Huge bird-of-paradise related plant

vetbridge(5)August 10, 2009

My gf has had a huge (over 10 feet tall) plant that she keeps in her sun room. She has had it for about ten years. It was used in a photo shoot, and afterwords was going to be discarded. She took it home.

She was told it was related to the bird of paradise. It has huge leaves and has never flowered. I could post a pic if that would help.

The current problem is that it is producing many new leaves, but they are not unfurling. This has never happened before. Prior to this year, new leaves would emerge and unfurl without problems. This year, we are considering wearing goggles to protect our eyes from the rolled up leaves.

Deficiency? Root bound?

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Here is a picture (not actual plant, but it looks just like it)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 12:38PM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

Hmmm... might be a Heliconia of some kind, but my guess would be the white bird of paradise, Strelitzia nicolae, which is commonly sold as a foliage plant. It's a close relative of the typical bird of paradise but grows much bigger, the flowers are not nearly as showy, and it will rarely bloom indoors.

As for what's wrong with it, sorry but I have no clue.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 10:22AM
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Strelitzias often roll their leaves if they don't get enough water to help prevent water loss. They also do it when they are overwatered.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 4:11PM
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Thanks for the info! Humidity (too low) seems to be the likely culprit.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 12:26PM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

Having a second look at the photo, I would have to agree that the plant is extremely rootbound--that pot is much too small for a plant that size. Get that poor thing into a larger pot!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 1:07PM
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" but they are not unfurling."

Is this a case of each new furl becoming entrapped in the previous furl? Cut it off and the next time it happens, manually unroll the furl.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 12:34PM
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