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May 9, 2020 5:44 AM CST
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Hi, I am new to indoor plants and need some help figuring out what's wrong with my birds of paradise and monstera. I got both plants from home depot around 3 weeks ago and have noticed changes in the leaves. They are both in 10" nursery pots and I water them thoroughly (until water drips out from the drainage holes) in the sink when the top two inches are dry. I have also purchased a small humidifier for them. My BOP immediately started curling a day after I brought it home and the curling has seemed to have gotten worse. I have a northwest facing window, which I believe might have been part of the problem. I decided to put the BOP outside on my balcony (northwest as well) for the past 1.5 weeks but noticed the leaves seem to be curling even more, so I brought it back inside two days ago. Some of the smaller leaves are wilting as well with a brown center in the middle of the leaf (picture attached). I've also noticed the soil stays wet for at least 1.5 weeks. Around a week ago, I put miracle gro fertilizer spikes into both my monstera and BOP, but I'm not sure if that caused any changes.

With my Monstera, I've noticed a few brown spots and brown lines on 2 of the leaves. The rest of the leaves seem okay but the tips are all curled. I'm not sure what that means. I also keep this next to my northwest facing window and water it around once a week after the soil dries out a bit. I've attached pictures of both plants. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Last edited by meemo93 May 9, 2020 6:44 AM Icon for preview
May 9, 2020 7:28 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Welcome! You are letting your White Bird of Paradise get too dried out. No more than the top half to one-inch of soil should ever dry out. As long as you keep it in its plastic nursery pot it's pretty hard to overwater so if in doubt it's better to water sooner rather than later. A thorough weekly watering is usually just about right.

Taking it outside even for a brief period of time was not a good idea because the outdoor light intensity is many times greater than the indoor light. So some of the symptoms may be due to that sun exposure. Keep it indoors right in front of a sunny window.

Remove the fertilizer spikes. They are unnecessary and may cause some root damage.

The symptoms on your Monstera leaves are not significant, but a photo that shows the entire plant would be helpful.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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