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Can Bird Of Paradise Get Too Much Sun? (Sunburn)

If you like large foliage plants, then the Bird of paradise is perfect for you. This plant has big attractive leaves and flowers that will increase the beauty of your house. But it can be sad to see your favorite plant’s leaves drooping, browning, and falling because of too much light.

Birds of paradise will grow well if it receives 6-8 hours of light daily when the sunlight’s intensity is between 400 and 800 FC (Foot candles). Too much sunlight will cause sunburns and curly and crispy leaves. Thus, you must provide your plant with some shade during the hottest part of the day.

In this article, we will discuss the harmful effects of sunlight on your Bird of paradise plant. We will also explain what you can follow to revive your plant. So keep reading.

bird of paradise 3

I have done my best to address all of your concerns in the article below. However, if you still have any questions or are confused about the article, you can receive personalized one-on-one assistance from me by leaving a comment below. I will respond to your comment within a few hours.


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How much sunlight is too much for Bird of paradise?

The Bird of paradise is a plant with dark green leaves and long stems.

They are easy to care for and suitable for indoor and outdoor gardens.

The plant needs a lot of sunlight to get the energy for growing strong stems and roots.

They are adaptable to various lighting conditions, from direct to low light levels.

However, they grow best in bright and medium light.

Bird of paradise needs only a few hours of sunlight during the hottest summer months.

The sun’s scorching rays during the afternoons can cause sunburns to the plant.

The sunburned leaves will turn brittle, dry, dusty, and bleached out.

The leaves can also experience mottling and blotching.

So, keeping the plant away from harsh direct sunlight is always better.

Also read: How Much Light Does A Bird Of Paradise Need?

Signs of sunburn in Bird of paradise plants

We already know that too much sunlight harms the plant’s development by extracting all the moisture and causing dehydration.

The plant only requires 6 to 8 hours of sunlight; anything higher will cause serious issues.

If your Bird of paradise receives too much sunlight, it will show you the following signs:

1. Wilting of leaves

bird of paradise dying

The Bird of paradise plant benefits more from the sun in the morning.

If the plant continues receiving direct sunlight, especially during hot afternoons, it will wilt and reduce its growth rate.

If the plant doesn’t get shade during these peak hours of heat and light, its leaves will scorch and eventually curl, turn brown, droop, and fall.

2. Curling of leaves

The curling leaves in birds of paradise can be a natural reaction to conserve water.

The plant leaves can curl up if they receive sunlight with an intensity higher than the plant’s surviving requirements.

In high temperatures, the plant will increase its transpiration rate, which will cause excessive water loss from its leaves.

 As a result, the leaves will turn dry, crispy, and curly.

3. Brown leaves and edges

One common reason for brown leaves and edges in your Bird of paradise is underwatering.

The underwatering issue can also result from excessive sunlight as it causes dehydration.

The leaves will first turn yellow and later brown as time passes.

These leaves will extract the plant’s energy which could be useful for new growth.

4. Dry soil

Bird of paradise yellow

When your Bird of paradise is exposed to intense sun rays, the soil will dry out quickly due to the increased water evaporation rate from the soil.

It will cause the plant to experience dehydration, causing the leaves to turn crispy, curly, dry, and brown.

How many hours of sunlight is ideal for birds of paradise?

Birds of paradise prefer to grow in both bright and indirect sunlight.

But, the plant will not do well in harsh direct sunlight, which can be dangerous for its growth.

They will do well if you provide them with 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight.

Providing the plant with more hours of sunlight besides the given range will not help them grow.

Further exposure to direct sunlight will cause the plant to get scorched leaves, sunburns, stunted growth, droopy leaves, and crispy and curly leaves.

Where should I keep my Bird of paradise? (Ideal location)

Selecting the right location is important for ensuring the ideal growth of your Bird of paradise.

There might be extreme harm and higher maintenance to your plant if you fail to find the right location for it. 

The ideal location should provide the plant with sufficient light, a safe temperature, and enough humidity.

