I have two Metrosideros bushes (different species) that are both dying (?). In the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that some of the flowers that were blooming and the leaves, which totally lost their color, have started to dry out and curl inward, and some have fallen off.

On the 23rd of June I posted a question here because I was worried, and I have been watering regularly using the tips some of you gave here when i asked. But now they look different. The leaves are more brown/ red-ish/ yellow and they don’t feel much dry as they did before. When I water them, the water runs out the drainage hole almost instantly, and the soil is never dry to the touch so I don’t know when I should water again.

Am I overwatering now, instead of not watering as much as I should? I have changed their place: In the morning, the bushes are in direct sunlight until about 11 pm, then they are in shade and in an area that is not windy. Where I live, in a coastal area very close to the sea, it has been moderately warm (temperatures between 20°C and 23°C).

I am worried, and I think that by now they should have been better (or am I being just impatient?)

What should I do?

(Sorry in advance if my English is not the best)

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  • Sorry, dying is optimistic, these plants are dead.
    – kevinskio
    Jul 3, 2021 at 18:36
  • there are still green leaves and the main branches are still green too...
    – maria
    Jul 3, 2021 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


If you recall, I did wonder whether both these plants had actually died of drought - your watering regime needed changing, but even with correct watering, it's not possible to bring a plant back from the dead.

I see, in the bottom photo, there is a small amount of new, green growth, but the rest of that plant is likely dead, since it looks no different now than it did previously. You might want to think about cutting back all the dead parts and just leaving the live part, which will mean a very unbalanced plant, or to just dispose of it. If there is no new green growth on the other plant (and I can't see any in the photos) then it's likely dead I'm afraid.

To clarify how to water, water when the surface of the soil feels a bit dry to the touch - if its wet or damp, don't water till it dries a bit.

  • but the main branches are still green!
    – maria
    Jul 3, 2021 at 17:32
  • Well, you could try cutting all the dead leaves and stems off and see if any new growth appears off those stems, but those droopy, grey leaves are not going to revive themselves.
    – Bamboo
    Jul 3, 2021 at 17:32
  • I am afraid of doing this wrongly, since the last time I tried to revive a plant by cutting the dead parts it didn't work...
    – maria
    Jul 3, 2021 at 17:34
  • Probably nothing you did, unless it was the wrong time of year, but dead growth serves no useful purpose - cutting of dead parts will make no difference to whether the plant will put out new growth, but might encourage it. And it might be too far gone anyway, slowly dying... cutting off the dead is its last chance saloon and it might not work
    – Bamboo
    Jul 3, 2021 at 17:35
  • If you do find the courage to cut back, give it some general purpose fertiliser, it might help.
    – Bamboo
    Jul 3, 2021 at 17:39

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