How to Handle a Broken Stalk on a Bird of Paradise?

Reasons your stems may break

Stem rot

If soil is left soggy for an extended period of time, a fungal infection may occur as a result. The stem of your Bird of paradise will begin to rot.

Aside from providing the perfect environment for bacteria to breed, stems may also sit in water surrounding the plants’ base, which can cause them to become engorged and water soaked.

When this happens, the stem becomes mushy and may break, rendering it unable to support the plant.

Insufficient light

The Bird of paradise needs a great deal of sunlight in order to be happy. Failing to provide your plant with enough light will result in weak, soft stems. The plant will be unable to produce enough energy to support itself.

Lack of water

Water is no doubt essential to your plant’s overall health. Not only does water help your plant produce the energy it needs to grow, but it also helps make a stem turgid—a fancy way of saying stiff and strong.

A lack of water will result in a lack of turgidity, which may result in the stems of your Bird of paradise bending under their own weight.

To avoid this, maintain a fairly consistent watering schedule. Be careful to avoid overwatering, as this can also be harmful to your plant.

Physical damage

When moving your Bird of paradise, you’ll want to do so with care. Despite its intimidating size, it’s quite fragile.

Just as it hates any sort of breeze, it too doesn’t tolerate being brushed up against well either, and doing so can result in damaged stems that eventually buckle and break.


If you have recently changed the location of the plant, it will experience a change in the environment. This almost always causes a plant to experience stress on some level while it adapts to its new surroundings.

Extra care should be taken when moving your plant as the shock may result in the stems of your Bird of paradise either bending or breaking.

Lack of nutrition

Your Bird of paradise requires certain nutrients in order to help it grow and stay healthy.

Both nitrogen and potassium are important and help support the plant. If your plant receives no nutrients, it will become weaker over time, making it more vulnerable to breaking or snapping.

Adding nutrients is especially important if your plant is grown indoors. This is because, outdoors, the soil is exposed to rainwater, decomposing leaves, and bugs. This all helps make the soil richer for the plant. When grown indoors, however, we do not have this luxury and must artificially add fertilizer.

Excess nitrogen in the soil

If excess nitrogen is available, your plant may absorb more than is necessary. This can result in rapid growth—too fast for the plant to handle. The result is a weak, thin, and elongated stem that is at risk of easily breaking.

How to fix a broken stem

  1. When thinking about how to fix your broken stem, you will need to evaluate your individual situation. If the stem appears mushy or has further damage, it may be best to take this opportunity to prune your plant back.
  2. If you want to salvage the stem, however, you can attempt to tape it in order to help it recover. This will only be possible if the stem is still attached to the plant.
  3. Using a stake, place it next to the break. With tape, gently wrap the tape around both the stake and the plant’s stem. Overlap the tape on both sides of the bend to ensure it’s well supported.

Avoid wrapping the tape too tightly, as this will cause more stress to the plant.

Allow a minimum of 2 weeks to pass before checking on the stem. When removing the tape, do so very gently and slowly so as to not re-injure the plant. 

Allow for up to 4 weeks for healing. If after 4 weeks the stem is still alive but not fully healed, re-wrap the stem using clean tape.