Help me help my plant
February 20, 2009 12:34 AM   Subscribe

Is there any way to save this plant??

So, for my husband and my anniversary, my parents sent a beautiful potted azalea. The plant thrived for a couple of months, but a recent week long hospital stay resulted in some serious plant neglect. When we arrived home, there were still a few pink flowers (wilted, of course), and a lot of dried out leaves. I watered the plant accordingly, and assumed that the plant would perk up. Almost two weeks later, and the plant looks...well, dead. The entire thing is dried up, i.e., there are no live leaves or flowers on the entire thing. Is there any way that I can salvage this poor plant?? I was hoping to plant it outside when the weather warmed up a bit....
posted by I_love_the_rain to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If there is nothing live on it I'm afraid it's probably dead. If you see any green shoots try cutting it right back to them. Watch you don't over water. Maybe try adding a bit of miracle gro or similar.
posted by twistedonion at 1:07 AM on February 20, 2009


I'm afraid it's probably lost. If there were any parts of the plant still looking green I'd suggest taking cuttings, but it sounds like it's too late for that.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:08 AM on February 20, 2009


Indoor azaleas are quite fussy. To test if it's still living, gently scrape some of the bark away on the stem at the base. Only make a little cut. If it's green, keep watering it. If it's brown, throw it out.
posted by Solomon at 3:07 AM on February 20, 2009


Yeah I agree you need to see if there is anything green left on it. If there is trim off the dead, add a little miracle grow, and hope it can bounce back. Last year I had this happen to 2 of my blue berry bushes. I trimmed the brown off them and they made quite the come back. The fresh berries were kick ass btw.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:52 AM on February 20, 2009


Azaleas are very unlikely to come back from this, even if there is some green, I'm sorry to say. They depend on a mat of tiny feeder roots, and once those dry out there's not really a chance of it coming back.

If there is trim off the dead, add a little miracle grow, and hope it can bounce back. Last year I had this happen to 2 of my blue berry bushes. I trimmed the brown off them and they made quite the come back. The fresh berries were kick ass btw.

Fertilizing stressed plants is a bad idea, because a cheap high nitrogen fertilizer like Miracle-Gro is ammonia based. That form of N is immediately absorbed by plants and can burn them, especially when they are in a poor condition and cannot process nutrients like they would in healthy situations. It also forces growth of leaves which makes them more susceptible to drought, particularly when there has been root damage.

Unlike azaleas, it's actually perfectly normal for blueberries, particularly deciduous types, to come back from this situation. Blueberries tolerate a lot of conditions that azaleas don't, like extremely wet soil and hard pruning, so you really don't want to treat them the same way.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:45 AM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I read it as "Is there any way to safe this PLANET?"
posted by up!Rock at 1:31 PM on February 20, 2009


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