Can the top be alive but the root be dead?

My friend called me and asked if I could try to save his seedling (early sprout) because it had not grown any in a week.

When I brought it home, I found the root was hard and looked dead. The cotyledons looked yellow and the leaves were turning that way. I transplanted immediately in moist FFOF and have been spraying the leaves regularly and put a moistened dome on top.

Here is an extreme closeup. Is this a Gone-er? Is she DOA? Or is there a chance I can save her for him?

I’m about ready to lower his expectations.


Back way off the water she is far too wet. Let the soil dry out (and stay that way) until she graduates from the dome. She can get all of the water she needs from the humidity in the dome. Not really a good idea to spray the leaves.

The leaves are still green. She might make it.


Wow, okay I thought it was okay to spray only the leaves. Guess I’ve been doing it wrong for quite a while.

So, back to the question…can the root be dead and yet the leaves are alive?

I suppose so. She’ll have to be a strong plant to lay down more root if the root is dead. I doubt she’ll make it if the root is dead.


Yeh when I transplanted it from the “soil” he had, it looked dried out.

Also, I felt sorry for him and gave him a beautiful outdoor plant that was just starting to flower so he’d have at least one plant he didn’t kill.

Within a week it looked like hell in his tent. He had only a circulating fan going but no influx of fresh air. The tent had no cut-ins open all were sealed shut. Is it possible it looked so bad because the air had been choked off and there was no C02? I told him to take it outside but needed to have some shade too.

Here’s what she looked like a week or so maybe before I gave her to him. I feel so sorry for him. He can’t remember what I tell him.


I just had this happen and it should give you hope for this seedling.

I had just completed a 24 hour soak then transferred to damp toilet paper. I thought she had a small tap root as that it what it looked like. It blew the helmet off and the tap root was 3” or so in 24 hours in the toilet paper. Her top was a brown color like how yours is.

Needless to say I thought it would die. Nope…here is what it looks like now.

Worst case scenario she is DOA so all you are out is a little time and very little water. So I say go for it.


I’m gonna be the pessimist in the group and say sorry but that one is beyond help. :skull_and_crossbones: As you noted the root is dead and shriveled. :skull:The only thing keeping it “alive” is the nutrients in the cotyledons doing their job getting the leaves started. Unfortunately when they are depleted there is no root system to kick in and take over. :pleading_face:


I broke the news to him to expect the worst.

Here’s where she is the morning. I brought her outside on the deck and put her under the canopy/sail. That cuts about 80% of the sunlight out.

She still looks bad but looks like there is at least a glimmer of hope.

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I had some blueberry autos that sprouted to just about that size and stayed for 2 weeks. Finally pulled them and there was only an inch of root and the end was brown and dead. If the roots are dead, the top will soon follow.

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Yep, that’s about where I think I am with this one. I’ll give her a few more days and then call it quits.

Ya sucks. I tried 5 blueberry autos and they all did it. But they were 2yo and gifted. Also, others commented that they had some from around same time that dudded. It’s what it is. Sorry for the loss. I’d tell your growmie to drop another seed.

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Yeh , he said he figured it had died and popped another one in water