The Q&A Archives: Bird of Paradise

Question: I just purchased a Bird of Paradise plant from home depot on monday. It looked good and healthy at the store when i left with it. I put it on my back porch (west) and have been watering it daily. Temps have been in the low to mid 90's. The leaves are curling up during the day and a couple of leaves look almost burnt around the edges. Is it getting to hot? Am i over watering it? The card that came with it said full sun and water regularly as needed. Please help!! Should i try a shadier place for it? Should i bring it inside? I've read on some other sites that making a bird of paradise a house plant considerably reduces the likelyhood it will flower. Thank you so much for your help.

Answer: I suspect you are overwatering your plants. They thrive in full sunshine, but sometimes in a nursery they are placed in shade (so they don't have to water so often). Now that your plants are getting the full sunshine they crave but that they were not getting at the nursery, they're showing some distress. They will overcome this so keep them in the sunshine. Water as often as necessary to keep the soil from totally drying out - every 3-4 days. Daily watering will keep the soil too wet and can suffocate the roots. If they're still in the nursery pots you might think about setting the pots inside some decorative pots and stuffing some insulation between the two pots. Nursery pots are usually black and can absorb so much heat from sunshine that they can actually bake the roots. So, either sheild the pots from direct sunshine with some kind of screening, or set them inside decorative pots to protect the roots from excessive heat. They won't like growing indoors so keep them outside for best results. Best wishes with your new plants.

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