Just like anything else that has life, plants will die at some point. Some die prematurely, while others die much later. Plants die every day, and you might be wondering what happens to them after this. There will always be a reason for the death of plants. Most of them die due to poor growing conditions.
Leading Causes of Plants Death
1. Too Much or Too Little Water
Plants will not tolerate excessive water. Excessive water may cause root rot, making it impossible for them to absorb nutrients. Nutrients are food for plants, and when they are not available, the plants definitely die. Too much water also prevents the roots from absorbing oxygen, which is essential for growth.
Overwatered plants may start developing yellow patches on leaves. They also grow very slowly and loses their vigor.
Similarly, too little water will also kill the plants. Plants lose water through transpiration. If they are underwatered, the amount of water they lose will be higher than that they receive. They lose their turgor and eventually wilt. The situation continues for long, they will finally die.
2. Pests and Diseases
Some pests will directly feed on plants and kill them. Others will transmit viral, fungal, bacterial, and other kinds of diseases. When the damage is not intense, the plant may not die, but appear weak and sick. They only die when the infestation is high.
To avoid the attack of pests on your plants, grow resistant crop varieties, practice crop rotation, or use insecticides. Insecticidal soap also helps get rid of insects such as aphids and will not harm beneficial garden insects.
3. Insufficient or Excessive Fertilizers
Fertilizers are meant to benefit plants by adding nutrients. However, too much of them can be detrimental. When you put too much fertilizer to the soil, the salts in the fertilizer burn the roots and prevents them from absorbing essential minerals, water, and oxygen. The roots also become more prone to pests and diseases.
Often overfertilized plants will have a lot of foliage and few or no flowers. There is still hope of recovering overfertilized plants if the damage is not intense. To save them water them frequently so that the water will dissolve the excess salts.
4. Lack of Or Too Much Sunlight
Some plants will grow without light, while others will merely survive. Those deprived of sunlight grow taller and taller as they seek sunlight. Green plants need sunlight to make food through photosynthesis. When they do not get it, they start turning pale and finally die. Insufficient sunlight mostly affects plants growing in the shade, or indoors. To solve the problem, supplement natural light with artificial lights. do not let lack of a natural light limit on what you can grow
Excessive sunlight is not good for the plants either. Plats like tansy will get sunburned when grown in sunny spots, and may eventually die. Such plants need to be grown in the shade. The best thing is to know the light requirements of plants before growing them.
5. Poor Drainage
Soils with poor drainage may also lead to the death of plants. The roots are subjected to too much water and end up developing root rot. This problem is common in plants growing in pots, especially when they do not have drainage holes.
Soils with poor drainage have water in their structure and do not have space for oxygen. They get suffocated and finally die.
How Can You Revive A Plant That Is Almost Dying?
When a plant has started dying, get rid of the dead parts first. Use garden scissors to prune them. Identify the cause of death by observing the plant. Fix the problem as soon as possible. If its inadequate water, give it enough water. If its pests and diseases, get rid of them using herbicides. It should start coming back to life after some time.
How Can You Know That Plants Have Already Died?
Sometime, you might not be sure that your plant is dead, or has gone into dormancy. A plant may also get weak due to lack of proper growing conditions. To know if your plants are dead or not, observe the following.
If you observe that the roots are still firm, they are still alive, although the other parts may seem dead. The roots may also have started developing root rot. If they are growing in pots, repot them, and donâ€™t water them for a while.
If some of the leaves on the bottom parts have fallen off, you do not have to worry. The problem would be when the leaves from the entire plant start to fall off, after turning brown. Leaves may turn brown due to underwatering or overwatering, attack by pests and diseases.
3. Plant Dormancy
You may easily confuse dormancy with death. Plants may become dormant in certain seasons, as a result of harsh conditions. They lose their leaves and turn brown. When the season is over, they regain their green color and get new leaves. This happens during winter. With the onset of spring, they start regrowing. Some will grow faster, while others will take longer.
What Happens to Plants When They Die?
When plants die, fungi and bacteria break them down, a process known as decomposition. The bacteria and fungi are always present in the soil. During decomposition, several elements, like carbon and nitrogen, are recycled back to the soil. Other plants use the elements for proper growth.
In simple terms, the elements are what is referred to as organic matter.it is essential to plants, as it reduces soil compaction, improving its drainage. Soil organisms in the soil also feed on the organic matter, creating a balance. That is why when leaves and other plant materials fall on the soil, let it stay there instead of getting rid of it.
If the plants are very large, make them smaller by using a shredder or a lawnmower. Smaller plants get decomposed faster than large ones. Very large plants will also prevent the soil from getting into the roots of plants.
The only dead plants you should get rid of are those that have died as a result of diseases. They might transmit diseases to healthy plants or soil.
Frequently Asked Questions
If a plant has died completely, it cannot come back to life. If the roots are still alive, it can be revived, after identifying the cause of its death and fixing it.
Get rid of the plants as they might transmit the disease pathogens to the soil. The pathogens will then attack the other plants, which will be planted in the same garden. They might also move to neighbor plants and attack them.
Dogs poop contains acid that may kill plants such as grass. Always get rid of it from the garden, or prevent the dogs from accessing it.
Every living thing has a certain lifespan. Plants have different ones. Some will live for a few years while others like bonsais can live up to 100 years. When it reaches its lifetime, a plant will start dying naturally, and any effort of reviving it will not bear fruits.