The Q&A Archives: Brown leaves

Question: I have a tropical house plant whose leaves have all turned brown. I think it got too cold and died but the leaves are not dried up and have not fallen off and it has been a couple of months. Is the plant dead or will it come back in the spring?

Answer: Tropical plants are not too forgiving when it comes to cold temperatures. The first thing that happens is that the leaves turn brown or black. If the exposure to cold was not extended, the plant may still be okay. The brown leaves should fall off on their own and new leaves should take their places. It's hard to tell just how damaged your plant is but I would give it the benefit of the doubt and give it more time to recover. Give it good care and it may very well spring to life in a few weeks. Hope so!

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