set of leaves.
I am assuming, the longer they soak, the faster they germinate. That was the easiest germination I ever have experienced with a tropical species.
This is the second year with this particular plant. The first year we purchased it at a home center towards the end of summer. It almost immediately began to loose leaves and I kept it in the greenhouse till spring. It was only a few sprigs by then, but daily gentle care and it grew back wonderfully, but here it is July 3rd and I fear I have been over watering because bottom leaves are yellowing and falling off. It began to bloom about June 8th or so and my friend, Margie, 82 yrs old was beyond words happy as she was never able to grow one ever. Now we have seed pods and I hope to have plenty of new starts by spring.
On Jun 27, 2008, jah510 from West Palm Beach, FL wrote:
I have this planted outside in a large pot, although here in West Palm Beach, the weather is not an issue. I simply did not want a large tree. I've had mine about 7 years now and it is only 6 feet tall because of the pot and my pruning. Quite the little showboat, I must say. If you can grow it in your area, or think you can, I'd say give it a try! You won't be sorry.
Wish I could say I have gotten good results with the seeds, however. Anyone willing to send along a trick or tip with them, I'd be appreciative!
On Jun 22, 2008, cactuspatch from Alamogordo, NM (Zone 7b) wrote:
I love this plant. It needs some protection in my area. Mine is planted with a stucco wall behind it to the north, mulched with white gravel and it has come back every summer for 7 years so far. It reseeds and I have not had luck transplanting the seedlings.
On Oct 9, 2006, jlk818 from Fort Stockton, TX wrote:
I can't say enough good things about this plant. Out here in hot dry W. Texas it has been just beautiful. We put it on a drip system for deep watering. The 2nd year it was about 5 ft. tall and 5' across and covered with long-lasting blooms. Our winters are cold enough that it freezes back to ground level but pops right out and grows rapidly as soon as the nights are 65' or higher. The only difficulty we've found is growing from seed. We've tried soaking in warm water after scoring the hard seed with no luck.
On Aug 16, 2006, bugraooo from Port Saint Lucie, FL wrote:
Intricate orange-yellow bloom. Color-wise, they are a bright orange and yellow, clashing with most other flowers. I grow them under a royal poinciana tree and they look wonderful. Oddly, there is a dwarf poinciana growing in a cemetery in Baltimore, MD. Global warming? Anyone know of the dwarf poinciana growing in Baltimore historically?
On Jul 19, 2006, Dinu from Mysore India (Zone 10a) wrote:
Having not pruned it at all for all the 7 years, it has grown to the height of my first floor window. More than 15 feet tall. It is a lovely sight in bloom esp. from a little distance. I maintained it only in its firs year from seed. Later it is on its own. Now it has become a good canopy as well as a screen to the adjacent street. Good plant to have in a garden.
On Jun 17, 2006, GD_Rankin from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
Just sharing a few thoughts and a couple of photos. The Red Bird of Pardise thrive here in our south/central Texas dry and hot summers. They seem to do very well in the sandy soil and don't mind the extremities of the mid-day sun. They start to bloom around the middle of may and continue throughout the summer.
They have wonderful color blooms and a very unusual flower structure and obviously attract lots of bees and butterflies. As you can see in the last photo I added, they produce seed pods that when left on the plant to dry can be collected for seeds.
However, they do require protection from extremely cold conditions. Of the two I had here last season, the one that was not covered suffered some damage from freezing rain and had to be cut back. It survived and is doing fine this summer, but it lost most of last year's growth.
I recommend this plant to anyone in the south that wants to add something to their landscape that's both drought tolerant and colorful.
I got some seeds from a friend. They are growing well. Very easy to grow. I just planted them this spring, they are about 4 to 6 inches tall already. I would like to know how long it will take for them to start blooming.
