Houseplants forum: Giant bird of paradise leaves breaking and flaking

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Name: Rob
Greenfield, Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
robertbruce
Jan 11, 2016 7:15 PM CST
I'm attaching a few pics of what's been happening with my BOP plant since I've had it over the last month or so. The leaves seem to be splitting and breaking. Does anyone know if this is because of the weight of the leaves? What else could be causing it, lack of moisture? The top pic is when I bought it at the nursery. As you'll see, the leaves were much less broken at that time. Thanks for any help! I'd hate to lose this gorgeous plant!
Thumb of 2016-01-12/robertbruce/22e208
Thumb of 2016-01-12/robertbruce/179b6b
Thumb of 2016-01-12/robertbruce/b082c8
Thumb of 2016-01-12/robertbruce/cfe850

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jan 12, 2016 4:37 PM CST
Welcome! Rob.

You will have to tell us what the growing conditions are.........in detail. Do you thank that this large plant, with these large leaves, simply got traumatized when you took her home? Loading, transporting, and unloading can cause damage easily, and these leaves are so large, that they can be damaged pretty easily.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Jan 13, 2016 12:21 AM CST
Inadequate light & humidity can cause this. Indoors BOP need to be misted frequently - particularly in winter. And how much light? Near a window?

Since I brought mine in (6 footer) ~ Oct 12, many leaves are shredding and I mist mine.

Indoors they have a tendency to do this - but yours is quite extreme.

The ends of leaves start to curl and roll back (upwards) and then they rip.

Beyond the above, not much you can do about it and nothing can be done to "fix" the ripped leaves. (Sorta like banana leaves out doors ripped to shreds.)

Good luck.

Welcome! to ATP.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 13, 2016 4:26 PM CST
My Giant BOP does this, especially after a storm or rain. I don't think I have ever had an unscathed leaf? I think it is the look of the plant, truth be told. The leaves, before they tear on their own are sort of curl inward naturally and won't lie flat. Am I describing them correctly? I think the tears and splits are meant to happen. You see them this way on all mature specimens. Welcome!

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Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 13, 2016 4:29 PM CST
Also, to add. BOPs are water lovers. If during when a new leaf is unfurling it doesn't get enough water, it seems that the tip of the leaf is what suffers. Which might explain your second photo. A healthy leaf will emerge without a leaf tip or a browning leaf tip. Make sure it gets LOTS of water and bright sunshine.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Jan 13, 2016 10:05 PM CST
Thumbs up All my experience as well Cheryl.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional interior landscaper
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WillC
Feb 6, 2016 8:47 AM CST
Nature has designed White Birds with leaves that split and tear easily so they are not uprooted in strong winds outdoors. When grown indoors, wind is not an issue, but there are several conditions that will contribute to excessive splitting.

Low humidity can be part of the problem, but that can be counteracted if the roots are kept sufficiently moist. If yours is properly potted its nursery pot, then it should be watered thoroughly as soon as the top surface feels dry. Misting will not help unless you plan to mist hourly every day! A humidifier may help somewhat. But proper watering is more important.

White Birds require a lot of very bright light. They must be right in front of a north or east window and a few feet back from a south or west window. Inadequate light will lead to weak stems and leaf splitting.

Most leaf splitting occurs as new leaves unfurl. If water and light are insufficient, the unfurling does not go smoothly and the leaves get "stuck" as they open up partially, small sections at a time. If one section opens and an adjacent section does not, then the new leaf will tear. It is hard to explain, but you can assist with the unfurling by gently using your fingers. But if they are not unfurling properly, it is an indication of inadequate light or water.

BTW, leaf splitting is only an aesthetic issue and does not mean the plant is dying.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
[url=www.HorticulturalHelp.com]www.HorticulturalHelp.com[/url]
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Feb 6, 2016 8:52 AM CST
I agree
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
DavidLMO
Feb 6, 2016 11:21 PM CST
Mine has 8 leaves. Two oldest/smallest have fallen off since I brought it in in Oct. All leaves are tearing to some extent. One new leafy unfurling now. Can't wait to get it back outdoors where I sink the pot in one of my Tropical areas.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976

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