Houseplants forum→Bird of paradise looks dead after storm— SOS!!

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Connecticut (Zone 7a)
Newbieplantowner
May 2, 2020 6:08 AM CST
Hi all, I'm new here! Just got a 3 ft BOP from Home Depot last week, it looked fine when it arrived (didn't take a pic) and I put the grow pot directly into a bigger ceramic pot with drainage holes. Didn't repot it or add fertilizer or anything. All I did was water it probably about 1 liter because I read they don't need too much water. I should mention it's out in my sunroom which is screened in.

Fast forward a few days and we had some heavy rains, and I catch a glimpse of it and it looks totally dead!! The leaves are droopy and completely curled in, there are way more rips than before, and it just looks SO sad! I feel terrible— did I manage to kill it already?! I've never really taken care of any bigger plants before but am I THAT much of a black thumb?? D'Oh!

Here's some pictures from today, it's been raining on/off all week but this weekend should finally be nice.


Thumb of 2020-05-02/Newbieplantowner/1269e1
Thumb of 2020-05-02/Newbieplantowner/5cbe58
Thumb of 2020-05-02/Newbieplantowner/1adc77

My questions are:
- was it the rough storm and too much rainwater? The plant is currently near the screen so maybe the wind beat it up a bit?
- is it not getting enough sunlight? I read these plants need a lot of direct sunlight and even though it's in my sunroom, that particular corner probably doesn't get as much sun now that I'm thinking about it.
- should I water it more? I read that leaves curl in when it needs watering but the soil doesn't feel dry... not sure how to gauge if it needs more or less water
- should I give it fertilizer? Was thinking about buying Grow More Hawaiian bud and bloom fertilizer for it.
- ****most importantly, is it salvageable?! Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers!

Bird of paradise gurus, tell me what to do!
(Sorry this ended up quite lengthy)

Very appreciative of any advice!!
Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
CPPgardener
May 2, 2020 9:55 AM CST
Welcome!

Does it get any direct sun? Did it sit in water for days?

It looks a little sunburned, especially on the newest leaf. The plants at HD are usually grown as fast as possible to make them cheaper, so they grow them in shaded greenhouses and they will burn in lots of sun.

Rain won't hurt them unless they sit in water for a few days to a week. Also, the soil they are grown in tends to dry out quickly especially if they get very bright light or direct sun

DON'T FEED IT!! Let it recuperate first.

Since it now gets more light and air circulation than before it will need more water, if you don't keep it soggy wet or if it's very bright You will probably need to water it more.

You can trim off the really shriveled leaf, it is not going to recover but the plant is salvageable.

Happy plant parenting!
“That which is, is.That which happens, happens.” Douglas Adams
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 2, 2020 10:12 AM CST
Is your sunroom open to outside air? If so, how cold has it gotten at night where you are?

It looks like fresh soil; if you didn't repot it then the folks at HD may have and may have damaged the roots.

When inside, it does fine in direct sunlight. But outdoor sun is too much for it.

How deep into the soil does it get dry before you water?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Connecticut (Zone 7a)
Newbieplantowner
May 2, 2020 11:10 AM CST
CPPgardener said:

Does it get any direct sun? Did it sit in water for days?



Thanks for the replies! Very helpful!
It does get some direct sunlight but I've kept it in a corner that is more shaded. It sounds like I should keep it from getting too much sunlight then?
I doubt it sat in water for days, the leaves were quite misty after the rain but I don't recall the lot being full of water.
Connecticut (Zone 7a)
Newbieplantowner
May 2, 2020 11:14 AM CST
WillC said:Is your sunroom open to outside air? If so, how cold has it gotten at night where you are?

It looks like fresh soil; if you didn't repot it then the folks at HD may have and may have damaged the roots.

When inside, it does fine in direct sunlight. But outdoor sun is too much for it.

How deep into the soil does it get dry before you water?


The sunroom is open to outside air, the walls are screens. These nights it's probably getting to around 45-50 degrees, last week when I initially got it, the weather was colder though. Should I keep it indoors until the nights get to be consistently warmer?

Hmm is the plan still going to live if they damaged the roots?

I can put my finger a few inches into the soil and it still feels moist.

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 2, 2020 3:09 PM CST
Perhaps the problem is solely due to the cold. Keep it inside in a sunny location until night temps are above 50 degrees F. When you do move it outside, keep it in light to medium shade and protected from direct sunlight.

There is no way to tell about what damage may have been done to the roots. Keep it warm and water it only when the top inch of soil feels dry.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
[Last edited by WillC - May 2, 2020 3:10 PM (+)]
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