On Jul 27, 2005, Cutycall from Devon United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:
Growing this plant from seed is extremely easy. Simply, lightly sand the seed before soaking in water for up to 24 hours. If external coating very hard then cut/nick shell to enable water to penetrate the internal kernel. Pot into a good medium of loamy/good draining compost and water lightly. Do not overwater as rotting may occur. Then simply place into a polythene bag on a warm sunny window sill and wait for approx 10 days. Once leaves appear remove from bag and keep warm preferrably in direct sunlight with good air circulation, but again do not overwater these plants as they are drought tolerant. They grow happily in the United Kingdom but may need some extra mulch to protect over winter.
I have found these beautiful plants a joy to grow, seeds are readily available from the pods that form. Just leave them on the plant until they are just about to pop.
On Oct 13, 2004, TucsonJen from Tucson, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:
"Red birds can be trained into small trees but do not have the visual impact of the pruned shrub form. Typically stems are pruned to within 6 to 12 inches above the ground, when the plant is dormant, to promote flowering and denser branching next season." You'd get to retrain it every year from scratch. Blah!
"Of the Caesalpinia species, C. cacalaco and C. mexicana are most adaptable to being trained into patio tree form."
On Jul 28, 2004, azsunnygrl from Tucson, AZ wrote:
I never plant anything bigger than a 1 gallon size plant because it grows very rapidly here in Southern Arizona. They are drought tolerant and actually grow more compactly if not overwatered. It has a tropical foliage that contrasts nicely with desert landscaping. I cut mine back to the ground in January and it is about 5 ft. tall and 4 ft. across today. The only bad thing I can say about them is if not deadheaded lots of seedlings will come up during the rainy season. Leave the seedlings you want to keep and easily pull up the rest.
On Oct 15, 2003, clantonnaomi from Iredell, TX wrote:
I have grown this tree for several years in central Texas (Zone 8). It has grown to at least 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide. I do trim it back in the fall and it consistently comes back in the spring. It is beautiful when blooming - literally covered in bright red blooms. It is one of my favorite trees.
On Oct 14, 2003, TerriFlorida from Plant City, FL wrote:
I have grown this gorgeous plant in the poorest soil Florida can offer (nearly pure sand) and in potting soil in a pot for years. It tolerates many abuses, including pot culture. Winter flooding will kill the roots, particularly in poor soil, that's the only cultural note I can add.
It is very easy to grow from seed, I've never bought the outrageously priced plants. They get those prices because the flowers are so very showy. I was given seeds from a friend -- it is a great producer. You have to deadhead with great determination to get all the pods before they pop open. But the seedlings are easy to pull where not wanted, so it is not a terrible trial to own.
On Jul 10, 2003, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
This is a leguminous plant that looks like a shrub version of the Royal Poinciana. It has small, ferny leaves of pale to turquoise green and incredibly colorful red-orange flowers for most of the summer, starting in late spring in my yard. It is somewhat marginal in Southern California, and tends to be deciduous over the winter, but I have had no problem keeping it alive. From what I understand, it gets completely 'killed' back in zones 8a-9a, but it can grow back from its roots if well established. Though drought tolerant, mine seems to prefer a lot of water during hot, dry summers (which is all summers here southern California)
On Oct 22, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Dwarf Poinciana is an evergreen shrub or small tree in frost free climates, a deciduous shrub in zone 9, and a returning perennial in zone 8. The flowers are borne in terminal clusters 8-10" tall throughout most of the year in tropical climates and in late summer and fall where frosts occur. There are plants with yellow flowers and also with dark red flowers. The fruits, typical legumes, are flat, 3-4" long, and when ripe they split open noisily to expose the little brown beans.
