Yucca is an evergreen, perennial plant with spine-tipped leaves that grow in a rosette around a thick central stem. More than 25 species of Yucca live in the arid regions of the southwest. One of the finest aspects of this desert plant is that it is low maintenance.
If its craggy look doesn’t bother you then it is not even necessary to prune it.
Trimming the Yucca plant is commonplace, especially for ornamental purposes. The best time to prune those rugged leaves is spring. While early spring is the ideal season, a yucca can be trimmed anytime. Just make sure the yucca plant gets plenty of light while it is recovering.
Cutting back a yucca may look harsh, but it is an attractive way to keep your plant manageable. When the Yucca completes flowering cut the stalk all the way to the ground with a sharp pair of lopping shears. To prevent cuts and scratches, wear heavy garden gloves.
Keep in mind that cutting the top off the yucca encourages the root system to push up new growth and more plants, called “pups” will appear. Hire professionals to do your yucca trimming if you are short on time.
Tidbits: The Apache Indians preferred the flowers of Yucca elata, a thin-leaf yucca, to those of the thick-leaf banana yucca. We know that these flowers were eaten thousands of years ago because unusually large amounts of yucca pollen have been found in some dried human feces collected from Hinds Cave.
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.
Other common names are Poinciana, Peacock Flower, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana, Pride of Barbados, and flamboyan-de-jardin.
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.
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.
Bean Pods on the Bird of Paradise bushes and shrubs need toturn 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.
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.
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, Legumefamily, 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.
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.
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.
The Red Bird of Paradise is a deciduous (loses its leaves) shrub that thrives in full sun and has brightred and orange flowers that grow on long, thin stalks. The leaves are lacy, ferny-looking.
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.