Why Are My Bird of Paradise Leaves Not Opening?

The large fan-shaped leaves of Bird of Paradise are perfect to bring a bit of the tropical outdoors inside. Every leaf that unfurls is a treat since it can reach six feet tall if you take good maintenance.

However what happens if your poor Bird is unable to get its brand new growth to fully open?

Leaves of Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) won’t open if the humidity is not high enough. A slight mist is usually all it takes for them to come to life. Another reason could be a absence of light, low levels of water or insects.

Low Humidity Cause the New Leaf to Not Open

The Bird of Paradise is an actual tropical bird. They are native to the tropical south of Africa and thrive in hot, humid forests. They require constant, high humidity to keep their leaves.

This is particularly true when it comes to the growth of new plants. It is believed that the Bird of Paradise protects its leaves by releasing various substances and waxes.

The secretions will become hard when the atmosphere in which you are growing is dry. They won’t be able to open, no matter how ready they are for the next leaf to emerge.

Imagine that you’re Bird of Paradise is otherwise healthy however, the leaves aren’t open. In this situation, the issue could be caused by low humidity.


The ideal humidity level to be found in Bird of Paradise is 60-70 percent. But, the humidity levels of workplaces and homes rarely exceed 40%, particularly in air-conditioned areas.

So, in order to allow to allow the Bird of Paradise’s leaves fully unfold, it is essential to increase the humidity levels.

The most efficient solution is to mist the leaf one or twice per day until it begins to unfold. Then, apply the mist from the point up to the point of its end with water that is clean.

A single treatment can be sufficient since they need enough to eliminate the secretions that are on the surface.

You could consider placing an outdoor pebble tray next to the Bird of Paradise for a long-term solution. A humidifier for your home is also a great idea.

Leaf’s Hydraulic Cells Do Not Work Due to Lack of Water

The Bird of Paradise leaves is an engineering marvel. The plant makes use of hydraulics to propel its growth and let new leaves grow.

In order for your leaf to spread, you need to have enough turgor, also known as your leaf’s inner pressure, at a certain point. Water is an essential component of the cell’s structure.

But, the newer growth depends more heavily on water to keep the leaves together as they grow.

bird of paradise next to pool

If you are looking at your medium for growing Does it feel like it’s floating in your pot, or is it brittle? Do you notice a soft feeling? If these questions are true, then your leaf could be stuck due to inadequate irrigation.


In the beginning, soak thoroughly the Bird of Paradise. The water should be poured from the bottom if the plant is not large enough. There should be room in the basin or tub to house the plant and you must also be able to access lots of freshwater sources.

To help hydrate the soil from below:

  1. Take your Bird from the tray or saucer and place it in the tub or basin.
  2. Be sure that the water inside the bowl is at least half way up the pot. However, filtered or distilled tap water is fine.
  3. Let the water seep into the soil through drainage holes.
  4. Keep the water level at a reasonable level within the reservoir by replenishing the basin as required. There is plenty of water that is absorbed by this growing medium.
  5. After about half an hour Remove after about a half-hour, remove the Bird out of the sink and let it be drained before returning it to its original location.

Rehydrating plants that are thirsty by bringing water down at the base is the most effective method that is available. This means that it brings moisture to the roots that is crucial since that’s where it’s most needed.

Additionally, it allows the medium growing time to soak up the water. It is impossible due to the size of it is that the Bird of Paradise can grow. Be patient if you need to water your plants using overhead irrigation.

The growing mediums that are dehydrated retain water in a poor way, and getting your mix back to full hydration can take time.

For larger specimens, I suggest fooling the surface of the growing medium by adding about a half cup of water at a time at intervals of around one minute between doses. It is possible to increase the amount of water you add if the drainage holes are ripped in the drainage holes.

Bird of Paradise plants requires irrigation after the top two inches of soil are completely dried. But, be aware that excessive watering could cause problems of its own!

Lack of Light Cause Produce Less Energy for New Leaf

The cultivation of an Bird of Paradise indoors necessitates plenty of sunlight; it’s not an indoor plant that can be used in dark areas!

Photosynthesize is an essential biological process that converts water and sunlight into energy. The plant requires this process to produce fresh leaves, fix damaged and defend itself against diseases and pests.

