Ask a Question forum: Giant bird of paradise help!

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Glendale, CA
Dec 29, 2017 5:25 PM CST
When the newest leaf on my giant bird of paradise started to unfurl, I (perhaps foolishly) decided to help it by pushing the edges past the obstacles created by the existing stems. Now the leaf is fully unfurled, but the stem is too short; instead of arching over the previous leaf, it sticks straight up and has hardly any space for another leaf to bud. I'm afraid I may have caused the stem to stop growing prematurely by causing the leaf to unfurl too soon, and I wonder if there's anything I can to remedy the situation. This is a plant I rescued a couple of years ago and I'd hate to think I ruined it out of stupidity. Any help would be very much appreciated.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Dec 29, 2017 7:00 PM CST

You didn't do anything to cause the leaf stem to be shorter. It most likely is related to the weather while the leaf was developing.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Dec 30, 2017 9:32 AM CST
The most common reason that the leaves get "stuck" while unfurling is because the soil has gotten too dry at some point during the leaf's development. When properly potted, B of P is hard to over water. Misting the unfurled leaf with soapy water will sometimes help it along. There is a technique for manually assisting the unfurling, but it is too complicated to describe so I don't recommend any manual assistance.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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