How to Revive a Dying Bird of Paradise? [Bring Back to Life]

The Bird of paradise, native to South Africa, is considered to be a hardy, relatively low-maintenance plant.

That being said, it can still sometimes suffer from various ailments caused by incorrect care conditions. In most cases, a simple fix can often remedy the issue at hand.


Yellow leaves 

Yellowing leaves are a common sign of overwatering in your Bird of paradise.The leaves at the bottom of your plant will begin to turn yellow first. Over time, the yellowing will spread upwards.

Treating yellowing leaves

If the yellowing is only affecting the bottom-most leaves, you may wish to hold off on watering for a few weeks until the plant dries out. If the plant feels very wet, then it is advised that you repot the plant to avoid the risk of root rot.

Root rot

Root rot is one of the primary reasons why a Bird of paradise may become unhappy. The Strelitzia is a particularly finicky plant when it comes to soggy soil, and is prone to suffering from root rot.

You’ll want to water your Bird of paradise sparingly, especially during the winter months when the plant goes dormant. During these months, the plant uses less energy, therefore consuming less water. The plant also loses less water through evaporation and transpiration.

Treating root rot

If you suspect root rot, it is advised that you repot your plant, using fresh, dry soil. Be sure to trim any damaged roots off to prevent the disease from spreading. Your plant should be able to recover from root rot just fine, provided that healthy roots remain.

I’ve written a guide on how to save your Bird of paradise from root rot. If you catch it in time, your plant should be able to recover.

Brown spots

The most common reason your Bird of paradise may be showing brown spots on its leaves or stems is a fungal disease.

Over-fertilization, pest infestation, or edema, can all be reasons why your Bird of paradise may be displaying brown spots on its leaves.

Treating brown spots

Brown spots can be caused by a few different things. One should take their care routine into account to try and identify the possible cause of the brown spots appearing on your Bird of paradise.

If action is taken as soon as it is noticed, your plant should be able to recover with mild treatment. Advanced brown spots may indicate signs of decay, however.

If decay is present, then reversal is impossible.

Unfortunately, the plant will not be able to recover from this, and the result will be death.

For an in-depth guide on what causes brown spots and what to do about them, you can read all about it here.

Drooping leaves

The most common reason your leaves may be drooping is as a result of underwatering. When plants lack water, the leaves are unable to support their weight and droop as a result.

Temperature stress, incorrect lighting, humidity or pests could all be contributing factors as to why your Bird of paradise appears to have drooping leaves.

Taking care of drooping leaves

Luckily, this is an easy fix. Give your plant a soak in water to correct drooping leaves. Feed the plant water until it drains freely out of the bottom of the container, saturating it well.

Allow the water to drain completely before placing your pot back in its usual space.

Avoid letting the plant sit in water for an extended period, as the Bird of paradise is fussy when it comes to wet soil.


If you notice a powdery substance, then your Bird of paradise may be suffering from a fungal infection. If you notice something white and powdery looking either on your plant or in the soil, then it is likely that you are overwatering your plant.

Treating mold

To treat mold, you’ll want to apply a fungicide to your Bird of paradise.

Neem oil is a great option as it is natural and very versatile. You can pick up a bottle of neem from your local garden store, or many online retailers.

Stunted growth

If your Bird of paradise has stunted growth, then it could be possible that your plant is in survival mode, and is struggling.

Stunted growth can be caused by a lack of nutrients, or your plant’s roots becoming too restricted.

Treating stunted growth

If you have recently fertilized your plant and provided it with good quality soil, then a lack of nutrients is unlikely to be the cause.

The Bird of paradise has a vigorously growing root system. While it likes to have snug roots, roots that become too constricted are unable to function correctly.

Check your plant’s drainage hole to see if any roots are peeking through. Roots growing out of the drainage hole, or cracked pots due to roots are a sign your pot needs to be upsized.

Transplant stress

The Bird of paradise is not a fan of having its roots messed with. Unfortunately, due to how fast their roots grow, it will be necessary to repot your plan several times during its lifespan.

If your plant’s roots are very disturbed for whatever reason during the planting process, it may temporarily be unable to absorb any nutrients or water to sustain itself.

Treating transplant shock

When repotting, try to avoid messing with your plant’s roots too much. Only repot your plant when it is necessary, such as in cases of root rot, or outgrowing their current container.

Before repotting, give your plant a good drink of water. This will allow your plant to absorb water ahead of being transplanted.

How to revive a dying Bird of paradise bloom

Like all flowers, they have a limited lifespan. The good news is that the average lifespan is a bit longer than most common houseplants.

Blooms can last for up to 4 weeks, but once they have died, you should snip them off.

In conclusion

While the Bird of paradise is generally a hardy plant, it can still succumb to the effects of prolonged neglect. The large foliage on your plant can tell you a lot regarding its health.

Keep a close eye out for any signs of poor health in your plant and intervene as soon as possible to prevent the potential loss of your plant.