Dracaena compacta

houseplantlover86(6)March 10, 2013

I have a Dracaena compacta that I am keeping in the basement at the moment, so it's not getting much light. I have been letting it dry out between waterings -- is doing this okay, or should i keep it more evenly moist at all times? I ask this because some of the leaves are yellowing/browning, and I'm not sure why.

Is this due to underwatering or lack of light?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Please describe that soil mix for us. If it really is how the picture portrays it to be, that might be the problem, or part of it.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 5:49AM
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houseplantlover86(6)

My best guess would be the soil is just straight up potting soil with some perlite in it, all topped by a layer of sphagnum moss. My understanding was that by keeping the moss damp, you wouldn't have to water as much. There is definitely some leaf tipping, and every once in a while, an entire leaf will get brown and crispy (i just pull these off).

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

If you are using tap water, it may be a fluoride issue. Switching to distilled, rain, dehumidifier condensate, may help. Taking the plant to a sink when it's time for a drink, so water can drip away instead of sitting in the saucer, can be helpful also.

Potting soil is usually composed of tiny particles that fill every available space in a pot, if there are no tiny air pockets throughout the pot, the roots can suffer. From the plants' perspective, watering more often is good, but not everyone's schedule can accommodate that. Something to consider when this plant needs to be repotted. Many would consider changing the soil a reason TO repot. When it can come out of the basement, you may want to see if the roots still have room to grow or if the pot is full of roots.

Moderately dry between waterings is good, but bone dry is probably letting it go too long. Hard to make that call over the WWW, the weight of the pot can be a good indicator, but gets to be less of a helpful tool as plants get bigger and heavier.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:25AM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

hmmm one word that stands out-damp! If it were just the lower leaves that were yellowing then Id say it could be normal but if its appearing anywhere then it sounds like poor drainage, lack of oxygen to the roots. When you water how quick does the water go through the soil?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:48AM
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