Strelitzia nicolai with new yellow leaf


I acquired my plant not long ago and it is placed in a corner with a lot of diffused light, in the first days we noticed that some leaves tore slightly but then it continued to grow and bloom (it was also transplanted into a larger vase, with special soil to facilitate water drainage). I have been noticing that it has two new leaves unrolling but one of them has a more yellowish green tone. I’m not sure if it’s something normal, because it’s a young leaf, or if it’s too much water (despite just watering it after putting my finger up to 2cm in the soil and seeing that it’s dry), lack of direct sun (since I was informed that she did well indoors with only diffused light – and I always clean her leaves) or if it is a lack of vitamins (which I add about 1 time a week).
The climate is usually a bit humid and I always leave a window open so that it can receive as much light as possible and humidity from the air. The plant is about 160cm high and 120 cm spread.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

How ambitious to grow the Strelitzia nicolai (white bird of paradise). It is a tropical plant that has banana like leaves and upright, clumping stalks which give an exotic feel. There is a good article on the features and plant qualities on the University of Florida Extension site. It is grown as landscape plant in Florida.

You are a very conscientious houseplant gardener. If your plant is sending out new leaves it is a good sign.

Many plants, when the new leaves emerge are a lighter green than the mature leaves. As they mature, their leaf colour changes to a darker green. I would not worry about the young leaves, they are doing what they should.