Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What happens when you don't water

It seems I picked one of the driest months around to be out of town. While I was gone from mid-April to mid-May, my sweet husband tried to water all the plants, but not being the one who usually has water duty and unaware of how many plants we have and how potted plants need more water than those in the ground, well ... let's say I came home to some seriously damaged plants. When I saw the brown, shriveled up lime tree and herbs, I figured I might could save some of the herbs, but the lime tree probably was a goner.

Well, while the top of the tree still is brown and shriveled, new green shoots are coming out half-way down the tree. I'm not sure if the damage was severe enough that I should pitch the tree and start over, but I think it deserves a chance to prove itself. I have a hard time throwing out a plant, even when I should. I will discard diseased plants, however.

I'm going to give the lime tree a couple through summer to see how well it rebounds. It needs pruning, but not having experienced this before, I'm not at which points I should begin the pruning. I hate to take the top third out, but that might be exactly what the tree needs.

What do you think?


  1. I am certainly not an expert by any means, BUT..

    For 60 some years I give a plant a few months to "prove" its viable parts via observation of "new" budding.

    After I'm SURE what's live and what's dead, THEN I carefully cut out the dead parts.

    As I see it, IF a portion is dead, it's eventually going to "selr-prune" via the dead parts rotting and falling off, so even if the dead part includes "...the top third..." then that's what I prune off.

    This protocol seems to have worked OK for me.

  2. I think that plants are responsive to talking as well as water and sunlight. After giving it water, try to talk the plant back to health, and trim off the top bits that look like they are dry and brittle.