This plant has an open, spreading habit and the branches sometimes get too long and break off. A line of plants makes a showy fine-textured screen or informal hedge. You can cut it to the ground in late winter or early spring to get a bushier, more compact shrub.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (3 reports) Koper, Vincent, Alabama Buckeye, Arizona Chuichu, Arizona Douglas, Arizona East Sahuarita, Arizona Fort Mohave, Arizona Gilbert, Arizona Goodyear, Arizona Green Valley, Arizona Lake Havasu City, Arizona Mesa, Arizona (2 reports) Peoria, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona (4 reports) Picture Rocks, Arizona Queen Creek, Arizona Scottsdale, Arizona South Tucson, Arizona Sun City, Arizona Tucson, Arizona (5 reports) Magnet Cove, Arkansas , California Banning, California Bonadelle Ranchos-madera Ranchos, California Brentwood, California Castro Valley, California Desert Hot Springs, California Fontana, California Fremont, California Fresno, California Highgrove, California Indio, California La Quinta, California Mountain View Acres, California Palm Springs, California Pasadena, California Reseda, California Arcadia, Florida Auburndale, Florida Bartow, Florida Big Pine Key, Florida Boca Raton, Florida Boyette, Florida Bradley, Florida Campbell, Florida (2 reports) Cape Coral, Florida Carver Ranches, Florida Clearwater, Florida Cloud Lake, Florida Cocoa Beach, Florida Conway, Florida Coral Springs, Florida Crooked Lake Park, Florida Delray Beach, Florida Eatonville, Florida Floral City, Florida Fort Pierce, Florida Haines City, Florida Hollywood, Florida (2 reports) Jacksonville, Florida Keystone, Florida Lake Wales, Florida Loxahatchee, Florida Manasota Key, Florida Miami, Florida (2 reports) Miami Beach, Florida Mulberry, Florida Naples, Florida Old Town, Florida Orangetree, Florida Palm Beach Shores, Florida Palm Shores, Florida Pembroke Pines, Florida Plant City, Florida Port Saint Lucie, Florida Samoset, Florida South Venice, Florida Spring Hill, Florida St Augustine, Florida Tallahassee, Florida Tampa, Florida (2 reports) Umatilla, Florida Wauchula, Florida Honomu, Hawaii Barbourville, Kentucky Chackbay, Louisiana Zachary, Louisiana Columbia, Mississippi Marietta, Mississippi Las Vegas, Nevada (4 reports) North Las Vegas, Nevada Albuquerque, New Mexico La Luz, New Mexico Roswell, New Mexico Elizabeth City, North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Caguas, Puerto Rico Vieques, Puerto Rico Bluffton, South Carolina Goose Creek, South Carolina Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Lexington, South Carolina Saint Helena Island, South Carolina Abilene, Texas Alvin, Texas Austin, Texas (3 reports) Bastrop, Texas Baytown, Texas Belton, Texas Brazoria, Texas Briaroaks, Texas Broaddus, Texas Brownsville, Texas (2 reports) Copperas Cove, Texas Cottonwood Shores, Texas Crp Christi, Texas Deer Park, Texas (2 reports) Dickinson, Texas Doyle, Texas Eagle Lake, Texas El Paso, Texas Evant, Texas Floresville, Texas Fort Worth, Texas Friendswood, Texas Georgetown, Texas Gillett, Texas Granite Shoals, Texas Hill Country Village, Texas Horizon City, Texas Houston, Texas (7 reports) Iredell, Texas Irving, Texas Katy, Texas Kerrville, Texas Killeen, Texas Kingsland, Texas Kyle, Texas La Porte, Texas Lake Brownwood, Texas Llano, Texas Lockhart, Texas Lytle, Texas Missouri City, Texas New Braunfels, Texas (3 reports) Palm Valley, Texas (2 reports) Pilot Point, Texas Rockport, Texas Round Rock, Texas Rowlett, Texas San Angelo, Texas (3 reports) San Antonio, Texas (5 reports) San Leanna, Texas Santa Fe, Texas Schertz, Texas Spring Branch, Texas Sweeny, Texas Watauga, Texas West Livingston, Texas Saint George, Utah Kalama, Washington Vashon, Washington