I have a plant that was given to my fiance' and I by his grandmother.
The plant is native to the Azorian Islands and there it bears fruit.
Here it has never grown fruit but it has done relatively well as a
houselplant. We have kept it inside since we've had it (about a year
or 2) and decided to put it outside for the spring and summer after
watching a gardening show which said we should do just that. Well we
went on vacation and the temprature hit record highs and there was no
rain and my mother didn't water it! I can't tell if its dead or not.
The leaves are brown and shriveled but are not dropping. What do we
Do we: prune, water, wait and see, bring it inside?
My fiance' is extremely attached to this plant and I don't want it to
die, is there any hope?
I would help to know what kind of plant it is, but even so:
I'm assuming it's in a pot, not in the ground. If you watered it heavily to
try and revive it, the soil's going to be soggy and the plant may not have
enough life in it to draw up the water. The roots will rot. I'd begin by
repotting in new soil that's damp, not wet. Keep it that way until ????
happens (either it comes back, or you give up on it). Push your finger deep
into the soil to check its condition - no "regular waterings".
If you can come back with the name of the plant, or at least some more
details, that would be good. Are the stems woody (with bark), or all green?
Can you compare the growth habit to that of a common plant whose identity
you're familiar with?
Thanks so much for your help! The plant is in a pot and I'll try
re-potting it. Is there anything I can look for in the roots that
would give me an idea of the plants health?
I found the name of the plant, its Eugenia stipitata, it grows as a
bush in the Azores with waxy green leaves and produces a small hard
shelled fruit about the size of a lemon at its biggest. Until the
fruit reaches maturity it is green then turns yellow.
Generally (not addressing this plant in particular), roots should snap like
a fresh carrot when you break one. Obviously, hair-thin roots won't do this.
And, if the plant has a tap root (one central, main pointed root like a
carrot or parsnip), you don't want to experiment by breaking it if the
plant's already in trouble. Try cutting back the stems a very little bit at
a time. It's possible you may find some green within, which means there's
still some life. If so, cut back to the next lowest "node", or little bump
in the bark.
Get the plant out of the sun, too. Not many plants want their roots baked,
but that's exactly what happens with potted plants outdoors. If you can't
get it to a shady spot, bring it indoors for now. Basically, you're limited
to a little investigating, and eliminating the adverse factors that a
healthy plant might be able to put up with.
Finally, ask your mother what's up with this passive aggressive behavior. :)
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