Help me with a Dracaena Fragrans

plantnewbie1March 31, 2010

Hello everyone,

I don't really know anything about houseplants so I could use all the help I can get. I bought this plant originally and then kept it at my parents' house when I moved. It stayed there for a year and I just now took it back to my place. The plant is 2.5-3.5 years old. It seems like one of the plants has grown a bit and the other is about the same height.

The plant seems kind of droopy. The top of the soil was also white/yellow. The soil is extremely dry and hard and there's tons of cracks. However, the leaves are still green (even if they are droopy and seem kind of curling?) Here are some pictures:

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/8683/img0418rs.jpg

http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/2012/img0419eh.jpg

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/1391/img0411mz.jpg

http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/6914/img0420y.jpg

So this plant is still alive, right? What should I do to improve its condition?

Should I get brand new soil (if so, what kind?)?

Should I repot it in a bigger pot? (if so, please tell me how, I'm a complete newbie! :)

There's some dust on the leaves, should I wipe it down with a cloth or should I take it to the shower for a rinse?

There's a couple of dead stems or something (see one of the pictures) do I just leave those alone?

Let me know what else I need to do, I really appreciate it!

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johnh_or(Portland OR Z8)

I think the plant looks very healthy! No brown leaf tips, nice color and striping on the leaves. Doesn't look droopy at all.
If the soil is hard and bone dry I would loosen up the surface with a cultivator. You can pick out those white crusty bits and toss them. Take the plant outside (if it's warm enough) and give it a shower. Fill the pot several times with water and let it drain. This will wash away alot of the accumulated salts that have built up in the soil. I think that's what the white/yellow deposits are. The pot looks adequate sized for the plant...I wouldn't re-pot it if it's growing well. You can remove those dead stems with a sharp pruner. Be sure to let the plant go almost completely dry before your next watering.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 4:12PM
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plantnewbie1

There's actually a few brown tips and I've cut a few off.

Should I give the plant some fertilizer? It hasn't had any since I first got it. What kind of fertilizer do I buy?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 4:15PM
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johnh_or(Portland OR Z8)

You could feed it with a general houseplant fertilizer. Do it after you flush the soil and mix it at 1/2 strength of what the label says.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 4:23PM
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