Why Bird of Paradise Plant Leaves Curl and Turn Yellow

Hi Judy,

I would really appreciate your expertise and advice on how to save my bird of Paradise. It has been on a steady decline over the last few months. In the last month, I’ve repotted it in a last ditch attempt to save it. The soil looked quite diseased and the roots had wiry, fragile parts to them. Now some leaves are yellowing, some have brown spots and most have cracked. I’m worried that it is very droopy despite the moisture and soil pH being in the healthy range according to a new device I got to measure them.

Any advice on how to salvage this beautiful plant? Thank you for your time.

Hi  Judy,

Bird of Paradise leaves usually curl when the plant is not getting enough light. Try moving your plant to a brighter location. If that doesn’t stop the leaves from curling, try giving the plant more water. If the leaves are curling and also turning yellow or blotchy, check for spider mites.

In the spring and summer keep the soil  of a Bird of Paradise plant moist but never soggy. A Bird of Paradise plant needs less water in the fall and winter. Water from the bottom so the soil stays loose and remains well aerated. Water that has a high salt content or passes through a water softener burns the leaves.

You can read all my care tips for a Bird of Paradise plant in the Popular Houseplant Section of the website.


A Bird of Paradise plant is a mildly poisonous plant with a level #1  toxicity.

You can read more about poisonous plants in my book Don’t Feed me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants