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My Bird of Paradise plants are about 12 to 15 years old. I started them from seed. I have waited patiently for many years for them to bloom. According to the books that I have read, the plants usually bloom after 7 years of age.

I have waited and waited for this moment to come. I tried so many different growing conditions. I watered, kept in warm temperatures, and fertilized the plants faithfully. During the summer months I would put the plant outside in hopes of seeing a bloom appear. I tried so many different places, like putting in full sunshine. I thought that the plants would surely burn, but they did not. They also didn't bloom.

Each year I put the plants outside, and waited patiently. Each year I tried something different. I moved the plants in the sunshine, and in the shaded areas. Each year I would try a different approach to trying to make the plants bloom. Each year that I went to Hawai'i, I would ask the nurseries there, "what am I doing wrong"? They could not tell me why I was having such a problem. Each time that a new leaf would come out, I was in hopes that it was a bloom. To my disappointment, it was not. I kept up my watering and fertilizing, but no blooms would appear.

This year was the year. I sat the plant outside during the summer months as I did in the past years. This year, I did not do anything special with my plants. I watered normally, but didn't pamper the plants as before in the past. I suppose that I figured that a bloom was not to be. So, I took care of the plants, but didn't dream that anything would happen.

As time drew near to bring the plants inside for the cold winter months, I noticed another new growth. I thought it to be another new leaf. I brought the plants in and gave them no more notice.

While watering one day, I took notice of something different. What I thought was a new leaf, was actually a bloom pod. I turned the plant so I could keep better watch on it. Then it happened. A bloom finally appeared out of the sheath. I am so proud of myBird of Paradise.

Now I am so pleased that I am finally rewarded with the beauty of my Bird of Paradise. How happy I am to finally say that it is a beautiful flower that smiles at me each time I take another peek at it. How truly magnificent it is. I am so pleased.