Birds of paradise with burn like marks


For some reason my birds of paradise getting getting these dots on the leaves and it appears burnt on the sides. It’s placed in a bright sunny room with facing west side.


Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a gorgeous tropical plant that makes as excellent house plant.  Despite the issues you point out, your specimen looks very healthy.

The dots on the leaves are hard to make out in your photo.  Bird of paradise is susceptible to a number of pests: scale, mealy bugs and spider mites.  They are typically easy to spot on the big leaves of this plant and can be removed by wiping down the affected leaves with a soft cloth and some soapy water.

The browning on the leaves could be caused by a number of factors.  To start, ensure your watering schedule keeps the plant somewhat damp but not wet or saturated.  Stick your finger into the soil and if  the top 50% of your soil is dry, it’s time to water your plant.  Add water till it starts to flow out of the drainage holes but ensure no water remains in the plant saucer.

Another consideration could be low humidity particularly a factor in Toronto during the winter months.  A bi-weekly misting will improve the humidity.  The chlorine in tap water can also cause browning in the leaves.  Leaving your water in an open container overnight will help or you can water with distilled or filtered water.

Lastly, make sure your plant is not in a draught as the flow of air from heating or cooling vents can cause the leaves to curl and dry.

Good luck with your Bird of Paradise.  If you would like to speak to one of our Master Gardeners about these issues, please call our Infoline at 416-397-1345 and leave a message outlining these issues.  A Master Gardener will get back to you.