The Eagle Has Landed

“The Eagle Has Landed”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


The Eagle has landed?  Well, not quite.  But, it is a rather momentous occasion for me.  My bird of paradise has finally bloomed.  After years.  At least six years, maybe more.  I bought it as a one gallon plant and did every thing I read to get that plant to bloom.  I kept it pot bound, I kept it fertilized, I kept it watered and in full sun.  Nothing.  Recently, I read that it had to have a certain number of leaves before it bloomed.  (Twelve, which is why it is sometimes called the Apostle plant.)  Then, I started counting leaves.  I would drive past homes where there were birds of paradise blooming, and they were in SHADE!  I was so frustrated.  I finally told my plant I was tired of taking care of it, tired of dragging it inside every winter, and tired of no blooms.


My lecture must have done some good because soon there was a bud.



I was so excited last Monday when I saw it.  Every evening I went out to check to see if it had opened.  When we were getting thunderstorms, I worried about it.  I don’t think I could have stood for it to finally bloom and then have it destroyed by a rain storm.


Today, as I sloughed around the yard checking out how the garden looked after the .5 inches of rain we had last night, I suddenly saw that my bird of paradise bud had opened.  Hallelujah!



It is only one flower and not fully opened yet, but at least I know that the darn thing does bloom.  I guess I now know what a late bloomer really means.



  1. August 17, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Plants can be so stubborn sometimes, it’s funny that when you finally had given up it decided to bloom. Gorgeous bloom, maybe it was worth the wait? 🙂

  2. Nancy Bond said,

    August 17, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    How beautiful and how exotic! Well done!

  3. Jan said,

    August 18, 2008 at 4:22 am

    Oh, it was worth the wait, perennialgardenlover. I think that talking to I gave it is what really worked.

    Thanks, Nancy. It is very beautiful and is a stand out in that section of the garden, which is nice at this time of year.

  4. Randy said,

    August 18, 2008 at 5:54 am

    You have a lot more patience than me! I don’t think I could have waited that long!

  5. Phillip said,

    August 18, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Jan, I have always heard that they take 7 years to bloom!

  6. linnie said,

    August 18, 2008 at 9:00 am

    I can certainly relate to this post Jan. I purchased a Pride of Barbados last year and it has grown to quite a large size. I have seen at least three plants blooming in my area in the last three months. Mine is growing but no flowers, no buds. Maybe I could use some of your mojo in getting a stubborn plant to bloom.

    Linnie in Destrehan, LA 8/18/08

  7. Curmudgeon said,

    August 18, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    That’s a long time to wait! How beautiful and exotic it looks. We’ve waited 4 years, and still counting on some, for trilliums to bloom in our garden so definitely understand your impatience and excitement.

  8. Brenda Kula said,

    August 18, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Oh, it’s lovely! I’ve never had one, but I was thinking shade for some reason. Don’t know why that comes to mind. Probably thinking of something else…

  9. Jan said,

    August 18, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Randy, I don’t know if it was patience or just habit that kept me taking care of that plant for so long, but now that it has bloomed, I’m glad I did.

    Phillip, I had read that it took several years to bloom, after I bought it. If I had known it took that long, I don’t know if I would have purchased it.

    Linnie, I’ll send some threats to your plant via ESP. Let me know if it works.

    Curmudgeon, I hope this is the year for stubborn plants to bloom and that your trilliums will show flowers. Maybe, you need to threaten them as I did my plant.

    Thanks, Brenda, it is lovely, isn’t it. I think these can take some shade since I have seen them blooming in light shade in other people’s yard. If I had to do it over again, I would have bought a bigger plant so as to have flowers sooner.

  10. spookydragonfly said,

    August 20, 2008 at 4:00 am

    Looks like it was well worth the wait…that is one pretty’s one of my mothers’favorites…I wouldn’t have the patience to wait so long!

  11. Jan said,

    August 20, 2008 at 4:40 am

    It is pretty, isn’t it? Now that it has bloomed, I am expecting more flowers in the future, so I guess it was worth the wait. Besides, I do like leaves of the plant even without the flowers. It is avery architectual and stately looking plant once it gets to be a good size.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: