Marina_v(BC)January 4, 2006

does any one has Dracena here? it's my favourite:)) lets talk about it! how do you take care of them? i have a little weird secret - sometimes i give it a nice HOT shower. i put it in the bath and turn hot water (45-50C) for about 30 seconds. my plant loves it!

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tjsangel(z5 OH)

Hi Marina,

I have 3-Dracaena Marginata, d.m. Tricolor and Dracaena Reflexa (song of india). I dont do anything fancy with mine-might have to try that shower thing! I keep the D.M. in front of my back door, the one most used, it doesnt mind a bit. I moved it once and all the leaves started turning yellow. It likes the cold drafts I guess. It's 4 yrs old & one of my faves. Just started growing the other 2 in the same pot, near the others, they are doing wonderful. I mist the leaves once a day and water once a week. They get a few hrs of afternoon sun. Dracaenas are such easy houseplants I think everyone should have at least one. : )


    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 4:51PM
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I have two of them: Marginata and Dodseffiana (I've just bought this cutie a few weeks ago:) Do your dracenas like sun? Once I put mine on the baclony and the leaves turned yellow right away... now I keep it under the window, behind a thin curtain. It gets lots of light, but in the same time is not exposed directly to sun...

If you are going to try the shower, here is a little update for you:)) Water your plant about half an hour before the shower. This would create a turgid pressure in leaves, so hot water doesn't harm them. Also you might want to cover the soil. I do it for some of my plants, depending of how fast the soil usually dries. The range of time is from 5 (for very small plants) to 30 seconds.

Good luck:)))


    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 5:32PM
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jajm4(z5 w. mass, usa)

I have a Janet Craig, a Warneckii, and a Marginata. They are almost as tall as I am now, and I worry how we will move them next time we move, as they have gotten very heavy.

The marginata is getting a little sad looking lately. It is several years old but suddenly seems to be dropping some leaves and just not seeming terribly vital. I am thinking about cutting it off at the base and re-rooting, but am not sure I'm brave enough to try that drastic of a stunt. Do they drop leaves because of light issues? The other two are thriving.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 5:43PM
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Jajm, perhaps your dracaena can use a shower..the humidity will do it justice, beleive me.
I think winter has something to do w/dracaena problems, especially marginatas. As long as the soil isn't constantly wet it should be fine, and once spring arrives it'll do better. Mist daily if possible..Marginata's love humiidity but not wet soil.

I've got D. draco, Warneckii, 3 marginatas, 2 reflexas, (one gold/ one green and yellow) Florida beauty, and striped dracaena. Toni

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 5:53PM
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jajm, did you check the roots?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 6:24PM
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jajm4(z5 w. mass, usa)

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!

I do mist it regularly-- not every day but several times a week. Haven't checked the roots in the past few months-- what should I be looking for? Do you think it's potbound? I don't think it has bugs or rot.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 2:10PM
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Ya, I was thinking about a rot... dracenas have pretty sensitive roots and any extra water can cause damage. why don't you do a quick check? just pick it up and see if all visible roots are nice and yellow.
It the roots are fine, then you should try my "shower method" :) it works well:))

good luck!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 4:31PM
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Up to now, I've never succeeded with these - in the end, no matter which type, they got brown marks on their leaves; even Dracaena marginata doesn't do well for me; I have two very blotchy variegated types, and I only have them for around a year. I wonder if some variegated D. marginatas suffer from a type of virus? They were both bought in the supermarket and were never 'right'.
Now, fingers crossed, I have a D. fragrans 'Massangeana' in the bathroom, and it's doing very well, no blotches or brown marks, just lovely shiny leaves.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 7:54AM
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Do you keep your plant in the bathroom? Wow:) Does it get enough light?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 2:48PM
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Marina, I have a west-facing window in the bathroom, and I leave it there beside an aspidistra. One whole wall of the bathroom is always warm because of a Stanley solid-fuel cooker on the other side of the wall, in the kitchen, which it backs onto, and on very cold nights I move the dracaena to there. Although the bathroom window has frosted glass, the plants seem very happy in it.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 5:49AM
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What a nice place to grow plants:)))) Warm, light and very-very humid:)))

