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Why Is My Bird Of Paradise Leaves Curling – Top 6 Reasons

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Bird of paradise plants is evergreen plants that are relatives to bananas. Bird of paradise plants add vibrancy to spaces and serve as ornamental plants for landscaping and indoor decoration.

The bird of paradise plant is typically a tropical plant with colorful flowers that thrive in sunny climates and are adaptable to partial sunlight. Nevertheless, they might develop specific issues and may require help. Therefore, the question “Why is my bird of paradise leaves curling” is not rare.  

Why is your bird of paradise leaves curling? One common reason might be due to temperature. Being exposed to a temperature that is too cold can lead to curling leaves. If you can not tell what the problem is, the information provided in this guide will help you figure out the problem and how to resolve it. 

Bird Of Paradise Leaves Curling 1
Why are my bird of paradise leaves curling? – via Reddit

Why Is My Bird Of Paradise Leaves Curling?

It is easy to determine when your bird of paradise plant is under distressing conditions. One of the signs noticed is the curling leaves.

At this point, you can tell that your plant leaves are unhealthy. The challenge, however, lies in figuring out what ails them. Find out the common reasons why below. 

1. Temperature Stress 

The leaves of your bird of paradise could be curling due to temperature stress. Exposing your plants to extremely hot or cold temperatures can lead to curling leaves. A bird of paradise plant typically loves temperatures within the 68-85°F ranges.

A bird of paradise plant kept in overly cold temperatures curls its leaves to protect itself. The curling of leaves prevents dehydration by loss of moisture to cold air. However, too much cold can result in frozen stems and leaves that slow down plant growth.  

Heat-stressed bird of paradise plants will also curl their leaves. This response by the plant reduces water loss, sunburn, and disrupted physiological functions. Overall, any change from one temperature extreme to another will stress your plant. 

How to Fix

If there’s a need to move your plant from one location to another, do it slowly to get used to its new environment. Always maintain warm temperatures for your plant. If your plant is cold or heat-stressed, consider doing the following. 

Move your bird of paradise plant away from doors, windows, or balconies where cold air blows through. Also, move your plant from the direct line of air conditioners and cooling vents.

During hot periods of the year, move your plants inside. Move them away from heating vents, radiators, and other places that emit heat. 

2. Humidity

Another possible reason your bird of paradise leaves are curling is inadequate humidity. Bird of paradise plants thrives in warm environments with high humidity. With a reduction in humidity, soil and leaves lose water and begin to curl.

Too much air conditioner or high heat leads to low humidity levels. Low humidity leads to the dehydration of your bird of paradise plant. 

How to Fix 

Raising the humidity of the environment where your bird of paradise plant is will stop the leaves from curling. Actively mist your plant a couple of times per week. When watering, you should keep the large surface area of the leaves in mind due to water loss by transpiration.  

Buy a humidifier to help in controlling the humidity of the room. Arrange all your plants that love humidity together.

As plants lose water by transpiration, this will create a humid microclimate for the plants. Alternatively, you can relocate your bird of paradise to locations with high humidity, such as your bathroom

Bird Of Paradise Leaves Curling 2
Bird of paradise plant leaves curling during a sunny day, is this normal? – via Reddit

3. Lighting 

Your bird of paradise, a tropical plant, loves to get sunlight. However, too much sunlight causes them heat stress, and curling leaves are a sign of this. Bird of paradise does well with bright but indirect sunlight and average direct sunlight. 

Too much sunlight can, however, lead to sunburn, dehydration, and curling of leaves to reduce water loss. On the other hand, insufficient sunlight may also cause your plant leaves to curl. 

How to Fix 

Locate an area in your home where a fair amount of direct sunlight or bright, indirect sunlight shines. Slowly move your plant to sunnier areas every few days till it is in the right spot.

Moving it this way keeps the plant from the stress of sudden exposure. Of course, your bird of paradise should not be in direct sunlight. You are also encouraged to water them sufficiently to help recover water loss. 

4. Soil 

Due to its tropical origins, the bird of paradise thrives well in well-draining, nutrient-packed soil. Therefore, planting them in poor soils that lack nutrients and are not arable might be why your plant leaves are curling. 

To maintain healthy leaves bird of paradise plant needs to be planted in soil with adequate pH, nutrients, and draining capacity. In addition, your bird of paradise is a heavy feeder that needs regular fertilizing to be in good health. 

Bird of paradise can, however, suffer from over-fertilization. The soil that best suits this plant is filled with well-draining organic materials and is slightly acidic. Your plant will struggle in potting soils with hardly any draining capacity or organic material.

How to Fix

If your leaves are curling, check to ensure you have the correct soil type. Poor nutrients may be why your leaves are curling.

Feed your plant with fertilizer at scheduled periods or add degrading organic matter at the root. Observe if your leaves stop being curly. 

If the issue persists, gardeners should change the soil used in potting their plants. You can also add some inches of good potting soil to your pot.

Mix the new potting soil with organic materials like coir and peat moss to enrich and promote your plant’s lush growth. Also, ensure that your new soil drains adequately. 

If your plant seems to be over-fertilized, rinse your soil thoroughly several times. You can also replace the top-most few inches of soil.

5. Pest 

The curling leaves of a bird of paradise plant could be a sign of pest infestation. Though this plant is hardy, it is not resistant to pests. Houseplant pest commonly infests birds of paradise plants.

Aesthetic damage is caused to the leaves of this plant by mites, mealybugs, and thrips, all sap-sucking bugs.

If you suspect pests, mites are the likely suspects. Spider mites are the most common mites. They create webs between the leaves and petals. These bugs suck out the sap from the plant, denying it of the much-needed moisture. 

How to Fix 

If all signs point to pest infestation, check your plant thoroughly for any of these bugs. If a few are spotted, gently hose down your plant. You can also clean them off with rubbing alcohol and cotton wool. 

If you have a severe case of pest infestation, neem oil and insecticidal soaps can help you get rid of the pests. You should check your plants often for any signs of these bugs. Treating your plant once every several weeks will act as a prevention against pests infestation.

6. Water Quality 

One other reason your bird of paradise plant leaves is curling could be the quality of water you use on it. Depending on your city, tap water may contain chemicals, salts, trace minerals, and chlorine.  

Tap water in most cities is bad for your bird of paradise. They contain several substances that build up in the soil to levels that are toxic to the health of your bird of paradise plant. This substance results in curling, burnt, and brown leaves.

How to Fix 

You can use just filtered water for your bird of paradise plant if you live in an area with quite hard water. If you are particularly bothered about chlorine, you can let your tap water sit overnight in your watering can before using it. Doing this reduces some of the chlorine. 

Use a container to collect rainwater when it rains as it is perfect for plants. You can also use distilled water for your plant. 


You may have noticed that your bird of paradise plant leaves don’t grow as lush and broad as they used to. It could have you wondering, ‘Why is my bird of paradise leaves curling?’

But, most times, all your plant requires is a simple adjustment to its care. In our guide above, you can find the common reasons your bird of paradise leaves are curling. 

We hope this insightful post helps you figure out the problem with your bird of paradise leaves. Create a note of the symptoms in this guide and compare them to your plant.

It will help you determine what action to take. Also included is the best solution to each cause so that you can nurse your bird of paradise plant back to health in little time.