How do You Revive an Underwatered Bird of Paradise?

Forgotten to water your Bird of paradise, or so scared of root rot that your plant has become dehydrated? While the Bird of paradise doesn’t tolerate soggy soil, soil which has dried out too much can be equally damaging.

Why is underwatering bad?

While overwatering is harmful to your plant, did you know that underwatering can cause it just as much harm.

Prolonged underwatering of your plant will cause it stress. It may cause your plant to slow down or stop growing all together.

There may be a lack of flowers together with blooms, and the plant may wilt and fade in color.

Signs your Bird of paradise is underwatered

Dry soil

This is the most obvious way to tell if your plant is underwatered. Never judge the soil’s dryness by sight alone. While the top few layers may appear to be dry, it’s possible that there is a lot of moisture beneath the surface.

You can easily test your soil’s moisture by plunging a finger knuckle deep.

If it feels dry, then give your plant a good drink of water.

When watering, pour the water slowly. Avoid pouring quickly, as this may cause the water to seep out of the bottom drainage holes without properly soaking the soil.

This will then lead to your plant becoming dehydrated, despite you just watering it.

Yellow leaves

Yellowing leaves commonly indicate a watering issue of some kind. Because it can also be a sign of overwatering, observe the plant for any other signs of underwatering to be sure of the cause.

Other causes can be a lack of sunlight, insufficient humidity or pests. Yellowing leaves affect a plant’s ability to produce energy, so action should be taken immediately.

Once the leaves have begun to turn yellow, they will not return to green and can be removed from the plant.

Brown leaves

If leaves are brown and crispy, you can be sure your plant is dehydrated. Take immediate action, as by this stage, your plant is at risk of dying.

Give your plant a good soak. If you think this could be a factor, you might want to buy a humidifier to raise the humidity in the room.

Drooping plant

A drooping plant is usually a sign of dehydration or shock. If you have recently repotted your plant, you may experience this.

Provide your plant with a good drink of water. You should see your plant begin to perk up within a couple of weeks of being repotted.

Saving your underwatered Bird of paradise 

Quick! Grab the water! Where possible, use rainwater or distilled water as these lack the chemicals that tap water commonly contains. 

Allow your plant a good soak, drenching it well until the water drains clear and freely from the drainage hole beneath. Allow time for the water to drain completely.

If you make use of a saucer, be sure to toss away any leftover water.

How to avoid underwatering

Regularly check your soil to establish whether your plant needs more water. Form a loose routine for watering. This will help you to avoid under or overwatering your Bird of paradise.

During the summer months, increase your watering habits slightly as your plant will be more thirsty.