Dracaena reflexa (Song of India)

parismochaMarch 29, 2009

Hello I have some questions about caring for a Song of India.

1. I just purchased the plant and want to know if I can take it out of the container it came in and replant it in a self water pot?

2. I bought the pot because I liked the look but I am not sure if its the wisest choice for this type of plant. Any help with this would be great.

3. How do you repot a plant without doing alot of damage?

4. A friend suggested I buy rocks and put them on top of the plant soil after I replant it. Is this the correct thing to do? And why would you do this?

5. Should I also put rocks on the bottom of the pot before I replant?

6. I bought the plant for my office and there will be a lot of light, is this okay?

7. This is the first plant I have ever bought and so any additional care information would be much apperciated.

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bunnygurl(Z3)

The only one I think I know the answer to is #4. If I'm not mistaken, putting rocks ontop of the soil helps to hold moisture in. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

I have two Sentry Palms. One has rocks ontop of the soil, the other doesn't, and the one with rocks ontop of the soil needs way less watering than the one without....oh. Or perhaps it's because the one without rocks is in a clay pot while the other is in a glazed ceramic pot. Hmm. Rocks cuold be just for decoration.

I'm actually curious about this now too.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 6:32PM
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birdsnblooms

Paris...Some people rate self-watering pots top of the line, others don't care for them.
Since I don't use these pots, someone who does might have an answer.

It's best to wait a while before repotting, but since you're taking your Song to the office, you're probably in a hurry. lol..

Repotting. I repot when soil is dry; it's much easier removing rootball from a container than dealing with soggy soil.
Add a little soil in the bottom of new pot.
Tilt plant, (if you can do this outside, great, if not, set newspaper on the floor,) tap pot, to remove excess soil. If soil is rootbound, use a knife to loosen soil around inner pot, gently releasing soil/roots. As soil flows out, grab hold of base/trunk, and carefully remove plant from its pot.
Center your Song in new pot. Add fresh soil around rootball, in a circular motion, so all sides are equal. When your plant is stable to stand on its own, fill pot..Add enough, about 1 inch below top of pot. If you add to much soil, (towards the top) you'll make a mess. Soil will spill.

I would NOT add rocks/stones/pebbles on top of soil. Especially with self-watering pots..if soil stays wet, and covered, you'll be seeing Fungus Gnats..skip the rocks.

Does the pot have drainage holes? I hope so. If it doesn't, well, I'd return it, lol, adding rocks on the bottom would be a good idea. If your pot has holes, there's no need.

A lot of light..which direction does your window face? Songs need bright light, south or west summer sun may be too harsh. An east window would be ideal. If your only option is south or west, in summer, set a few feet away from window. It could adapt to strong light, but it needs to be moved gradually.

Songs get big. Even in containers.
BTW, what size is yours? What size pot is it in, (measure diameter) and what size is the new pot? You don't want to use too large container. Pot should be 1-3" larger than the rootball, and 3" is pushing it. 1-2 sizes up is standard.

In spring and summer, your plant will need fertilizer. I have no idea how to fertlize in self-container pots, hopefully someone who uses these pots will answer. Toni

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 6:49PM
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parismocha

Toni thanks for all of the information! I think I will leave it in the pot it came with and wait for a few weeks to replant it. The self water pot doesnt have holes so I think that I will have to get a new one. I love the pot so maybe I will just drill a whole in the bottom and use it that way.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 8:54PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Just a note of warning... if you have a self-watering pot that uses a reservoir underneath (kind of like a big saucer) then drilling a hole underneath is going to render the whole self-watering aspect useless (and you'd have to get something else to be the saucer). If you have a self-watering pot that instead has an unglazed pot inside another glazed pot, then I don't know how drilling a hole in the very bottom will help you. You'd have to drill a hole in the bottom of the inside pot to be able to provide drainage.

You can use the first type of self-watering pot as a regular pot. Just water from above until you have water draining into the 'saucer', then drain the saucer. It's probably attached, so just tilt the whole pot carefully. If you want, test it out while there's nothing in it to see how far you have to tilt the pot to get all the water out of the saucer.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I don't personally have either type of self-watering pot, but these were the two types I've seen around.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 1:11PM
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ken_ny(Z10FL)

My Dracena reflexa get S FL full sun from about 10am to 3:30pm. It likes to dry slightly between waterings. I fertilize it with osmocote. I think it would probly be fine in a self watering pot as long as it gets to dry out between waterings.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 11:46AM
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birdsnblooms

Ken, I usually don't respond to older posts, but after viewing your Reflexa and Bromiliad, I had to comment on their beauty.
If neither are in self-watering pots, let them be, they're doing great without taking risks. Toni

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 2:04AM
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zelskid_hotmail_com

We live in Boynton Beach,Fl. The builder in our community plants this as a hedge!!!!!!!!!!!!Full, blazing Florida sun.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 3:55AM
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