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Tropical Plants/White bird of paradise

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Question
I have a white bird of paradise I planted almost a year ago that was doing very well. (In Louisiana ) with the recent freeze there has been some damage. Do I cut it all back now or wait till spring? And how long will it take to recover?

Answer
Hi Judy, The rule of thumb is , if the ground didn't freeze it should come back just fine when the weather warms in a Month or so; most Southern "freezes" (even here in Southwest Florida), consist of topical damage, leaving the underground root systems unscathed. When all chances of another freeze are gone,,(which is the end of February here),,,cut back all freeze damaged leaves, stems, flowers ,,,to the ground if necessary. BOP's send out new plants from an underground Rhizome and new growth also from cut back surface plants, but this will not occur until the ground warms in the Spring,,so be patient and you will enjoy beautiful white bird like flowers this Summer. If you prune it back now ,you will encourage new, tender growth now and another freeze, or even a Frost for that matter will set it back even more so and stress it, so wait and remember to prune off dead flowers as they occur, so as to encourage new ones to develop.  Nick  

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Nick McCann

Expertise

broad spectrum knowledge in the field of tropical plants;

Experience

I am a certified Master Gardner in Florida (8years)

Organizations
Master Gardner Association of Charlotte County Florida

Education/Credentials
Master Gardner training....accredited each year with required seminars and educational training.

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