Bird of paradise not feeling well


I have a 1.5 year old bird of paradise. It was growing amazingly since last month. The roots were overboard so we repotted. Ever since the leaf edges have been turning brown and crispy, some leaves have white powder on it, a lot of leaves are turning yellow and wilting. Stem edges are turning brown. Can you please help?


Thank you for reaching out about your Bird of Paradise. The leaves on this plant suggest it is the Strelitzia reginae. For houseplants in general, it’s important to pay attention to the pot size & type, soil requirements, watering, light requirements, fertilizing and common pests.

You mentioned repotting so I assume that you potted up into a bigger pot which was a good idea since the leaves on your plant are quite big. And I can see a pot inside your decorative pot so I’m assuming the inside pot has drainage holes which is good. Bird of Paradise likes plenty of water in direct sun but all houseplants are susceptible to overwatering so make sure you’re watering when the top two inches of soil have dried out. It looks like this plant is right next to a window so ideally it’s getting the direct sun it likes.

Transplant shock is always something that happens after moving a plant from one pot to another so I would give this plant some time to adjust to its new conditions.

Next spring/summer (the growing season), make sure you are fertilizing this plant. A feeding using a balanced 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer made up at half strength would suffice.  Water your plant thoroughly before you apply the fertilizer so as not to cause any root damage.

The brown leaf edges is a common problem with this plant. Here’s an excerpt from a past post on our side about Bird of Paradise:

“A common problem with Bird of Paradise and almost all indoor plants is the tips of leaves drying out and becoming brown. Browning of leaves can indicate many things: too much or too little water, not enough humidity, insect infestations and possibly even lack of light. Another most common reason for brown tips could be your tap water. Tap water contains contains salts, chlorine, minerals and fluoride – all of which can build up in the soil of your plant causing the tips of the leaves to burn and turn brown. One way you can reduce this is to leave your water in an open container overnight before using, this can help relieve some of the chlorine in the tap water.”

A biweekly misting of the leaves can also help in low-humidity indoor environments.

Here are a couple of links to additional information about your Bird of Paradise that you might find helpful :

Bird of Paradise, Strelitzia reginae

Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise): Care & Growing Tips (

Also, there are numerous posts on our website about Bird of paradise. Simply type Bird of Paradise into the Find It Here Box located on the right side of the Toronto Master Gardeners page.

Sept 9, 2023