The Q&A Archives: Is it mold on my Bird of Paradise flowers?

Question: My Bird of Paradise plant has 2 problems: 1) the flowers have spots on them (brown or rust) and make them unsightly enough that I cut the flower before it's full life span, and 2) The leaves are split and the split turns grayish and dies, making the leaf unsightly also. What does my poor bush need? Thank you! Linda

Answer: Bird of Paradise is relatively pest free but fungal spots may appear on the leaves and flowers if the plant is watered from overhead; especially late in the afternoon and the leaves do not have a chance to dry before nightfall. There are no registered fungicides for your plant so I'd recommend pruning off the affected flowers and leaves and then being careful not to get the foliage wet late in the day. The leaves are tender and can be shredded if planted in a windy area. Once the leaves are torn, they are subject to fungal infections. If you can move your plant to a site protected from wind, and water the ground and not the foliage, it should regain its former health and beauty. Best wishes with your garden!

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