Can These Plants Be Saved???

Photo: Esther Wang

By my count, I am the owner of 29 plants. Some are leafy, some are not; some are in various stages of distress, while others are thriving. Or maybe I now only have 27 plants, because two of them have maybe died? Can they be saved?

The problem arose, as many of my problems do, from my being incredibly lazy. For months, I have known winter was coming, and I would think to myself, “Huh, I should probably move my plants inside” before deciding to not do the thing I knew I should do. That’s called life! I’d like to think this was aspirational laziness—perhaps winter would in fact not arrive this year—but unfortunately for me and perhaps more unfortunately for my plants, it is now reliably below freezing in the evenings.

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The other day, I woke up, ventured outside to my backyard, and screamed, “Oh no!” My two large, leafy plants—a bountiful monstera that I have nurtured for the past two years, much of that time spent indoors, and an elephant ear who has only known the gentle breezes of summer—had seemingly frozen and then unfrozen. Their leaves were now drooping to the ground. Their once proud stems now were mushy to the touch.

I showed the photos to my colleagues. “It looks dead TBH because of the stems but you never know,” Clover Hope, our resident plant expert, told me. “They’re dead dude,” Molly Osberg, our resident expert on dead things, said.

Who is right? Is there anything I can do to revive them? Help!

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About the author

Esther Wang

Senior staff writer, Jezebel