The Q&A Archives: Dormant Or Dead

Question: I am a novice gardener with what may seem to be an idiotic question. I have two dwarf citrus trees, a patio
blueberry bush and three miniature rose bushes. The leaves have completely dropped from all of the afore
mentioned plants and I'd just like to know if this is normal (which I've been trying to tell myself for the last
three months) or are have all of my lovely plants (most of which sported vigorous foliage prior to that time)
died ?

Answer: Both citrus and blueberry are considered evergreen, meaning they should have leaves on them year around. There are some cultivars of deciduous blueberry that will lose their leaves in the winter, but for the most part, blueberry plants are evergreen. The rose bush should lose its leaves in the fall and winter months and develop new foliage in the spring. The easiest way to tell if a plant is alive (or dead), is to gently scrape the bark off the stem. If you see green tissue below the bark, the stem is alive. If it's brown or gray, it's probably dead. Check your plants for green tissue. If the stems are dead, keep scraping farther and farther down the stem until you find green material. Good luck!

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