Why Is Bird Of Paradise Leaves Curling? 14 Causes (And Fix)

If you are searching for “Bird of paradise leaves curling” then before that let me tell you These plants are easy-to-grow houseplant and is a member of Strelitziaceae family. Bird of paradises also known as Strelitzia plant, is one of the low maintenance flowering plant , that is why they are easily grown in any space and belongs to Asia specially in South Africa. But with extra care, sometimes people end up with plants that start curling and the situation turns bad when they even turn brown. In this blog, i will explain about various reasons with solutions that can solve this problem.

The Most common reason for the Bird of paradise leaves curling due to too much heat, Underwatering, low water, Less Moisture on Soil and Pests. The Bird of paradises leaves curling up and turning brown also because of Humidity, temperature stress, transplanting shock, leaf burns, age factor, root rot and much more. To fix temperature instability give it 65-75 degree F temperature and if there is root rot then prune some bad roots and transplant the whole plant into a new pot with fresh soil mix. This will solve the problem of Curled leaves.

Below In this article I will explain Bird of paradises curling leaves problem causes and what to do to fix them. The problem of brown and curling leaves may look simple but it can have many reasons why it happened and how to solve it. 

Why Is Bird of paradise Leaves Curling? 14 Causes and Fixes
I, Brocken Inaglory, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Here are the 14 reasons why are Bird of paradise leaf curling?

Too much Heat Stress

the Bird of paradise leaves curling due to too much heat stress is a common problem. The Bird of paradise is placed in direct sunlight which makes the leaf curl. The fact that the sun absorbs all the water from the soil makes the plant feel dry and to protect the leaves from burning it curls up. This way plants save the water from leaves but it cannot save the leaf from burning. That is why if the location is not changed it will eventually die. In order to avoid this, you can try changing the place or just put it in a partial shade spot. If you still see the leaves curling up, you can try spraying them with water or misting them with a spray bottle.

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Low Light

When the Bird of paradise is not getting enough sunlight, the leaves will start curling upwards and turn yellow then brown. This can be fixed by simply putting the plant in a brighter location, or by giving it more light from the artificial growth lights if you live in an area with low light. When the leaves turn brown, they can be removed and thrown away to make room for new leaves to grow. The plants always like to get a few hours of sunlight or at least some partial light to prepare food and if it doesn’t get this, then it will start to wilt as a sign of low light.

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Low Watering

The Bird of paradise leaves are curling because the plant is not getting enough water. It is important to water your plants daily and not just when you remember while walking to check other things. If your plant is not getting enough water, it will start to droop, causing the leaves to curl. You will know it needs more water when it starts to droop and die. To help keep your plant healthy, be sure to water it every day and not just when you remember.

Lack of Nutrition

The Bird of paradise leaves curled up due to lack of nutrition which is another big issue that can happen to any plant. The leaves start to curl and wither away and they will eventually die. This can be caused by the low nutrition on the potting soil so the impact of this issue can be seen in leaves itself. If you notice your plant’s leaves curling, try adding more fertilizer or water more often to help the leaves recover.


Overfeeding Bird of paradises is one of the most common mistakes that people make. This is because we are very good at thinking that our plants will grow more if we give them more nutrients. Plants do not grow more when you overfeed them, they actually curl up and then die. The best way to prevent this from happening is to start feeding your plants less and less until they are only getting enough water and sunlight.

Root Rot

The leaves of the Bird of paradise were curling because of root rot. The water inside the soil were not being absorbed by the plant because of the rotting roots. The Bird of paradise was not able to take in water and nutrients from the soil. The leaves began to wilt and turn brown and to fix this you can first drag out the plant from the existing pot and cut off the rotted roots. Then move your plant to a new container with new soil. Now take care of your plant it will solve your root rot problem in this plant.

Water Quality

The plant leaves are not growing well and seem to curl up inwards or outwards, this is due to the quality of the water. The leaves were green, but were turning brown and wilting. The plant was becoming weak and deformed and it would die soon. The water in the bucket or tap or where you use water can be polluted and cause the plant to wilt. To fix this change the water of your plant and it will start to recover soon and also remove the curl and damaged leaves from this plant.

Temperature Stress

Bird of paradise leaves curling due to temperature stress and your plant is not able to grow properly in that uneven temperature. There are many things you can do to prevent this problem such as changing the temperature to 75 to 80 degree F and see if it works. Otherwise change it to 55-70 degree F and see if they start growing well.

Too much Direct Sunlight

The Bird of paradise leaves were curling due to too much direct sunlight. The leaves were turning brown, wilting and dying off. The fix is to move the plant to a good spot where it has partial shade light. This plant will be happy after that so move it immediately if it has curling leaf signs.