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 3:42PM
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Yes, Marina, though I really need a wider windowsill. Are we ever happy?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 9:10AM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

I've a Dracaena 'LimeLight' growing in an 8 inch clay pot. It has lemon lime green leaves. It's actually the color a neon pothos, if you've ever seen one of those. It's about as low maintenance as you can get. I tend to forget about it, but it doesn't seem to mind.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 10:20AM
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I love Dracaenas. I have several of them in my collection. I find them easy to grow, not very fussy and exceptionally forgiving. The only thing to watch out for with these plants is too much water. They are susceptible to root rot and prefer to dry out very well before they are watered again. In the winter time, their demand for water is quite low and that's the time to be most careful with them.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 11:27AM
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I was wondering if someone on this forum could help us with our plants. AFter reading the above postings we have learned a lot about this interesting plant, but still would like to ask some questions if you don't mind.

A week ago we bought 4 Dracaena plants (Janet Craig type) at a supermarket. 3 of them are in one pot and the fourth, a small one is in a seperate one. We immdediately repotted all of them and today we noticed that the 3 in one pot started acting strangely. They got some "usual" brown/yellow spots and some of the leaves are gradually turning brown entirely. On top of that the leaves curled up and they look lifeless.

We live in Toronto, Canada and the winter air here is very dry here. The plants are standing to a side of a large living room window, but because of large trees outside there might not be too much light reaching them.

One thing that we probably did wrong was watering the plants. We have watered them twice already and judging from your opinions it's too much water. Should we water them once a week or even once in 2 weeks?

Also, we have a question regarding the "shower method" mentioned above. Could you, please, explain it a little bit more (how long in the shower, how often, cold or hot, direct or indirect)?

We will really appreciate your help .

Thank You,

Ewa and Bart

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 9:52PM
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fluffygrue(z8 UK)

I have a Dracaena marginata in the lounge.. It's in a partly-lit situation, definitely no direct sun or even bright light, yet its colouring comes out very well. I probably water it when I remember, a good soak every couple of weeks.

The main bit of care I do is remove dust from the leaves regularly - it does a good job of collecting the stuff. I can definitely see the benefits of giving it a shower occasionally!

Nice plant.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 11:41AM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

I'm not sure how helpful this would be, but I recently followed a link to a horticultural site in Georgia telling about their experiences with growing a number of houseplant types, including Dracenas, outside there, in zones 8b to 6b. I'm still pretty flabbergasted--hadn't thought to leave mine out even here in z9a, where I have a lot of things like begonias (many types) gesneriads, and clivias out right now. Some winters some get damaged, but not this very mild (so far--knock wood!) But Dracenas!!!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 12:38AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Ewa and Bart, if you re-potted your plants into containers that were quite a bit larger than what they came in, that might be a cause of some of the problem. Regarding the watering, no one can tell you 'how often'. You can only determine that by feeling the soil. Your plants should be watered only when the soil begins to dry out somewhat. And then, water thoroughly...drench the heck out of it.

How often this cycle will need to take place depends upon the kind of container you have, the temperature and humidity level of the room, the size of the plant, time of year, and the kind of potting soil you have. Among other things!

Avoid misting your plants at this time, since you mention leaf spot issues. Misting only raises the humidity for as long as the water droplets remain on the leaves, anyway. If the leaf spots are caused by a foliar fungus, misting will help spread it to other parts of the plant.

To raise the humidity around your plants in a meaningful way, place the pots and saucers on a large tray filled with gravel or small stones, and keep it filled with clean water. The evaporation of the water will keep the mini environment around your plants a bit more humid 24/7.

