Traveler’s Palm Vs Bird of Paradise – Differences in Height, Growing Conditions and Hardiness Zones
Traveler’s palm and bird of paradise are two popular tropical and subtropical landscaping plants with broad leaves and fan-like structures that add a dramatic flair to any yard or garden. However, there are distinct differences between these species which make it easy to distinguish them.
Traveler’s Palm and Bird of Paradise Plant: Distinct Height, Growing Conditions and Hardiness Zones
Both plants are native to tropical regions, though their temperature tolerances and preferred growing environments differ. Travelers palms grow faster and require a wider temperature range than birds of paradise do; however, both require consistent moisture supply. They require well-draining soil as well as slow release fertilizer during the growing season for healthy development and blooms.
Travelers palms are fast-growing trees that can reach 50 feet tall, and they thrive throughout South Florida. Tolerant of partial shade and soil types, these palms perform best when planted in moist, rich, or acidic soils.
They prefer full sun but can tolerate part shade. They can be propagated from seeds, cuttings or shoots and are a popular choice for home gardens. As they will quickly outgrow their spaces, regular pruning is necessary to keep them under control and ensure their health.
This tropical tree is commonly known as “wayfarer’s palm” due to its ability to collect rainwater that thirsty travelers can drink. The leaf bases feature a cup-shaped formation which can store up to one quart of liquid at once.
Though this water may seem useful to thirsty travelers, it should only be consumed after purification as it may contain flies, bugs or other contaminants. Without proper treatment and sanitation, the water collected by trees can turn murky, black and smelly.
Birds of Paradise is closely related to the travelers palm, having similar growth habits. Both plants boast thick leaves that spread in an East-West direction and produce large clusters of flowers.
These flowers, which resemble bananas, are highly desirable to bees and other pollinators. Their vibrant blue seeds contain oil that falls somewhere between coconut butter and palm oil in composition.
Some varieties of this plant can even grow into a tree with multiple stems, creating an eye-catching backdrop for landscapes. While they do not tolerate frost or extreme heat, they are resilient and can survive most conditions as long as they’re protected from strong winds.
They’re easy to maintain and a popular choice for homes with tropical themes, but they should be pruned regularly to promote strong growth and healthy blooms. You can grow them from seeds or transplant them from other plants; both require consistent moisture sources as well as nitrogen-rich fertilizer in order to thrive.