Is this plant dead?
The initial order of business is patience. The unusually harsh winter of 2013-2014 seems to be lingering in many places, and plants may be slower than usual to bud out. Also, various plants will break dormancy at different times and on their own schedule, not yours! Don’t give up too soon – especially on rare specimens or sentimental favorites.
In looking for a plant’s vital signs, the first things to examine are the flower and leaf buds. Try these simple tests:
- The fingernail test
- The bend-but-don’t-break test
- The good bud/bad bud test