I moved into my friend's house and having the best of intentions but the worst of experience, promptly went and butchered the houseplants. The worst is his bird of paradise. It looked a bit listless, so I put it outside in the direct summer South Florida sun for two days. The leaves went super brown, so I thought it would be a good idea to trim the plant, so I chopped off the burnt fronts from the stem. Needless to say this didn't work as well as I had hoped. I now call her stumpy, and she looks pretty pitiful. The remaining leaves are super ripped and tattered, but my saving grace is there in one new frond growing up in the middle and it looks great. I read that houseplants can adapt to being outdoors, so I bought a bigger planter for it, filled it with fresh new potting soil, and put her outside. My rationale is that the frequent sun and rain will drive more growth than if I just put her in a corner inside. What is the best recovery I can realistically hope for? Thanks!
Bird of Paradise
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Bird of Paradise can indeed be grown outdoors in Florida, in locations where the temperature stays above 50 degrees year round. This is not true for all houseplants though- some will not grow well outside. Here is more information about this plant:
Bird of Paradise plants do enjoy a lot of sun, so the browning you saw was probably because the plant needed some time to adjust to the new full-sun location. The new fronds that are growing should do fine.
Here is information about pruning this plant:
You can cut off dead flower stalks, but it's best not to cut off any leaves unless the entire leaf is completely dead. There are many more Bird of Paradise articles on the site for future reference.