How can I save these plants?

by Trever
(San Francisco)

Plants are droopy

Plants are droopy

Plants are droopy Growing too close together Looking sad


I just took a Bird of Paradise off the hands of a friend of mine who hadn't been taking very good care of it. The stalks are droopy as a result of a lack of watering and some of the leaves are folded lengthwise, although from what I remember they have always been like that.

A couple years ago, my friend put the palm-like plant into the same pot as the Bird of Paradise, and as far as I know, things were fine.

The Bird of Paradise has never bloomed, and my friend has had the plant for at least 5 years, although I don't know if he got the plant already mature or if he planted it himself from seed (I'm going to assume he did NOT plant it from seed).

As you can see, the Bird of Paradise is growing two different sides, and both sides weigh it down pretty heavily. Even when it was getting plenty of water, it was always split like this and would never stay upright. The two plants together lean heavily to one side as well.

I would like to separate the plants and make the Bird of Paradise grow into what it could potentially become but I am not sure how to do this. I'm not familiar with either of these types of plants to know what their root systems are like, or to even know whether I would be able to repot them separately without killing them both.

As you can see from the photos, it's struggling to make it. I want to do whatever is best for both plants, although i think the Bird of Paradise probably needs more care. What should I do?

Thanks in advance.

Comments for How can I save these plants?

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Healthy Plant Care for your Adopted Greenery
by: Batya


Trever - the first thing I notice from your photos is that these poor plants, though originally friendly to each other, are fighting for space, nutrients, water, and even sunlight.

Each one of them needs a larger pot, and both of them together really need a bigger pot. There isn't enough soil (ie: nutrition) for them to flower or grow properly.

Most likely the leaves have split to go exploring for light - and if your home is dry - for humidity as well. Remember that the Bird of Paradise is naturally a tropical plant, so it needs that humidity regularly.

You definitely need to pot them up. Do it gently, and if you can untangle the roots without too much damage, give each of them a new pot.

If you can't separate the roots, just use something large enough that they'll both have room to grow. Add some organic plant food on a regular schedule, mist often, and reassure both of them with kind words that you'll be taking good care of them.

Please send some new photos in a few months so we can all see how well they're doing!


Healthy Plant Care for your Adopted Greenery
by: Batya


Trevor - the first thing I notice from your photos is that these poor plants, though originally friendly to each other, are fighting for space, nutrients, water, and even sunlight.

Each one of them needs a larger pot, and both of them together really need a bigger pot. There isn't enough soil (ie: nutrition) for them to flower or grow properly.

Most likely the leaves have split to go exploring for light - and if your home is dry - for humidity as well. Remember that the Bird of Paradise is naturally a tropical plant, so it needs that humidity regularly.

You definitely need to pot them up. Do it gently, and if you can untangle the roots without too much damage, give each of them a new pot.

If you can't separate the roots, just use something large enough that they'll both have room to grow. Add some organic plant food on a regular schedule, mist often, and reassure both of them with kind words that you'll be taking good care of them.

Please send some new photos in a few months so we can all see how well they're doing!


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