Troubleshooting a Bird Of Paradise Drooping – Beginners Guide

Our favorite tropical plant – Bird of Paradise – relies on a little extra TLC and optimum conditions of light, warmth, and humidity, to thrive. Sadly, when these factors are inadequate, signs of stress will display.

A drooping Bird of Paradise may simply be a normal sign of aging. However, it can also be a sign of an unhealthy plant due to:

  • Lack of sunlight
  • Overwatering
  • Lack of water
  • Transplant shock
Bird of Paradise Drooping

We will dedicate our chat today to helping you with your droopy Bird of Paradise, giving you a complete guide on how to revitalize your plant, and also identifying what causes this problem.

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

Is It Normal For A Bird Of Paradise To Droop?

Firstly, let’s discuss if there are any normal circumstances under which a Bird of Paradise will droop. The simple answer is – Yes!

As the leaves of the Bird of Paradise age, it is normal for them to droop. No need for any concern that your plant is not healthy or not thriving.

Bird of Paradise plants are evergreen perennials, and as such older leaves will naturally age, fall back and die. You can always prune leaves at this stage, or if left unattended, they will simply fall off themselves.

Bird of paradise flower

Reasons For Bird Of Paradise Drooping

Let’s dive into the main reasons your plant stems may be droopy.

Droopy bird of paradise
credit: reddit

Lack Of Sunlight

Bird of Paradise are tropical plants and need adequate light to produce nutrients and energy for long, beautiful leaves. Ideally, they require 5-7 hrs of sun each day. Too little light can contribute to drooping leaves.


You could also be watering your Bird of Paradise too much. Overwatering is a widespread problem for many plant owners and the sad truth is – it will kill your plant. In addition to drooping leaves, other warning signs of overwatering include wet soil and poor drainage; the plant sits in water, the planter does not have the capacity to filter and drain water away from the base, and there is insufficient air circulating around the root system. Overwatering can also lead to root rot.

Lack Of Water

We’ve just shared how overwatering can lead to drooping leaves, and now we say that not enough water can also be the cause. How is this possible? Often, too much or too little water may present with similar symptoms.

Drooping leaves may also be a sign your Bird of Paradise needs a drink! Water maintains the turgidity of the plant and keeps leaves and stems strong.

Transplant shock

Have you recently transplanted your Bird of Paradise? Transplant shock may be the problem. Many plants show a degree of shock and stress after significant relocation and changes. The result can be drooping or limping leaves.

As your Bird of Paradise adjusts to the environment and establishes its roots in the new soil, signs of new growth will begin to appear.

How To Prevent Your Bird Of Paradise Leaves Drooping

Now that we know the causes of drooping, let’s discuss some preventative steps you can take.

Lack of sunlight

Give your indoor plants their vital sunlight by placing them near a sunny window. During winter months when sunlight may be scarce, we recommend the use of a grow light. This mimics the sun’s UV rays and helps your plant receive the light it requires for photosynthesis. Ensure that overnight the lamp is turned off and your plant has dark surrounds to rest and recharge.


We know summer and the warmer months call for additional water, however, be mindful to restrict watering as the seasons change and the temperature starts to cool. Water less frequently during winter months.

The Garden Bench Top suggests the use of a moisture meter or doing the following simple moisture check before you water.

  1. Insert index finger into pot soil up to the second knuckle (around two inches), then remove
  2. If soil is visible on the finger, watering is not needed
  3. If no soil is visible on the finger, it’s time to water

We also encourage the use of aeration stones in your pot saucer, to allow for drainage and aeration through the soil and around roots. Ensure your planter pot has adequate drainage holes.

Lack Of Water

If you have a large plant, it will have a big thirst and need adequate watering, especially during the warmer months of the year. A good tip to identify if your plant does not have enough water is, the soil will appear dry and pull away from the edges of the pot, and curling leaves will turn yellow, with brown, crispy edges.

Transplant shock

Our major tip to prevent transplant shock is to handle the plant gently when repotting. Allow yourself a sufficient workspace to minimize damage to leaves and flowers. It’s also vital to ensure the plant’s pot is big enough to promote healthy roots and growth.

Orange Bird of paradise flower

General Care Instructions For Bird Of Paradise

Bird of Paradise is renowned as a strong, hardy plant, yet it does require favorable conditions to thrive.

Sunlight, warmth, and humidity are beneficial to achieve the stable environment required for this plant to grow healthy, robust foliage. Let’s share some advice on the care routine, to keep your plant performing well.

  • Establish a good watering schedule. Give plenty of water, yet don’t make the mistake of loving too much and overwatering. Create a high humidity environment indoors with climate control and the use of a water spray bottle on foliage.
  • We know our Bird of Paradise loves sunlight so keep your indoor plants near a sunny window or use a grow light if sunshine is sparse. On warmer days, move your indoor pots to a spot outside to bask in the direct sunlight for a few hours.
  • These plants love organic-rich soil. A lack of potassium and nitrogen can cause stunted growth and weak stems. Regularly apply fertilizer, including every few weeks during the growing season. If you’re repotting in fresh soil, it’s essential to use a good quality potting mix that’s high in nutrients with good drainage properties.
  • If you’re moving your plant or repotting, take extra care and time. These are large, heavy plants and if you’re not careful, you may damage the stems and roots.
  • When growing outdoors, Birds of Paradise are susceptible to damage. Their large leaves can bend and break in strong winds and stormy conditions. House your plant in a sheltered spot. If you do live in an area with high winds or frequent storms, we strongly suggest keeping your plant indoors.
  • Your Bird of Paradise will need space to thrive. Give them adequate room and sufficient height clearance. Ensure your pot is also large enough to promote root growth or if needed repot into a larger pot.

Final Thoughts on Bird of Paradise Drooping

If you notice your Bird of Paradise looking a little droopy, it may be due to any number of factors. However, don’t worry, we have all the information you need to give your plant the best care possible and help it thrive once again. With a bit of TLC, your Bird of Paradise will be looking healthy in no time.

Happy gardening!