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5+ Reasons Behind Bird of Paradise Leaves Curling

Bird of Paradise leaves curling may hint that your plant is wearing out, but curling leaves may also commonly appear if your plant is agitated and unwell.

Generally, Bird of Paradise leaves curling signifies the plant’s deteriorating health due to improper watering and humidity, overfertilization, direct sunshine, heat severity, transplant shock, and pests.

Leaf curling can yield other symptoms, including discoloration, yellowing of leaves, and brown spots.

So, go through this article to identify the causes of curling leaves with quick fixes!

Bird of Paradise Leaves Curling (Reasons & Fixes)

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) originate from the subtropical coastal areas of South Africa, where they thrive in a humid and moist environment. 

Following are some of the most frequent reasons for Bird of Paradise leaves curling and their practical solutions. 

1. Improper Watering & Humidity 

Because of its enormous leaves, this plant loses a lot of moisture daily. Underwatering it will cause the leaves to curl inwards.

To defend itself against water loss, Bird of Paradise shrinks its surface area, which results in curled leaves with droopy and brown tips. 

The underwatering also causes all plants to lose less liquid through evaporation.

Additionally, the water you provide your plant may have varying concentrations of contaminants and minerals, including chlorine. These toxins also can be culprits of plant problems. 

Bird of Paradise leaves curling
Water toxins occasionally harm your Bird of Paradise’s health, causing leaves to curl.

Similarly, humidity below 60% can cause brown, curling leaves of your Bird of Paradise. 

When the air becomes dry, the leaves shed water vapor more swiftly than they can replenish it, causing the cells in the leaves to contract, which causes the leaf to curl.


  • Hydrate your plant when the top two inches of its soil gets dry.
  • Similarly, water your Bird of Paradise once every 1-2 weeks. 
  • Immerse the pot completely in a water-filled container to hydrate the soil until the water seeps from drainage holes. 
  • Do not allow your pot to sit in a water-filled saucer, which might harm the plant’s health.
  • Additionally, use water that has been sitting for a few days to avoid the issue of chlorine poisoning. 
  • Keep the humidity high by running a humidifier, spraying the foliage twice a week, or placing a pebble tray under the plant.
  • Furthermore, you may arrange plants in groups to develop a microclimate.

2. Root Rot Condition

Bird of Paradise leaves curling followed by yellowing may be an upshot of overwatering and soggy soil conditions. 

Since the Bird of Paradise likes wetness, fungus infection is always a possibility which can lead to root rot.

The roots will start to decay if submerged in water for an extended time due to a lack of oxygen.

Overwatering the roots cause a hamper to access oxygen and nutrients leading to the plant’s slow growth.

The first sign of root rot is curled leaves, preceded by mushy, brown blotches.

Take the tropical plant out of the container and examine the roots to see if root rot is the reason for the curled leaves.


  • Remove the roots from the dirt and wash them gently.
  • If the roots do not exhibit deterioration, you can preserve an overwatered plant by letting it dry out in a warm area to dry.
  • All dead tissues should be removed using a sterile instrument before applying fungicide to the wounds.
  • You can also invest in a soil moisture meter to determine whether your plant needs to be watered.
However, you should take urgent actions, such as cutting out damaged roots and repotting the plant if you see soggy or mushy black roots with a bad smell.

3. Improper Soil, Nutrient Deficiency  & Overfertilization

The optimal pH range for soil is 5.5 to 7.5, which is somewhat acidic.

During the actively growing seasons, you should fertilize Bird of Paradise plants every two weeks.

Nutrition, such as calcium, potassium, boron, and nitrogen, helps develop new growth.

Lack of such nutrition can cause young leaves to curl, brown leave edges, and slow plant growth.

However, too much fertilizer may harm your plant, particularly if it hasn’t been properly diluted.

Salts in the soil can accumulate due to excessive fertilization, which plants can absorb, resulting in leaf curl.

Additionally, too much nourishment will encourage pathogenic fungus, and excess nitrogen might scorch sensitive roots.


