Answer: That powdery coating on the leaves is probably evidence of a fungal disease called powdery mildew. Try applications of a fungicide (such as Safer's) to stop the spread of the disease. Bird of Paradise leaves can split if it is planted in a windy spot or if it is over or under-watered. Try watering thoroughly then allowing the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. As long as you are consistent with your watering, the leaves should remain healthy and strong.
Best wishes with your garden!
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