Bird Of Paradise Leaf Not Opening: What’s The Reason?

Bird of paradise plants, also known scientifically as Strelitzia, belongs to the family Strelitziaceae. They are perennial plants and are native to South Africa. Bird of paradise plants has an extremely unique beauty like birds with many colors on large leaves.

Many people love to grow this plant indoors for air conditioning because it is very tall and has large leaves. Bird of paradise plants is also relatively easy to grow, requiring little care and maintenance.

However, when growing the bird of paradise plants, you may face many problems related to leaves such as the bird of paradise leaf not opening. Normally, when new, the leaves will curl up and then open up after a few days. If the leaves don’t open and are curled, then you need to reconsider some of the care and living conditions of the bird of paradise plants.

Bird Of Paradise Leaf Not Opening – Top 4 Common Reasons

Some common causes of bird of paradise plants’ leaves not opening at maturity are low humidity, lack of light, lack of water, fungal infection or insect attack, etc. Let’s find out more details below.

Low Humidity

Low humidity is one of the leading factors affecting the ability of leaves to bloom. Bird of paradise plants will thrive in areas with 60-70% humidity. If the humidity is too low, the leaves of this plant will ruffle as a mechanism to retain moisture. The dry air will also harden the secretions from the young leaves and prevent them from expanding as they should.

Therefore, maintaining the ideal humidity is an important factor for the young leaves to open and develop normally. You can use a humidifier or mist sprayer to provide external moisture to the leaves. However, misting only has a temporary humidification effect and cannot maintain ideal humidity for a long time.

bird of paradise leaf not opening

Low Light Intensity

Light is an indispensable element for plant growth. It plays an important role in photosynthesis and metabolism in plants. As you know, bird of paradise plants are subtropical plants, so they love warmth and sunshine every day.

Bird of paradise plants will grow and develop best if they receive 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. If your plants are in a dimly lit or dimly lit location, their leaves will turn yellow or brown at the tips and margins on mature leaves. As for the young leaves, they will be ruffled and unable to bloom due to a lack of energy during photosynthesis.

Lack Of Water

Water plays an important role in transporting nutrients and oxygen to plant parts. Water is also a component in plant cells to maintain the shape of leaves and stems. Lack of water will cause cells to be disturbed, curled, and wilted.

The cells that lack water will form a loose bond, then the leaves will droop and not keep their original shape. It is also the reason why the young leaves cannot bloom due to the cells not being tightly connected and lack of energy.

Destructive Pests

Normally, certain insects such as mealybugs and spider mites will attack bird of paradise plants more outdoors than indoors. If you move the potted plant outside to catch the sun, it can also cause the plant to be attacked by insects.

Mealybugs and spider mites will directly attach to the leaves and suck the sap from them. They can also enter and hide in young leaves that are closing. From there, they will attack and destroy the young leaves from the inside, making them unable to bloom. In addition, insects that attack the leaves also cause the sap of the tree to fall on the young leaves. From there, they will stick and make the young leaves not able to bloom as usual.

How Do Young Leaves Unfold?

Once you’ve identified what causes young leaves to close, figure out how to help them open up as they mature. Here are some basic ways that you can apply to stimulate young leaves to open.

Mist And Use A Humidifier

Leaves that are closed and do not open due to low humidity can cause them to open by increasing moisture in the air. Make sure to water the plants enough to keep the soil environment properly moist. Alternatively, you can mist several times a day to provide quick moisture to young leaves.

Alternatively, you can use a humidifier to maintain the ideal humidity in your home. It will help maintain humidity between 60-70% throughout the day. From there, young leaves will have favorable conditions to bloom. You can also place a tray of pebbles at the base of the bird of paradise plants. The cobblestone tray works similarly to a humidifier and will keep the leaves ventilated.

Provide Full Sunlight

Lack of light will make plants weak, thin, and drooping. So, if you have a bird of paradise plants indoors, move to a location with lots of direct or indirect sunlight every day. South-facing and east-facing windows are the best locations for your plants to absorb light and facilitate photosynthesis.

In addition, if in the summer, the young leaves still cannot bloom, you should move the pot outdoors to expose it to direct sunlight. You should give plants time to acclimate when exposed to light from 1 to a few hours per day, then up to 8 hours per day. If plants are exposed to intense sunlight for many hours, the young leaves will also be burned and damaged.

In the winter or in an area where you live with little direct sunlight, you should use a lamp designed to resemble the sun’s UV rays. Therefore, young leaves will also have enough light to absorb and conduct photosynthesis.

Read more: Do Indoor Plants Attract Bugs?

Let The Soil Dry Out Between Watering Times

Avoid letting the soil get too dry and lack water because the young leaves will not be able to open. You need to check the moisture in the soil regularly and water it to avoid a lack of water. Make sure the pot has drainage holes and excess water can drain outside to prevent waterlogging. Alternatively, you can also water the entire plant for a few minutes to get all the leaves wet. Bathing helps encourage water to flow through the drainage holes below the container, allowing the roots to absorb it slowly.

Spray Insecticide

You should regularly observe and check both sides of the leaves to detect if there are insect bites or not. They can produce small holes or yellow, brown spots on the leaves. Keep the leaves clean to prevent fungal spores and insect eggs from attaching.

If plants are severely infected, you can pour neem oil into a spray bottle and spray it directly on the pests, leaves, and stems. Neem oil will also help you repel insects and prevent them from attacking plants. However, these are the only methods to help you kill large insects.

To get rid of small insects that are invisible to the naked eye you need a better strategy. These small pests often hide in closed locations or young leaves. So it becomes more difficult to destroy.

Using a systemic insecticide is the best method for dealing with invisible pests. Dissolve the drug in water and water the base of the plant. The root system will absorb the treated water and form sap. When insects and vermin suck the plastic, they die.


Leaves of bird of paradise plants, not opening can be related to several reasons for their living conditions. Some of the basic causes are such as too low humidity causing young leaves to curl up to maintain moisture or lack of light making photosynthesis difficult.

In addition, lack of water also causes the cells to be disturbed and does not maintain the shape of the leaf. Insect attacks and sap-sucking also prevent young leaves from opening. To overcome these issues, you need to maintain ideal humidity, water enough, provide light, and use insecticides to prevent them from attacking the bird of paradise plants.

Leave a Comment