Without the light source without that light, your Bird of Paradise can’t work up the energy needed to showcase the new leaf. Therefore, it’ll remain in a curly position until the light becomes better.


It is essential to get the most direct sunlight is possible to be a Bird of Paradise. As a general guideline 6-8 hours of sunbathing per day is the ideal amount of time.

The ideal location to keep the Bird of Paradise is in an area with plenty of light in your expanding area. There are benefits of exposures to the east and southern sides and windows that receive only a few hours of direct sunlight every day.

Think about a grow light if your garden isn’t able to handle this much light because of the latitude or aspect.

If you’re planning to expose the Bird of Paradise to direct sunlight, ensure it is accustomed to the sun’s light. Even the indoor plant is able to take lots of direct sunlight, it is important to allow it to adjust to the new environment.

To accomplish this, slowly shift your plant towards the brighter location. This gives the plant time to adjust and minimize the chance of sunburn.

I provide more details on the light levels that are needed by the Bird of Paradise needs here.

Insects Sucking Life From The Leaves by an Insect

In the event that none of these solutions above did the trick, then the curled leaf could be hiding intruders who are slowly destroying your defenses.

Unfortunately Bird of Paradise’s youthful curled leaves are both an attractive hideaway as well as a tasty dining spot for pests and insects.

Check your leaf for signs of insects; damage to the new leaves can be difficult to spot. Look for signs of yellowing at the edges and tips If you are able to detect them.

Be sure to check the mature leaves, and also. The wide, leaf blades will make pests easier to identify.


If you’re experiencing an infestation of newly established leaves, I’d suggest applying an insecticide systemic. (Check for prices at Amazon right here)

It can be difficult to control pests when they’re hidden within a curly leaf since the majority of pest control treatments require direct contact with the insect.

Systemic granules are incorporated into the soil, and then absorbed by the plant which allows it to penetrate every hidden spot where pests tend to set up camp. It’s a great method for a leaf that is furled to attack invaders that sprays or jets of water aren’t able to get to.

Bird of Paradise New Leaves Not Opening

The fresh leaves of the Bird of Paradise may remain in a curly state for a while If you’ve looked at the possibilities but are unable to determine what’s happening.

To ensure safety, the brand new leaf is coiled. While it is true that the Bird of Paradise thrives in the ideal conditions, it spends time to nurture its new expansion.

It requires a lot of energy and resources to produce huge leaves. They don’t appear out from the air.

How To Help Bird of Paradise Leaf Unfurl?

Quick solutions for the bird of paradise’s closed leaves are the following typical and efficient options:

In the event that you’re Bird of Paradise is in good shape It’s best to be patient and wait for the tardy leaves to appear.

When the right time comes an established plant that has sufficient sunlight and humidity will allow the plants out.

But, since those leaves on the indoor Bird of Paradise are the most popular attraction, you may be able to help the birds.

First, mist your curly leaf the tip to the stem, and let the mist do its job for a couple of hours.

Congratulations if it starts to relax! The leaf should begin to unfold in a natural way. All you need to do is sit back and breathe the whole thing into.

A mild sponge bath can do magic on leaves that are stubborn. A clean cloth or sponge is a great way to spread warm water over all the lengths of the leaf.

A mild dishwashing detergent is a good addition to water to aid in. The natural secretions that are present on the leaf are sucked out by the water and allow it to unfold to its full glory.

Whatever you decide to do regardless of what you decide, do not rub or tear the leaf. The leaf is delicate and delicate, so be patient and take care with it.

How Long Does It Take a Bird of Paradise Leaf to Open?

It can take between a couple of hours and several days to allow the leaves of the bird of paradise plant to completely fall off.

It is also dependent on the type of issue that your plant is facing.

If the issue is due to humidity issues, lightly misting the affected area can resolve the issue within a few minutes at the most.

But, the process of the process of recovering from a serious dehydration condition and the emergence of pests could require a lot more time.

What If My Bird of Paradise Leaf Opens Too Soon?

Bird of Paradise leaves that are open at an early stage of development do not pose a risk. Unfortunately, very few or no leaves with fur are typical in plants that are outdoors.

If your bird’s leaves begin to begin to open earlier, it’s an excellent sign. The plant doesn’t have to care for its growth since the environment that it is growing in is free of insects and is well-tuned to its requirements. Despite its uncertainty the plant is certain that the new leaf will grow without curling.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)