Attaching pictures of the leaf spots might help in getting a better diagnosis.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 3:32PM
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Thank you very much for your help.
Here are 3 photos of the plant and the brown area on the leaves.

For the last 4 days the plant hasn't changed. The lower plant has its leaves still curled up and one of the taller plants 2 leaves are still brown.

I have moved it however and the plants are now near the main window.

Bart Z.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 3:23PM
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tjsangel(z5 OH)

Hi Bart,

From the photos it looks like you have a Corn Plant. I'm not sure of the exact biological name here. It is a type of Dracaena. They can be somewhat fussy about location & watering. I accidentally left mine sitting in water once and it went downhill from there. So, I'd say when the soil dries out some water. It looks like the leaves are getting scorched from too much sun. They prefer indirect morning sun, nothing too bright. Check for that or drafts coming in from the window. Good luck!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 7:51PM
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    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 10:39AM
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Cynthia, take the plant from the pot and check the roots. they have to be turgid and orangish-white. if there is a rot, you have to clean it ALL, don't miss anything, not a smallest piece. just cut the root to the healthy part and put some ash on the cut (burn a match or whatever)
dracenas are very sensetive to overwatering, so next time before you water it, make sure that the soil is really dry: not just the upper layer of it, but deeper inside too. good luck!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 5:02PM
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Baby G (Z10, 300?CH, SoCal-LA)(10)

I have found and would like to rescue three Dracaena fragrans (corn plants)... They have been neglected, sometimes overwatered. The greenery is completely gone from one stalk. Can I cut the stalk back and save it?
How do you propagate these things normally?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 4:14PM
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Hello all! I also have a Dracanea (actually two, a long one and a short one in the same pot), and reported my problems a while ago. I got advices to move it from where it is (around 3 mts from the window) because the brown tips could be caused by lack of light. I did....but after that I stayed a whole afternoon measuring the light and there is really no big difference between being by the window and its old spot. So...back again after a couple of weeks by the window. The bad thing is that the smaller of my two is dying. It´s not root rotting, since that was the firs thing I checked. I don´t water more than once in every 3-4 weeks, keep it humid (my humidifier is just beside it) and light is fine with it. I simply don´t know what happened and I can´t do anything but watch my beautiful plant die. To me, this is one of the most difficult losses I´ve had. In my country this type of plants are EVERYWHERE, and the live like forever. I´m so sad.
I guess I´ll have to get a new one when this dies away.
Hope everyone else have better luck than me.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 6:06PM
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I am new to growing Dracaenas. I placed mine on my balcony and the top leaves started turning brown. I think it has gotten too much sunlight. Should I do anything to the brown leaves? Cut them off? Leave them alone? Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 4:43AM
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Rocio, is the brown crispy or soft..if crispy, it's either getting too much sun or you're not watering enough or both.
If soft, then it could be insects. Inspect your plant.

Julianna, sounds like you took your plant outside w/o acclimating it first. Most dracaenas need medium light..So, if you placed it outside w/o doing so gradually, it probably sunburned.
Some ppl may disagree w/me, but I'd remvoe the brown leaves..they're not going to turn green again anyway. The only dracaena I take out is my Draco and this yr the marginata is going out too. But plants like Janet creig or corn plants stay indoors..You didn't mention which dracaena you had, but if it's one that needs med light I wouldn't bother taking it out unless you can find a shady spot. Toni

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 9:04PM
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Wow, what an excellent place! Hopefully I can get some help..
I have two dracaena marginalis trees... It's started getting hotter here in Ohio, so I thought maybe they might like to be outside... Big mistake! They dropped several leaves, and I've since moved them inside.
So, I have some questions...

1. How long should it take for the trees to recover from a big shock like that (being outside)?

2. I think I've over-watered the plant, I think that must be why the tips keep burning. (I don't use fluoridated water, so I don't know what else it could be.) Do the tips stop burning eventually if you let it dry out?

