I know it looks really really bad and I really screwed up by waiting to ask for help. I'm especially concerned, because it was given to me after a family member passed away. So there's a sentimental value to it. This plant did very well in Houston, TX which is where I lived until 2 yrs. ago. Since I've been in Santa Barbara, it hasn't done so well.
I followed instructions on a forum and replanted it a couple of years ago with pebbles at the bottom, little bit of soil, and bark and always made sure the water drained properly.
I would appreciate any help I can get. I was told that I could tell if it was alive by scratching the trunk and seeing if it was green...it's not. It's kind of an off-white. Does this mean it is dead?
I assumed there were roots growing in the dirt, but I accidentally knocked into it and found that the plant was just sitting on top of the bark layer (the bad wiring is there just to keep it from falling over until i get something better). Please tell me all hope isn't lost! Thank you in advance for the help.