The Bird of paradise leaves are curling due to a disease known as fungal and also black spot disease. This is an issue that can be found in many types of plants, but it is most commonly seen in African violets. The black spot disease causes the leaves to curl up and turn yellow and then brown, which makes the plant look like it is dying. The disease is caused by a fungus that attacks the cells of the leaves as it slowly takes control over the whole leaf, which will eventually lead to them dying. The fungus is spread by water droplets that land on the leaves and cause it to create few spores. If you see your plant has this disease, make sure you get rid of all the infected leaves using a fungicide and also prune off all the infected leaves.

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Transplanting Stress

The Bird of paradise leaves start to curl due to transplanting stress. When they are transplanted the roots often get damaged, which causes the plant to get shock and they start giving signs like leaves curling. One way to prevent this is by carefully taking out the plant without hurting its roots. Also use fresh soil so the previous potting soil disease doesn’t get transferred.

Low Humidity

The Bird of paradise leaves curling due to Low Humidity. Low humidity is a common problem for many hardy plants. When the humidity in your home falls below a certain level, it can be hard for plants to keep their leaves from curling up. This is because the plant’s leaves use water vapor to stay healthy and alive. If the humidity in your home falls too low, you should increase the amount of water you are giving your plants to prevent the curling. You should also spray the water or just provide water on the soil to make it moist so you can avoid leaves wilting.

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Insect Infestation

The leaves may curl in Bird of paradises due to an insect infestation. The leaves that were in the middle of the plant are now curled around the edges, leaving a spiky appearance. The insect makes it turn brown and wilted. The insects are eating the leaves and doing damage to the plant’s overall health. This is a sign that the plant needs a pesticide or insecticide to get rid of all the pests seen on the plants.

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Bird of paradise leaves curling due to overwatering can happen to all types of plants, not just Bird of paradises. Plants that are over-watered & get wet most of the time will start to wilt and droop. The best thing to do is to make sure that your plant is getting enough water but not too much. To fix this problem, you have to wait for the plant to dry the soil completely first and then start giving it less water. Also cut down all the leaves that are curled. 

If your Bird of paradise leaves are curling, there are a few solutions that you can do to help them regain their original shape. 

  • First make sure that the plant is getting proper sunlight and is well-watered. 
  • Second, make sure it doesn’t have any pest infestation which leads to curling of leaves. 
  • Third, make sure that the plant is in a room that is not too cold or too warm and this may directly impact its health which may give signs like curling, yellowing or browning of leaves.

Finally, make sure that the plant has enough water and nutrients by feeding it a good slow release or general fertilizer for a couple times within 2 months in the growing season.

How do you help a bird of paradise leaf uncurl?

You can help a Bird of paradise by making sure they are place in indirect light location and have enough humidity so the leaves don’t curl anyone. By using a electric humidifier can artificially create humidity which these plants love it. Also manually mist the plant to increase the humidity so the leaves can uncurl or unfurl in a day or two. This solutions worked for me and you can try this i hope it may also work for you too.

How long does it take a Bird of Paradise leaf to uncurl?

It depends on the plants conditions and the bird of paradise can unfurl or uncurl in a 12 hours to 3 days time. When you provide the appropriate temperature and humidity to the plant it takes few hours but if their is some big problem related to roots or infestation then it will not work. So if the condition of your plant is healthy and its just few leaves curling down then your plant can unfurl in a day most probably.

How To Prevent Leaves Folding of Bird of paradises?

To prevent folding of leaves, place it in a partial shade, then it is good watering to make its soil moist. In 1-2 days they might come back to life and grow green and if not wait more or this might be because they are damaged by the excessive sunlight or over watering. In this case , remove the leaves and let the other leaves grow. For overwatering , do not water your plant too much.

How to care for Bird of paradises?

Caring for Bird of paradises Includes Proper Watering, Good Sunlight, Providing Timely nutrients and If any pest infestation occurs, do not worry just use an insecticide or pesticide to get rid of pests or at least repel them with that.

  • Water your plant until the 2 inch topsoil is filled with water.
  • Partial shade area that gets a few hours of sunlight for Bird of paradises.
  • General purpose fertilizer used to feed nutrients into the plants soil so your plants can grow well.
  • Well draining pot that drains the water so we avoid any root rot situations.
  • Do check your plant daily to keep track of their health is also an important part of caring for Bird of paradises.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed my blog about the Bird of paradise leaves curling. I know that many people have concerns about their plant leaves and disease occur with it, since this can happen to plants. Luckily, there are various things you can do to help prevent your plant from curling. I hope that this article helps you out and you feel more confident in your ability to take care of your Bird of paradise.

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark , a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

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