Broken stems on bird of paradise plants can recover if they have not broken all the way through. If the stem of the leaf has bent over without breaking, it can be straightened. Use timber splints like chopsticks and soft ties to straighten and support the leaf to allow water and nutrients to flow to the leaf tip.
If the bird of paradise stem has broken through it will not recover and grow back. Trim the stem off near the base of the plant to allow it to regrow a new leaf.
Top 4 reasons why bird of paradise stems break
There are a few common reasons why bird of paradise plant stems will break. Here are the most common reasons and how you can prevent them.
1. Not enough water
One of the most common reasons for broken stems in bird of paradise plants is not getting enough water. Plants that are not watered regularly will have weaker stems, which will bend or break more easily. The stems are responsible for sending water up to the leaf end, and without enough water, they can weaken and break.
To prevent this from happening, water your bird of paradise plant regularly. For the first week after planting, water the plant every 2-3 days and check the soil regularly. Regular watering will not only prevent stem breakage but also help the plant thrive.
2. Not enough nutrients
Another cause of broken stems in bird of paradise plants is not getting enough nutrients. The stems need a range of nutrients to grow strong, so planting them in good quality potting soil or improved garden beds will help to prevent stem breakage.
Before planting bird of paradise plants in a garden bed, improve the soil with aged cow manure and compost. When planting them in pots, use the best quality potting soil you can afford. A good quality potting soil will provide the plant with the necessary nutrients and help it grow strong.
Give your plant slow-release fertilizer, such as pelleted chicken manure if it is outside, or regular indoor plant food if it is inside.
3. Rough handling when re-potting
Repotting a bird of paradise plant can cause stems to break and bend as you move and handle them. Large bird of paradise plants are very heavy, and it can be difficult to move them without bending or breaking any leaf stems.
To avoid stem breakage during repotting or handling, take extra care when moving your plant. If possible, get the help of a friend or family member. Lay the pot on its side so you can gently slide the plant out and avoid bending the stems.
4. Wind and storms
Wind and heavy storms can cause stems of the bird of paradise to bend and break. Plants that are in open areas are more likely to be affected by this. Placing pots against walls or other plants will help them stay stable in strong winds and prevent stem breakage.
10 Steps to fix broken stems on bird of paradise
If you have a bird of paradise plant with broken stems, there is a chance to save it with a bit of care and patience. The key is to act fast before the stem breaks completely.
Check out these 10 steps to fix broken stems on bird of paradise plants.
- Assess the extent of the damage to the stem. If the stem is completely broken, it may be difficult to save the leaf.
- Prepare timber splints or bamboo stakes to use as supports.
- Choose soft ties like tomato ties or pantyhose to hold the stem in place.
- Carefully lift the stem and use your hands to straighten it as much as possible.
- Place a timber splint or bamboo stake on either side of the stem, ensuring that the supports are long enough to cover the bent section of the stem.
- Use the soft ties to secure the splints to the stem, being careful not to tie too tightly and damage the plant.
- Check that the stem is straight and adjust the splints and ties if necessary.
- Leave the splints and ties in place for about two weeks to allow the stem to recover.
- During the two-week recovery period, keep an eye on the plant to ensure it is getting enough water and sunlight.
- After two weeks, remove the splints and ties, and check that the stem is strong enough to support itself. If the stem is still weak, repeat the process until it regains its strength.
Can Broken Stems in Bird of Paradise Plants Recover?
If the stem of a leaf has bent over without breaking, it can be straightened. Bent leaves have a chance of recovering, but once they have broken partly or completely, they won’t. Broken bird of paradise stems on leaves and flowers should be removed.
Cut the stem off close to the base of the plant avoiding damage to any other stems.
A bent and broken stem will start to turn brown at the break and then eventually down the stem. Bird of paradise leaves are large and can easily bend if they are handled roughly, if they are knocked by kids or dogs or if it gets very windy or stormy.
Check this great video with tips on how to prune your bird of paradise plant with great before and after pics.
Bird of paradise broken stem |Summary
Broken stems on bird of paradise plants can happen and a bad break will mean that the leaf or flower will not recover. Bends in the leaf stem can be fixed using splints to straighten the leaf again. To prevent stems bending, place the plant in a sheltered area, water and feed them well and handle them with care.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.