The Q&A Archives: Spicy Jatrophia

Question: Hello, For some reasons that one of my two Spicy Jatrophia plants is dormant this year. There is no indication that the plant is dead since there is plenty of green tissue in the branches. However, it has not produced a single leaf to date while the other plant has blossomed beautifully. What can I do to revive it? Thank you.

Answer: Some woody plants will retain a green coloration just beneath the bark even after death. Cut one of the stems and look closely at the cut portion with a magnifying glass. If the stem is live, you should be able to detect some fluid seeping from the cut. If you see no moisture and the tissue looks dry, it's dead, even though it has retained some green pigmentation. If it were mine, and it has not shown any signs of life by now (mid-summer), I'd consider it dead. Prune it down - if there's any life in the roots, they will develop new shoots. If not, the whole plant is dead and should be dug and replaced. Best wishes with your garden!

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