Why Bird of Paradise Plant Leaves Turn Brown

Hi, two of the leaves on my Birds of Paradise plants are turning brown. I haven’t fertilized yet this spring and since I live in Brooklyn the plant has been indoors since fall and I’ll bring it back outside end of April. Can you tell me what is causing the problem?

Is it root rot? I could’ve over watered in the beginning when I brought it in before I realized not to. Should I prune these leaves – or take out of pot and prune roots?

It also could be because these leaves aren’t getting enough sun light because they’re blocked by the leaves above them?

Thank you!

Hi Jennifer,

There are several reasons why the leaves of an indoor Bird of Paradise plant turn brown.

Water: In the spring and summer keep the soil 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 burns the leaves. Never use water that has passed through a water softener! If your household water contains a great deal of chlorine or fluorine, allow the water to sit out overnight before using it.

Humidity: Another reason could be low humidity in your home during the winter when the heat is on. You can place your plant on a wet pebble tray, be sure the plant is sitting on the pebbles and not in the water; set a small humidifier nearby; or group your plants together to create a mini- greenhouse effect.

Temperature: An indoor Bird of Paradise plant grows best in temperatures between 65°-75°F (18.3°-23.9°C) during the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, when the plant is “resting,” keep the temperature 10° cooler. Temperatures below 50°F (10.0°C) cause the leaves to curl and turn brown/black.