Bird Of Paradise Broken Stalk – Our Easy Fix

How can you go past the stunning flowers of the Strelitzia? Birds of paradise, an ornamental plant from South Africa, are one of the favorites here at the Garden Bench Top. But sadly, many paradise owners have contacted us to share their stories of finding their Bird of Paradise plant broken. They are devastated, and ask “can my plant be saved?” It is nothing short of painful to see these beautiful plants damaged – but we bring good news!

Yes, your Bird of Paradise can be saved as long as the plant’s stem has not been completely severed. The important advice here is to promptly fix the stalk breakage. There are two methods to fix a broken stalk, the Tape method, and the Stem method. If you have a rigid stake for support, soft ties, and plant tape on hand, you are equipped for the repair.

Bird of Paradise Broken Stalk

We will dedicate our chat today to giving you the rundown on how you can repair your plant, why their stems break, and some great preventative tips.

Grab a coffee, put your feet up and let’s get started!

Will Broken Stems On Bird Of Paradise Recover?

The first thing to consider when you’re faced with a broken paradise stem is whether the stem has been completely severed and needs to be removed, or if you can intervene and repair the break.

If the stem has completely severed, the outcome is poor and generally, it will not recover. We offer advice on how to manage this and remove the stalk. That’s covered later in the article.

However, here at the Garden Bench Top, we like to remain optimistic. We cannot guarantee our tips for repair will see your Bird of Paradise recover (as it does depend on the severity of the damage). Yet, if you love your plants as much as we do, you’ll try everything. And on a positive note – any stems that may have to be removed can be popped into a vase for a beautiful indoor show of color!

How To Fix Broken Bird Of Paradise Plants

Our purpose here is to give you guidance on how to fix your broken plant. There are two methods proposed for the repair of a broken Bird of Paradise. It’s important to be gentle when handling your Bird of Paradise and give it lots of TLC.

credit: tenor

1. Tape Method

For this repair, you just need some tape. You can use whatever you have at home, from electrical tape, Scotch tape, or even florist tape. Many gardening gurus believe this method is the most successful.

  • Around 4 inches (10 centimeters) of tape length should suffice, but you may need more for larger stems.
  • Gently apply the tape around the break and also cover the entire stem wrapping right down to the base of the plant. You need to ensure the whole stem and base are wrapped to promote healing.
  • The plant will need at least 2-4 weeks for recovery.
  • If the stem has still not fully healed after this process, you can give it another few weeks.
  • Once you see signs of recovery with the stem regaining its strength, you can gently remove the tape.

2. Stem Method

You will need soft ties, and a firm splint to support the stalk. We have used both chopsticks and bamboo stakes at the Garden Bench Top, with good results for each.

  • Place timber splints on either side of the broken stalk and tie gently at several anchor points. You can use tomato ties or pantyhose.
  • The plant will need at least two weeks for recovery. After this time, inspect the plant and assess if the stalk has recovered its strength, and if the leaf is still green.
How To Fix Broken Bird Of Paradise Plants
credit: reddit

Unfortunately, if your plant does not heal through either of these methods, the damaged stalk will need to be removed. Read on, as we explain what you need to do when you have a severed plant stem.

Can You Reattach a Severed Plant Stem?

Sadly the consensus amongst the gardening community is that once a plant stem has severed, it can’t be reattached. A break that has damaged the integrity of the stalk won’t recover, even with the Stem or Tape method.

Unfortunately, the stalk will eventually turn brown at the breakage point and this dead tissue will move up into the leaf. The only love you can offer your plant at this point is to simply prune off the dead stem at the plant’s base. Be cautious not to injure any surrounding stems.

Joyfully we know – with a little sunlight and nutrients – your Bird of Paradise will revive and replace the loss with a new leaf. The circle of life…

Beautiful Bird of Paradise Plant

Why Bird Of Paradise Stems Will Break (And How To Prevent Future Breakages)

As a subtropical plant, the Bird of Paradise loves sunlight, plenty of water, and organic-rich soil. In response to the many requests from our readers, combined with the popularity of this striking houseplant, we continue our conversation by exploring the various reasons stems will break. We also give our top tips on what you can do to prevent future damage. So if you’ve been dealing with this issue, keep reading!

Reattach a severed Plant Stem

1. Insufficient water

Dehydration leaves the plant vulnerable to wilt and weakness. Water sufficiency provides turgidity (distention to the cells), promoting the plant’s capacity to stand upright. Lack of turgidity can lead to thinning of the stems and risk of breakage. Hydration also enables photosynthesis and makes plant stems stronger.


  • A good quality potting mix that is slightly acidic (pH 5.5-7.0) will enhance water availability.
  • Water plant every 2-3 days. We suggest moisture meters, to determine the soil water content. This will avoid under watering (and overwatering too).

2. Nutrient deficiency

Bird of Paradise is known for their stunning, bird-like blooms, however, they are reliant on nutrients to thrive. A lack of potassium and nitrogen can cause stunted growth and weak stems.


  • Fertilize regularly, including every few weeks during the growing season.
  • For outdoor plants, chicken manure (in pellets) is great. Organic manure will improve plant health and also protect against weakness and breakage.
  • If you’re at the potting stage it’s essential to use a good quality potting mix that is nutrient-rich and drains well.

3. Repotting and improper handling

Have you ever tried to move a bird of paradise plant? If so, you know they are large and heavy and if you’re not careful, you can damage the stems. This can also happen at the repotting stage.


  • Handle the plant gently.
  • If repotting, allow yourself a sufficient workspace to minimize damage to leaves and flowers.
  • Ensure the plant’s pot is big enough to promote healthy roots and growth.

4. Wind and storms

When housed outdoors, Bird of Paradise is susceptible to damage from inclement weather. Their large leaves can bend and break in strong winds and stormy conditions.


  • House your plant in a sheltered area with minimal chance of being exposed to high winds.
  • Place the plant against a wall for stability or near other plants for support and a buffer.
  • If you live in an area with high winds or frequent storms, keep your plant indoors.

5. Stem rot

Broken stalks can often be the result of stem rot. This disease is caused by fungi, which impedes the stalk’s ability to transport nutrients and water. Overwatering provides the perfect conditions for fungus to thrive. Stalks eventually become feeble and break off. The good news is there are several things you can do to prevent stem rot.


  • Take action immediately.
  • Remove any affected parts of the plant and ensure the area around the plant is well-ventilated.
  • Do not overwater, let the soil dry out between watering, and ensure there is good drainage.
  • At the potting stage, you can dip the plant root in a fungicide to prevent fungal infections. Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda work well.

7. Lack of sunlight

Without sufficient sunlight, plants can’t photosynthesize properly. As a result, their stems grow faster than normal, sacrificing their structural integrity. This affects their ability to support themselves and their stems can eventually break off.


  • For indoor plants, be sure to give them plenty of light and place them near a window.
  • If there is inadequate sunlight at your home, we suggest providing the plant with grow lights. These mimic the sun’s sun’s UV rays and help your plant receive the light it requires for photosynthesis.
Photographer: Sherise VD | Credit: Unsplash

Final Thoughts

If you have a Bird of Paradise, you may have experienced the devastation of a broken stem. Fortunately, many breaks can be repaired with a little know-how. We have provided some important tips to protect your plant and prevent future damage. With a little care and attention, you can ensure your plant remains strong and healthy.