3. What position is the best for a dracaena? I have mine in front of a window that faces mostly west, a little bit north. Based on what I've read now I don't think it's good for them, they get a ton of light in the afternoon. I can move them to a north facing, slightly east window.. Would that help?
Thanks so much...

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 6:21PM
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Mona, sorry about your D. marginatas.
When you first bring a plant outside, even one that requires the brightest light, it should be done gradually..Start w/a shady area, then set in brighter light day by day.
If you had done this, or put plant out on cloudy days it might not have gone in shock.

Do your pots have drainage holes? You mention you might have overwatered..Of all dracaenas, marginatas and dracos are two that do not like wet feet..If your house is hot then the soil should dry out fast.
I don't think a west window will harm your dracaenas, especially if they'd be sitting in these windows before you took them out..Too poor light and the plants will look spindly.
Marginatas not only require pots w/drainage, but well-draining soil. Have you repotted recenly?

Overwatering will not burn the leaves..That happened because it was either sun burned or just too hot. Are the leaves turning red?
What will happen is the strap-like leaves will continue changing color, but eventually stop..If the leaves get too bad, you may have to remove them.

Do you have a cool area in your house? If so, I'd set the trees there for a time. If your home is AC then this should do the trick. Then again, if you overwatered, and the house is kept cool, the soil will take longer to dry.
Why do you think you overwatered? Toni

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 10:08AM
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monaleilani(Ohio, US)

Hopefulauthor, thanks for responding...
Yeah, I know now about the gradually-moving-outside thing... I have a tendancy to do things and then research it a bit then figure out, oh, I'm dumb.
They all have drainage holes. I guess I should have described more what was going on. One of my dracs was severely potbound. Roots growing up through the top of the soil, long thick roots wrapping around the outside of the container. But I only repotted just a couple days ago. When I did, I chose a slightly bigger pot and watered it heavily. That one's doing great now. It's a luscious dark green.

But, for some reason, I watered the OTHER dracaena at the same time, which didn't need to be watered. The soil was still slightly moist.
There are possibly several things wrong with this plant. I didn't mention it, but I'm having insects problems. There are tiny little bugs in the soil of my plants- fungus gnats, I think.. Some of them fly, most of them crawl, and I don't know if they're hurting the plant. AND I might have over-fertilized it. I added slow-release fertilizer to the plant's pots a couple weeks ago, then I read somewhere that's not really that good for them. So I went through and picked a whole bunch out of the soil..
This plant is paler than the other one, and the tips burn more furiously on it. I've left the spaghum moss off and left the air off in hopes it would dry faster (I kept a pebble tray nearby to help humidity).
I just hope it stops eventually!!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 3:39PM
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I have a young D.Draco from seed (1 year). just moved it into the garden because of very high temperatures (upto 35 C).

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 10:28AM
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Bopp, how tall is your Draco from seed? Isn't it a nice plant?

Mona, okay I'd rid the extra saucer for humidity. Your soil is too wet which caused the fungus gnats in the first place. Gnats love wet soil and dry, stale air, but I wouldn't worry about humidity just yet.

ARe your trees being kept in or outdoors? Can you place outside if they're in the house..if you do, be sure to set in a shady spot. The fresh air will help. If it's not possible, then perhaps you can set a fan in the room the plants are living. This will help circulate the air.

Now, if this was my tree this is what I'd do..Remove plant from its pot. W/a hose, I'd flush the soil, or just let water run through the roots..I'd then use fresh, dry, soil and repot..check roots..if it looks like it needs a bigger pot then repot..if not then toss out old soil, clean pot.

