Help with ID and General Health of House Plant

ZQGardens(6)March 19, 2014

My wife bought this house plant last year and put under my charge. Unfortunately, I've misplaced the name tag that came with it. If anyone knows the name, thank you!

Also, I'm wondering if I need to be concerned for its health. When I repotted it, the roots did not have much of a root ball, so I planted it into soil wet almost to the point of being muddy. Of course this resulted in an infestation of fungus gnats feasting on and reproducing in the wet dirt. I have not watered in more than two weeks to allow it to dry out, and that, along with some carefully placed bowls of apple cider vinegar, have nearly eradicated the gnat problem. However, while the top most leaves of the shoots are green, the lower leaves have browned and curled. Is this a natural renewal process or cause for concern? The plant is in a south-facing window and receives abundant light. Any input appreciated; I'd really like to keep this one alive.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZQGardens(6)

This is a close up of the leaves of the tallest trunk showing the healthy leaves on top and the brown ones on bottom.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
MsGreenFinger GW(8 Ireland)

Your plant is a Dracaena massangeana.
In this plant's case either overwatering or sun can cause the browning of leaves. (Dry air also)
Try to establish humidity in soil -Dracaenas don't need much water- and protect it from direct sunlight.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terpguy(7)

I know these symptoms all too well. Your plant is suffering from pythium rot in the trunk. I guarantee that if you feel around the base of the trunk (within a foot and a half from the soil line) you will find a patch where the trunk bark peels away like paper. You might have to feel very hard, it could be the size of a quarter or as large as the palm of your hand. The trunk is supposed to be solid. You're looking/feeling for areas where the bark has a little give.

The sad news is that of the thousand or so of these plants I have grown none of them survive this. How fast they decline varies.

Take heart though it likely wasn't anything you did. MANY of these plants come from the growers with minimally established roots (it was a real problem at a previous employer of mine). That's how the trunk begins to rot: no roots to soak up moisture sitting right on the trunk.

Feel around for the soft spots.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
MsGreenFinger GW(8 Ireland)

You may try to save the top of the plant.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKl7BfWpWOI

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Is the top pic before or after the repot?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 9:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZQGardens(6)

Thanks everyone for the feedback! I have taken steps to halt what seems to be a downward spiral, including trimming away the brown and curled foliage, protecting the plant from direct sunlight, and a more aggressive approach to drying out the soil.

@terpguy: I inspected the trunk as you instructed, but could not find the symptoms you described. As I'm not ready to sound the death knell yet, I will continue to explore possible rejuvenation.

@purpleinopp: The pictures are after the repot. Now that I know the name of the plant, I've been able to do some research, both on these forums and via Google. I've found my choice of pot and soil mixture are not ideal. Another repot will have to be done, as soon as the weather cooperates. The sphagnum layer on top was partly for moisture retention but mostly decorative; I have already removed it since it seemed counter productive to my goal of drying out the soil.

Thanks again for helping a newbie! I will post updates.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 2:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Sending good vibes!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 3:16PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
House Plants
Dracaenta Marginata
davers71
Fiddle Leaf Ficus brown edges, lighter color veins
I have the Fiddle Leaf Ficus for 2 years now. It was...
vlauz7b
Has anybody seen the micro ZZ Plant "Zamicro"?
They are a smaller amd more compact cultivar of the...
tlbean2004
White bugs in saucer under spider plant
I found a pile of these small white bugs in the saucer...
Caitlin Maraist
Please help? Need to Id these plants
i received these plants in a funeral arrangement and...
sparga83
Sponsored Products
Area Rug: AFton Antique 10' x 13'
Home Depot
Polaris p5181-18 Stainless Steel Bar Sink
PLFixtures
Brick LED Downunder Outdoor Recessed wall Lamp by SLV
$54.00 | Lumens
Impressionist's Wreath - 24" dia.
$49.50 | FRONTGATE
Floating Medallions Runner 2' 6" x 10' - BLUE
$299.00 | Horchow
Errol Smoke Table Lamp
Lightology
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™