  • Remove any visible fertilizer first and flush out the visible fertilizer by giving the plant lots of water.
  • Replace the topsoil of your Bird of Paradise with a new soil mix.
  • While fertilizing, follow the manufacturer’s directions and use a diluted fertilizer solution.
  • Alternatively, you can use an organic fertilizer such as natural or well-composted animal manure to avoid chemical burns.
  • Another option is repotting the plant into a new, clean potting soil mixture.
  • Remove the infected parts of the plant with disinfected tools. 
  • To reduce the pH of your soil, add sulfur or peat moss to the combination.
When the Bird of Paradise is dormant, reduce the fertilizer application during the winter.

4. Temperature & Heat Severity

Bird of Paradise thrives well in the 65°F-85°F (18°C-30°C) temperature range.

Its leaves will begin to curl and turn brown if the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Contrarily, when temperatures are too high, Bird of Paradise curl their leaves to slow the rate of water loss and be deprived of nutrients and water.

Bird of Paradise leaves curling and browning are common symptoms of extreme heat.

Similarly, overexposure to direct sunlight can cause their leaves to curl to shield the leaf surface area from excessive heat and burn.

Learn about the Bird of Paradise Light Requirement.


  • A warm, sunny, protected location (south-facing window) is ideal for a Bird of Paradise with 4-6 hours of sunlight.
  • At the warmest time of the day, keep the plant indoors.
  • Keep heaters and other appliances that create heat or vigorous air movement away from the plant.
  • To filter the light and avoid sunburn, you may also try using a sheer curtain.
  • When the temperature increases, try increasing hydration for the plant.

5. Transplant Stress

Your Bird of Paradise will struggle during the repotting procedure. Any change to the roots when repotting a plant might stress it out.

The plant’s natural defense system may kick in due to the alteration, causing the curling or yellowing of leaves.

The plant responds by folding its leaves in response to sudden changes in the soil, sunlight exposure, and position before adjusting to the new environment.

During this period, the roots are sensitive and may not be able to absorb enough water.

However, there’s no reason to be alarmed. This is typical; your plant should return to normal within 4-6 weeks.

If you wish to colonize your garden with Bird of Paradise, learn easy Propagation Methods.


  • Before repotting, give your plant plenty of water a day before. 
  • Handle the plant gently while transplanting it to avoid transplant shock.
  • After transplanting, allow the plant time to become used to its new location by frequently watering.
  • After placing the plant in a shaded area for a week, gradually transfer it to a sunny place.
  • Remember to repot your plant during the growing season, such as spring and summer.

6. Pests and Diseases

Harmful pests and diseases are another reason for the Bird of Paradise leaves curling.

Pests like spider mites, mealybugs, scales, and thrips can attack the plant’s leaves, sucking out the sap and causing curled-up leaves.

You’ll find such pests in the leaves, stems, and even the plant’s roots.

They will eventually multiply and begin eating leaves, draining the nutrients.

Learn how to spot bug infestations and eggs on plants in your home.

Low brightness, excessive humidity, and over-watering of the plant are frequently the significant causes of insect infestation.

In addition to the curling of leaves, holes in their leaves, and brown or yellow patches, cobwebs are common indications of pests. 

Since the Bird of Paradise likes wetness, fungus infections such as Pythium Root Rot and Fungal Leaf Spot are common.


  • Regularly check your plant for any signs of pests.
  • Isolate the infected plants from the plant group to avoid infection.
  • Spray insecticidal soap or horticultural oil and malathion over the infested area.
  • Pick visible pests and eggs and put them in a soapy water solution.
  • As a precaution, avoid overwatering and overfertilizing your plant since bugs are attracted to these situations.
  • Remove any broken stems, leaves, or other plant components, as well as any webbing or honeydew.
  • You can also apply diluted hydrogen peroxide to the infection in the roots.
  • Apply a copper-based fungicide to the affected region to treat the leaf spot.

From Editorial Team


The large, relatively simple-to-grow Bird of Paradise provides a dramatic tropical flair to any interior setting.

It’s not always a problem if your Bird of Paradise plant’s leaves has splits and slits.

In the environment, these slots develop naturally to aid the plant in becoming more air and water-resistant, making them suitable indoor plants.