Bird of Paradise Plant
I was given a plant that my friend said was the bird of paradise. It has long green stems with large wide green leaves on the ends between 3-5 ft long. I have had it for a few years now - no blooms and the leaves tend to get brown and dry. I had repotted it maybe 2 yrs ago, thinking it needed more room, but after reading your article I'm going to put it back in a smaller pot. My question is, why do the leaves turn brown and is there any way to make it fuller? Can I cut the stalks and, if I do, will this promote growth or just a dead end? I have the plant in front of a window, which gets a lot of sun and there is a radiator by there so it's not cold. I water it once a week, but I think the pot is too big.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Prune away any brown leaves. These are dead and will not recover but anything that is green should grow back just fine. Here is an article that you may find helpful: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/bop/bird-of-paradise-pruning.htm Browning of the leaves is usually a sign of under watering. Increase water to the plant, especially since you have it near a radiator which can potentionally dry it out quicker. If you have not read it, this article will help you with blooming: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/bop/bird-of-paradise-blooms.htm A lack of phosphorus will also delay blooming. Since a little extra phosphorus will not hurt, I would give the plant some phosphorus, such as bone meal, to help it along.