Also read: Where To Place Bird Of Paradise Indoors?

While selecting the ideal location, you must keep the above key factors in mind.

1. Direction of sunlight

bird of paradise

Like all other plants, birds of paradise need sunlight for their growth and development.

All plants have different sunlight requirements; some need direct sunlight, and others need indirect sunlight. 

The birds of paradise are hardy plants, and they can grow well in both direct and indirect light.

While selecting the ideal location for your plant, ensure that the area receives sufficient sunlight.

The east-to-west-facing windows are the most suitable for the Bird of paradise plants.

You also keep your potted Bird of paradise plant in a south-facing window.

2. House temperature

Room temperature and humidity are two important factors when deciding the location of your plant.

The ideal room temperature for growing Bird of paradise should be between 65-90°F.

Avoid keeping your plant in a place with temperature fluctuations, cold and drafts, air conditioners, heaters, fireplaces, ventilators, and frequently opened windows and doors.

3. Season

bird of paradise low light

The season is another key factor determining your plant’s ideal growth.

During the mid-summer, when the temperatures are high, the plant will get sunburned by the direct sun rays.

So, keeping your plant from sunlight during hot summer days is best to avoid leaf scorch.

Keep the plant in a spot that is away from the intense sun rays.

You can cover the window with sheer curtains to prevent direct sunlight.

If you want to keep your plant outside, keep it in a shaded place. 

4. Duration of sunlight

The Bird of paradise loves to grow in full lighting.

Remember that plants will benefit from sunlight only for 6 to 8 hours.

After this period, the plant can get sunburned if it continues to receive direct sunlight. 

During the winter, the plant goes dormant and saves energy, so providing it with 4 to 5 hours of sunlight is enough to keep it healthy.

5. Intensity of sunlight 

Light Meter Digital Illuminance Meter Handheld Ambient Temperature Measurer with Range up to 200,000 Lux Luxmeter with 4 Digit Color LCD Screen

If you want your Bird of Paradise to receive the correct amount of sunlight, you will need to check the intensity of the rays it receives.

You can check the light intensity with the help of a lux meter.

Always ensure that the light intensity is within the range of 400-800 foot candles.

A light intensity of more than this range will harm your plant.

Treatment for sunburn in Bird of paradise plants

Once you realize that your Bird of paradise is sunburned, it’s time to take corrective action to make your plant healthy and thriving again.

You can follow the steps which are mentioned below to fix your plant.

1. Prune the sunburned leaves

The sun burnt leaves are impossible to recover, so it is better to trim and dispose of them.

Removing the sunburned leaves is important as they don’t serve the plant anymore.

They will utilize the plant’s energy that could be used for new growth.

Prune the sunburned leaves with sharp and sterilized pruners.

Make clear cuts without harming healthy growth.

Avoid pruning more than 25% of the plant; otherwise, the plant will get stressed.

2. Move the plant to another location

bird of paradise new leaf

Move your sunburned Bird of paradise plant to a shadier location in your house where it can receive filtered or indirect light.

Avoid any place with direct sunlight, as it will worsen the condition of your plant.

3. Reduce watering your plant

If your plant has lost many leaves due to sunburn, it will not require much watering like before.

So reduce watering until your plant has recovered.

Water the plant slowly and deeply until the excess water starts draining out from the drainage holes.

Increase watering once your plant produces new growth.

4. Avoid fertilizing your plant

fertilizer dosage

Fertilizing a sunburned bird of paradise plant will not help in its growth. 

Instead, it will put your plant into more trouble. 

The plant is already weaker, and fertilization will further increase its stress. 

Therefore, fertilize your plant only when its health has recovered.

Prevention of sunburn in Bird of paradise plants

Providing your English ivy plant with healthy growing conditions will reduce the risk of sunburn in your plant.

Below I have mentioned some ways which you can follow to prevent sunburn in your plant.

1. Select the right location for your Bird of paradise

It is important to select the right location for your Bird of paradise to protect it from direct sunlight.

The best location for a bird of paradise is east-facing, west-facing, and south-facing windows. 

