Bird of paradise - the sun

hi guys, I have my bird of paradise for over 4 years now. She never get any direct sun however I moved recently I know that this plant required lot of sun. So she is sitting behind the window now. I noticed that after the day with the sun shine the leave will curle inside. Why she does it? She is doing this only when there is a direct sun, however the leavea are nice and open when there is no sun. 

is this because she is not use to direct sun and will improve or is there something else involved? She is doing this only after a sun bath. 




  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 1,629

    Where are you? Are you in the UK ? Do you have a greenhouse? Do you have a garden ?

  • Hi, yes UK, Brighton. The window is east facing (the plant get sun from around 14:00 till evevning and it’s in the flat). I noticed that only newish leaves are curling, the establish not. Till now I had the plant in dofferent flat without sun (but enough light) and never had this issue. thanks 

  • its evening now and the leaves are open again... Will the palnt adapt to the sun or is this sign of not having enough water?

  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,236

    I think you may be batting on a sticky wicket  - Bird of Paradise grow to large plants and need lots of light and sun/  If you think of where you normally see them thriving and flowering, it isn't an east facing windowsill in Brighton.

    Not intending to be mean but I don't think you will have a great deal of success with this one.  It can take quite a long time and some research to work out exactly what will thrive in the conditions you can offer.  Maybe another plant would fit the bill for you ?  

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 1,629

    I don't know why the leaves are periodically curling , but what I do know is that Strelitzias are from S.Africa , will grow outdoors in the UK during the summer in a sunny position , or in a warm sunny greenhouse where they should send out a succession of their unusual flowers .

    Contrary to some peoples opinions , they are not a succulent plant , and require plenty of rainwater and low -nitrogen plant food during their growth period .

    A customer of mine has a massive clump of this species growing in a huge terra-cotta urn ; this is dutifully wheeled outdoors on a sack-trolley into a sunny spot for the summer where it thrives .

    You maybe have a double problem here ; i.e. the plant is not getting enough light , but if you overwater in an east facing window you may induce rot or a lank manner of growth due to poor light (etiolation) .

    Sounds a bit negative , but can't think of an alternative solution .

  • To Philipha: this plant is over 8 years old and it flowered past two years so I have to do something right. I only changed the flat. Till now she had a lot of indirect light, now she have full sun for few hours. I personaly think it must be the sun as the leaves are fully open now again, I just hoped someone will be able to tell me more here...

    Paul: sorry my fault, I meant WEST facing window :)) I woundn‘t have a sun whole day till night with east facing window, my mistake sorry. 

    Last edited: 11 February 2018 19:47:39

  • I will keep watching the plant and will post the updates. I hope she will flower this year again, what a beauty! Thanks :) 

    Last edited: 11 February 2018 19:51:56

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    I took this picture few days ago, you can see that she don’t have very pointy leaves as she ahould be, this is because they tried to reach the window in old flat. Now she is right by the west facing window and already deceloping 3 new leaves so hopefully more light and sun will improve the overall look. 

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 1,629

    From what I can see , it looks fairly healthy .

  • Thank you Paul, I think it is, I was just suprised today with the leaves today. I never saw them to curl on the sun and later while the sun is gone to get into normal position. but only new ones- like 6 leaves. I tried to google something but nothing. I will keep watching, thanks

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