Bean pods on bushes with orange, yellow and red flowers – Growing tips

desert bush with yellow flowers and bean pods

Using bean pods to grow your bird of paradise plants is uncomplicated and well worth the effort.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Red Bird of Paradise, is a species of flowering plant in the Fabaceae, pea family.

bird of paradise plants with bean pods
common desert bush with orange and red flowers

Other common names are Poinciana, Peacock Flower, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana, Pride of Barbados, and flamboyan-de-jardin.

arizona bushes with red orange flowers fern leaves
Red Bird of Paradise drought tolerant shrubs

This is especially true for the Red Bird of Paradise bushes, genus Caesalpina,  along the roads in Tucson and Phoenix, also common in TX, Mexico and CA.

Red Bird of Paradise plants and shrubs
beautiful bushes with orange red flowers in the desert

This drought tolerant plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.

Are the Bird of Paradise Bean Pods edible?  NO, all Bird of Paradise plants and bushes are poisonous if ingested.

desert bush with red flowers and bean pods
bean pods on caesalpinia pulcherrima

Bean Pods on the Bird of Paradise bushes and shrubs need to turn brown before you can germinate the seeds.  The green bean pods pictured above and below are too young and need more time to dry on the desert plant.

desert bush with yellow flowers and bean pods
Yellow Bird of Paradise bush with bean pods

Red Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia pulcherrima,  is native to the tropics and subtropics of the Americas and is also the NATIONAL flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, which is why you may hear it called Pride of Barbados.

red bird of paradise

PLANT AND GROW – How to grow bird of paradise plants, bushes, shrubs from seeds.

To germinate the seeds of your bird of paradise perennial plant first step is to score the hard outer coating.  I use sandpaper to lightly scrape the seeds then soak them in warm water for 24-48 hours.  They will germinate quickly like most seeds in the bean, Legume family, do.

To grow your Red Bird of Paradise, plant the soaked seed in peat pots.  Cover the seeds lightly with damp vermiculite or a good soil.

best way to grow seeds in peat pots
germinated seedling of bird of paradise bush

You should have bird of paradise seedlings in a few days to a week depending on how hard the outer coat of the seeds are.

peat pots

Bird of Paradise seeds need at least 8 hours of sun, but not direct sun it will be too hot! You can start to give them a little more direct sun after the first leaves appear.

Peat Pots are great and make growing and transplanting your Mexican, Yellow or Red Bird of Paradise seedlings much easier.

Start your seeds indoors and when you are ready to plant your Bird of Paradise just put the entire pot in the ground.  Roots will penetrate the peat pot and the pot disintegrates enriching the soil.

arizona orange red yellow flowers desert shrub
large flowering red bird of paradise desert bush

The Red Bird of Paradise is a deciduous (loses its leaves) shrub that thrives in  full sun and has bright red and orange flowers that grow on long, thin stalks. The leaves are lacy,  ferny-looking.

phoenix desert bushes red orange yellow flowers
grow Bird of Paradise shrubs from bean pods

This is an extraordinarily heat resistant, drought tolerant flowering bush that is a perfect addition to any yard.  The Red Bird of Paradise is a fairly fast grower, and can get large, so periodic trimming is suggested. See the photo above of large flowering bushes commonly seen along the streets in Tucson and Phoenix Arizona along with Texas and California.

Author: tjsgarden

We are a family that loves the Arizona Desert. A lot of research and team efforts go into our articles and photos. Come discover the beauty and mystery with us. Don't forget your sunscreen!

19 thoughts on “Bean pods on bushes with orange, yellow and red flowers – Growing tips”

  1. When I left Arizona after 16 yrs in 1978, it was the Sonora Desert on maps etc.
    When Arizona called me back in 2005, everone’s now calling it the SONORAN Desert. Anyone know why the change?


    1. From my research and travels around Arizona I have seen it spelled both ways and have not yet found the exact reasons either. Maybe one of our readers can give us some insights. Great comment Dr. Rocklin!


  2. I recently spent a few days in Palm Desert, California. I had never seen a red Bird of Paradise such as this one, and I totally fell in love with this plant and beautiful flower. These plants were everywhere alongside the streets. Since California is currently in an extreme drought state, my husband and I are going to remove our grass and re-landscape our front and back yards with drought tolerant plants. This one is definitely on the list.
    I have a few questions:
    – do most nurseries carry this plant? If not, where would I be able to purchase one?
    – Where can I get the bean pods?
    – Are there any other drought tolerant plants with colorful flowers you can suggest? Thank you.


    1. Elena great choice! Your yard will look beautiful. Home Depot and Lowes carry Bird of Paradise plants, they may call it Pride of Barbados. It is very easy to find in these stores.
      Best Regards,


  3. Thanks for the information. It was more than help in my new enceavor. We just moved from Eenver CO, to Palm Springs.mcant wait to get started.


  4. We live near Austin, TX and want to plant Red Bird of Paradise seeds. We have them in the dried pods, but need to know WHEN to plant them. I know how to germinate and plant, just need when the best time is.




    1. Wait till there is no chance of frost. They are slow growing at first. Mine did better in the sunniest locations. Daily water was needed as they are developing their tap root. A deep soaking encourages the tap root. It has been about 5 months since I planted my seedlings and they are finally starting to bloom.
      Best of luck!


    1. thanks Cathy, it is a xeriscape garden. (Very little watering needed) It contains large bushes of this Red Bird of Paradise and I wish it were my garden. It is actually in the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum.


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