Keep the plant a few feet away from the window, or add curtains if there is too much light coming from the window.

2. Provide shade to your plant if it is outside 

bird of paradise soil

If you are keeping your Bird of paradise outside, cover it with a cloth or place it under tall trees.

Protecting the plant from direct sunlight is difficult; however, some preventive measures will help prevent sunburn.

Also read: How Fast Do Birds Of Paradise Grow? (Indoor+Outdoor)

3. Mist the plant leaves

Mist the leaves of your plant frequently during the summer season when temperatures are high.

Misting will increase the humidity around the plant and will keep the plant cool.

4. Be extra careful with the young plants

The young Bird of paradise plant will need extra care as they are more responsive to direct sunlight.

Keep the young plants in a shadier place, water them correctly, and maintain ideal temperatures and humidity around them.

How can I check whether my Bird of paradise is getting the ideal light?

Before shifting your Bird of paradise to any location, you should know whether the intensity of sunlight reaching your plant from that spot is ideal for it.

You use several ways to determine the light intensity reaching your plant.

Knowing the sunlight intensity is important for providing the plant with the right growing conditions.

1. Doing a hand shadow test

The hand shadow test is the quickest and easiest way to determine light intensity.

  • First, select the spot where you want to keep your plant.
  • Raise your hand in the direction of light and form a shadow of your hand.
  • Now, visually check the compactness of the shadow to figure out the sun’s intensity. 
  • If the shadow appears to be crispy and prominent, it means that the sunlight is very bright. 
  • But if the shadow appears to be blurred, then it means that the light levels are low. 

2. Making use of a lux meter device

If you are dissatisfied with the visual check method, you can use a light meter to get the correct light intensity readings.

The lux meter has a sensor device that gives out the readings of light intensity.

  • To get the correct readings, point the sensor in the direction of the sunlight. 
  • Don’t point the sensor toward the plant, as you will only get the reading of those light rays that reflect from your plant. 
  • The light levels are quite low if the reading is below 150-foot candles. 
  • If the reading is between 200 to 400-foot candles, the light levels are medium, whereas if the reading is above 400-foot candles, the light levels are high. 

Final words

The Bird of paradise is a hardy tropical plant that can thrive in almost all lighting conditions. But, it will best thrive in bright medium or indirect sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can cause the plant sunburns and reduce its potential development.

I have discussed the impacts of too much sunlight on your Bird of paradise plant. If your Bird of paradise is sunburnt, take immediate action for its recovery. Prune the damaged leaves, relocate your plant to a shadier place, and provide it with thrightct growing conditions to make it healthy again.

Are Birds of Paradise easy to maintain?

Bird of paradise is easy to maintain. But, you must ensure it gets enough sunlight. Although it can survive various lighting conditions, too little light can hamper its growth.

What season does the Bird of paradise bloom?

Birds of paradise bloom from autumn through spring. If you want your Bird of paradise to bloom, ensure it gets 4-6 hours of bright sunlight daily.


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  1. Girl says:

    I got baby plants of bird of paradise. But they got sun burnt. How do I revive them? The rhizomes and roots are healthy, will the new plants grow? How do I care for them?

    • Richa says:

      If your baby bird of paradise plants have suffered from sunburn, it is important to take action quickly to help them recover. Here are some steps you can take:

      Move the plants to a shadier spot: Bird of paradise plants prefer bright, indirect light, so it is important to provide them with the right amount of light. If the plants have suffered from sunburn, move them to a shadier spot where they will receive less direct sunlight.

      Water the plants: Make sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Water the plants thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain away.

      Trim off damaged leaves: If the leaves have turned brown or yellow due to sunburn, trim them off with a clean, sharp pair of scissors. This will help the plant focus its energy on growing new, healthy leaves.

      Provide some humidity: Bird of paradise plants prefer a humid environment, so you can mist the plants with water or place a tray of water near the plants to increase the humidity.

      Be patient: It may take some time for the plants to recover from sunburn, so be patient and continue to care for them as needed.