Mona, why did this book say not to use the fertilizer? Did you use too much? The wrong type? I don't understand. Toni

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 5:07PM
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I have them and love em. I have no idea what mine are called. Is that pathetic or what? One droops like a tree with three canes. The other is purple in color shaped like a bush. I know I just water them when I feel like it. I have learned with these the more I ignore them with water the better they look.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 6:39PM
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Pistilo, you have the D. draco? (Dragon tree) I agree, they do best when hardly watered..I'd say they're succulent..But when the soil is really dry they must be watered, otherwise the leaves brown. Too much water and they yellow.
Is the other purple and green? Dracaena marginata? This d likes to dry out too, but not as much as the draco. But the soil needs to dry..I have 3..all different colors, all in one pot. The green w/red edge is the tallest, pink and green, medium size, red, smallest.
Don't feel bad..I don't know the botanical name of most of my plnat, or half..as for pronounciation, forget it and spelling is even worse..lol..Toni

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 6:57PM
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Hopefulauthor ... i'd say my draco is about 20-25 cm, but I kept it in a very small pot, now i gave it lots more space so i think it will go faster ...

let me know if you'd like to see a picture ...


    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 4:07AM
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what a thread!

I was recently given 11 Dracaenas. I don't know what type. They are plain green. These are my first in about 20 years, so I've forgotten all about them.

They are OUTSIDE on the hot deck (88-105 degrees) in 4 inch pots, and seem to be doing fine, although I have to water them twice a day sometimes. They are getting more dense. I schlepp them down to the Farmer's Market every week, but so far have only sold one. They seem popular in large mixed baskets.

What I'd like to know is -- how big will they actually get once repotted. How big of a pot should I go to?



    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 8:05PM
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Hey folks,

First, thanks for the info on using "SuperThrive" for my less than perky Dracena. Update - it appears to be picking up, even though I haven't bought the SuperThrive yet. New growth and disgarding older, botttom leaves as usual.

Should I still use SuperThrive or just let it go into it's winter sleep and fertilize next spring?



    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 12:57PM
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smithjm(z9 FL)

I use SuperThrive once a month for all my plants. And I must say i've noticed a big difference. Using this with your fertilizer together or alone everytime you water or once a month won't hurt your plants. If anything will make them better, atleast for me it has.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 2:13PM
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I've got a (recently identified!) Janet Craig, and a Variagated Pleomele.

Not knowing anything about what shape they are supposed to be, the first time the pleomele threw off a side shoot, which was becoing as big as the original portion of the plant, I took it off, and attempted to root it, thinking it was feeling threatened and procreating. The rooting was a horrible failure, mainly inexperience.

It has gained about an inch in it's 'trunk' although it's still only about 6" tall and now has two little side 'thingies' which this time I will leave alone.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 1:48PM
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I have 5 Dracaena Limelight plants that are getting brown crispy tips on the leaves. A couple of the plants have entire leaves turn brown very quickly. They are not in direct sunlight, but do get nice indirect light. The average temp inside is probably 70 degrees. It is very dry inside the house right now. I water once every week or 10 days, but the soil always seems very dry. I live in Chicago and they did much better in the summer than they are doing now (winter). Their growth has slowed tremdously. Does anyone have any advice? thanks


    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 1:53PM
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I have a couple of Dracaena "Janet Craig" which are getting black patches on the leaves? Could this be a symptom of overwatering?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 3:34PM
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annie_b(SE- MA)

Hi Folks....

I have what I believe is a Janet Craig Dracaena that is just about hitting the ceiling, and soon will start to bend. There is another shorter one about half the height of the taller one in the pot. Can I just cut it off anywhere? Below the leaves, leaving a long stem, or is it better to have a short stem? And can I root or transplant the piece I cut off? Seems like such a waste to throw away.

Thanks for your help....

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 12:31PM
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saucer(10 SF Bay Area)

Looks like I found the right thread! Yesterday I rescued a Dracaena Tricolor from my girlfriend's work that I'd like to try nursing back to health. Apparently it wasn't really being watered very much. It has one cane with three stems that have completely flopped over about halfway up, but they still have alot of reasonably healthy foliage on them. With care, will the stems eventually right themselves? Should I stake them up? This is one of my first Dracaena so any advice would be greatly appreciated! I've treated it with a little miracle grow, super thrive, proteckt and physan-20 and am keeping it in my indoor flourescent light garden for now, which is pretty warm and humid.

