Skip to Content

8 Tips On How To Treat Bird of Paradise Transplant Shock

Bird of paradise plants are known for their distinct and captivating flowers, offering a touch of uniqueness to any garden. While these plants are relatively easy to propagate, there might be instances where relocating them is necessary. However, moving them can lead to some initial challenges as they adapt to their new environment. In this article, we’ll cover tips on ensuring a smooth transition for your bird of paradise to its new spot.

Transplant shock can occur if the roots of the bird of paradise are damaged during the move or if the transplanting is done at an inopportune time. To mitigate transplant shock, avoid watering the plant for the first week after moving it, apply a root stimulator to encourage root growth, and handle the roots with care to prevent damage.

bird of paradise transplant shock

Bird of paradise leaves turned yellow due to transplant shock.

1. Avoid watering immediately after transplanting

After transplanting, most plants benefit from immediate and generous watering. However, bird of paradise plants require a different approach. It’s best to avoid watering them for about a week post-transplant. This pause allows any damaged roots to heal. Watering too soon can lead to wet soil conditions, which might cause the damaged roots to rot. By waiting a week, you give these roots a chance to recover, ensuring the plant’s better health and growth.

2. Replant it at the same height it previously was

To minimize transplant shock in bird of paradise plants, it’s important to replant them at the same depth they were growing before. Over time, a plant adjusts to its environment, including the depth at which its roots and stems are situated. By maintaining the soil conditions similar to what the plant was accustomed to, you help ensure that the bird of paradise can retain its structure without having to undergo significant adjustments to adapt to its new location.

bird of paradise transplant shock

Bird of paradise leaves turned brown due to transplant shock.

3. Keep as much of the roots as possible

When you’re upgrading your bird of paradise to a larger pot due to its growth, moving it to a location that offers more room for expansion, or placing it in a sunnier spot to enhance its development, handling the roots gently is crucial during the removal process from its current pot or spot.

Bird of paradise plants thrive in very loose soil, which facilitates easy removal as some of the soil will naturally fall off. However, it’s absolutely okay to retain as much of the surrounding soil as possible.

The roots are vital for nutrient absorption and tend to be quite fragile. Hence, it’s important to handle them with utmost care.

4. Transplant them in spring

Bird of paradise plants thrive in the warmth, making them ideal for tropical climates like Florida or sunny, year-round environments such as California. In these regions, timing your transplant isn’t as critical, though it’s still recommended to do so during the warmest months for optimal results.

For those living in areas with four distinct seasons, the prime time to transplant bird of paradise plants is during spring and summer. These seasons support the plant’s peak growth periods, allowing for quicker recovery from transplant shock. The warmer temperatures during these months enhance the plant’s chemical processes, aiding in faster adaptation and growth.


bird of paradise transplant shock

Bird of paradise leaves curled due to transplant shock.

5. Prune away dead areas leaves before transplanting

If you’ve been caring for a Bird of Paradise for a while, or if you’ve looked into their care, you’ll know that these plants flourish when dead leaves and stems are removed. You can either gently tear them away from the side or cut them close to the base.

This practice enhances airflow around the plant, which is beneficial for its health. Removing nearly dead leaves also prevents the plant from wasting energy on parts that are about to shed. Consequently, this conservation of resources allows the plant to focus more on new growth and repair any root damage that may occur during transplantation.

6. Remove spent flowers

During transplantation, it’s advisable to remove flowers from the Bird of Paradise that have been in bloom for a while and are starting to wilt. New growth for these plants originates from the base, so trimming the flowers from this area is key.

This action helps conserve the plant’s energy, redirecting it towards the roots, which often sustain damage during the transplant process. By doing so, you’re essentially providing the plant with more energy to adapt to its new environment and promote healthier growth.

7. Use a root stimulator to improve root growth

Root stimulators, acclaimed for their efficacy in fostering root development, are strongly endorsed by scientists and botanists for use after transplanting plants. Despite the Bird of Paradise’s relatively small root system compared to its stems and leaves, and its roots’ rapid growth rate, applying a root stimulator is highly recommended to facilitate adjustment and mitigate transplant shock.

These stimulators are typically a concentrated liquid that you dilute with water and apply to the plant’s base.

bird of paradise transplant shock

Bird of paradise drooped due to transplant shock.

8. Mist the foliage to simulate humid conditions

Given that Bird of Paradise plants shouldn’t be watered during the first week post-transplant, lightly misting their leaves can be beneficial. The leaves can absorb moisture from the mist, which is particularly helpful since these tropical plants thrive in humid conditions and may struggle in drier climates, where both the heat and lack of humidity can hinder their growth.

If you’re already in the habit of misting your Bird of Paradise, it’s especially important to continue doing so after transplanting, as the plant copes with transplant shock. Use a mister to lightly spray the leaves and stems, especially during the warmest parts of the day.

However, be cautious not to over-mist, as excessive moisture can cause leaf spot. A month of misting should suffice to help the plant recover from transplant shock.

Karen Taunton

Tuesday 16th of May 2023

Have 2 baby stalks from a bird of paradise with 2 leaves. No roots. Cut from the mother plant. They look like a smooth bulb with a little foliage. How do I get them to root. They bloom white and are rare beautiful plants. Please help asap.

Igor Viznyy

Wednesday 17th of May 2023

To encourage your baby stalks from the bird of paradise to root, you can follow these steps:

Prepare a suitable potting mix: Use a well-draining soil mixture that includes a combination of perlite, peat moss, and potting soil. This will provide a suitable medium for root development.

Plant the baby stalks: Gently bury the smooth bulb-like portion of the stalks into the potting mix, ensuring that the foliage is above the soil surface. Place them vertically, with the bulb partially submerged. Provide proper conditions: Place the potted stalks in a warm and humid environment with indirect sunlight. You can cover the pot with a clear plastic bag or place it in a propagation tray to create a greenhouse-like effect, maintaining high humidity around the plants. Mist regularly: Mist the foliage and the potting mix to maintain moisture levels. This will help create a favorable environment for root development. Avoid overwatering: While it's important to keep the potting mix moist, make sure not to overwater. Excess moisture can lead to rotting. Check the soil's moisture level by gently pressing your finger into it; if it feels dry at a depth of about an inch, it's time to water. Be patient: It may take several weeks or even months for the baby stalks to develop roots. During this time, be patient and avoid disturbing the plants unnecessarily.