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Feats of Strength: How to Prune Your Strelitzia Bird of Paradise

Wildlife differs ferociously from continent to continent, but birdwatchers from here to Melbourne have one creature in common: Strelitzia reginae.

We’ve got a bird of paradise shrub in our yard that blooms twice a year, late fall through winter and late spring through summer. To keep these showy birds — the official flower of Los Angeles — looking their best, you have to cut them back when they’ve faded. But it takes muscle: you don’t just pinch them in the middle of the stem, you’ve got to yank the stalks clean out from their bases.

Above, RB rolls up his sleeves and shows us how to handle a particularly stubborn zombie bird.