I bought a gorgeous bird of paradise, its about 3.5 feet high, and for some reason the leaves develops these splits, especially down the middle... How can I prevent this, it is unsightly....
Mine has the same problem, usually on the older leaves.
I am no expert on BOP. I also bought mine this year. I divided the 3 stalks and planted them in different locations. The one in full sun looks terrible and all the leaves are split. The other two (one in a pot) are in bright shade with very little direct sun. They look much better. When the leaves become ugly, I cut them off just like I do with bananas or cannas.
I don't think you can ask for perfection from any plant, especially, if it is quite natural for the leaves to split over time.
Banana for example, naturally split along leaf veins as the leaves elongate and age. Then the splits yellow. It's just part of the deal.
My BOP has splits from the older leaves. I leave them be.
My Giant or White BOP splits like banana leaves do.