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Signs of damage
The signs that your plant is dead tend to sit at both edges of the spectrum:
- Little to no green.
- Wilted leaves. Leaves will be yellow to brown in color. This is usually caused by overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.
- Scorched or bleached leaves. This usually happens when the plant is exposed to intense bright sunlight.
- Leaves fall.
- Dry roots. Dark roots that become wilted and with darkened tips.
- Soggy roots. Roots will become soggy and begin to rot. This is usually caused by overwatering or fungal infections.
- Mushy stems. Stems will lose their firmness.
- Insect damage. If a plant suffered pest-induced damage, it might have holes, spots, or specific patterns. Often, the damage is enough to weaken the plant to death.
How to prevent
Maintain a balanced environment for the plant regarding watering habits, light, and temperature. Patrol and mitigate pathogens and other diseases. Make sure to remove dead and damaged plant parts. Knowing your plants' preferences and providing the necessary nutrients to guarantee optimal growth and prevent malnourishment is crucial.
There's still hope if any small part of the plant is alive. Trim back the stems to the remaining green parts or, if only the roots are alive, trim the stems until there are only a few inches above the ground. Add compost or fertilizers in small quantities.
If the cause of "death" is overwater, remove the plant from direct sunlight and stop watering. If the soil is too moist, repot to a new container with fresh soil.
If the cause was underwatering, let it soak in water for a few hours.
Keep in mind some plants take longer to recover than others, so always give your plant at least a month to show signs of recovery.
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