I also got another tricolor from my girlfriend's work that she says is at least 8 years old. It's healthy but only about 18" high and has never been repotted to my knowledge. I am guessing that it's probably pot bound? It makes for sort of a nice "bonsai," but would it be better to repot it soon.

And one more thing, I also picked up another Dracaena recently at a plant sale. I'm not sure which species it is but it has thin white stripes on the edges of the leaves. Does anyone happen to know what this is off-hand? Thanks again Gardenwebbers!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 5:32PM
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Hi Saucer..wow, you sure got your share of D. marginatas..LOL.
You can stake the trunk, then place plant in window..Set plant towards the opposite side where in bulges..Perhaps sun will straigten it out.
If it's not a bulging trunk problem, then you can try repotting plant, holding main trunks erect, then add soil so it stays in place. The rootball may be lopsided, but that's okay..as long as soil is placed on top there shouldn't be any problems.
BTW, D. marginatas do best in a cooler environment..too much heat and it'll attract mites.

Since the 8-yr-old is only 18" tall, I'm sure it's rootbound. Growing as a bonsai would look pretty, too..D. marginatas prefer smaller pots rather than being overpotted.

Could the white stripe be D. warneck? Toni

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 6:20PM
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saucer(10 SF Bay Area)

Thanks for your prompt response Toni! I was always on the look-out for a Dracaena but for some reason I would rarely find one and the few I did find looked kinda raunchy. Now I suddenly have three of them!

Regarding the one whose stems are flopping over, I suppose I could also cut them off above the bend and replant?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 7:23PM
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I have a dracena that I have had for about 2 1/2 years. I transplanted it from a dish garden about 2 years ago. I don't know what type...maybe a very skinny warneckii? It is 34" tall but only a 1 1/2" circumference at the bottom, although probably double that at the top. It will not stand up on its own anymore and I have to leave it propped against the window because I'm afraid it will break if I don't. It seems to have a shoot or some little green thing starting about an 1" above the soil. Should I repot it, covering all the bottom that is so skinny, or should I try to cut the plant above that and try to root the top? I've seen several questions about propagating...but no responses to any of them. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 11:30AM
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I have a ?. I have a plant that looks like a corn plant. There are 2 separate stalks. One is about 3 feet tall and the other is about 5 1/2 feet tall. Both stalks are in the same pot. The leaves are about a foot long each / slender 2 1/2 inch wide. Coloring of leaves are light green stripes on each side with a dark green stripe down the center. The bottom leaves have evenually died off and now the plant looks like a cross between a ribbon colored corn stalk and a palm tree;because their are no leaves at the bottom. Is this a dracena plant? I keep it in the south window that has E-glass = energy efficient. These windows are actually like having the plant in a north window. Indoors year round.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 9:22PM
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My neighbor has a dracena plant. Well we lost power for 5 days due to an ice storm. When I found the plant it looked like frost bite occured and rot was starting to set it. I removed the leaves due to the rot. Well I replanted it in a smaller container. It didn't look like it was doing good. So I placed it in a glass of water. Well I can see the roots are growing a little. So shall I replant again and hope for the best or what do you think. Thank you for your time.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 5:33PM
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Hello this is the first time i have ever seen this but it seems my dracena is beginning to flower ? each stalk has a
large pod of buds with a sticky secretion coming from them? how usual is this ?this is the first time i have ever seen this plant or any dracena flower any information be very helpful.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 12:42PM
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Donna Congrats..enjoy its beautiful scent. There's really nothing to do, except continue caring for your Dracaena as usual.

It's really not usual for Dracaenas to bloom, but the few times mine did, was from Dec-Jane..Don't know if there's a certain month one would or should bloom though.

Bet your home smells sweet...Toni

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 1:48PM
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