What is this?

fandog(6a)May 24, 2013

Anyone know what kind of plant this is?

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Hmm, certainly a Dracaena, and one I've seen before.

D. marginata? Someone here will know for sure.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 1:10AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Yes, Dracaena marginata.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:47AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Planted in far too big a pot, I'd pot it down smaller.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 11:43AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

PG, you know I respect your knowledge very much, so with the utmost respect, I must say that's surprisingly incomplete regarding your usual caliber of advice. Sending you a virtual hug & hope all is well. Something must be distracting you terribly!

With the looks of that soil (muddy, thick, comprised solely of tiny particles, soggy, totally devoid of air - the exact opposite of that in which plants are more happy) and the amount of light (although people often put plants in much less light to take a pic,) there could be problems.

It looks newly repotted to me, judging by the lack of salt deposits at the edges of the soil and the pot, but could be a recent cutting. I see nothing wrong with the pot size, as long as the soil drains well, light/temp is sufficient, water is applied at appropriate times. Recommending a better mix is my emphasis to you, Fandog.

Dracaenas are also sensitive to tap water chemicals.

If you'd like to read more about container soils, this info may be enlightening. Belated "welcome," BTW, just realized you just registered today.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 1:32PM
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Thanks for the advice. At the time I repotted it I had a smaller pot to put it in but the root system was huge so I had to put it in a larger pot. I also didn't have any soil mix so I used a pot with soil I previously used for a tomato plant. Is it ok if I repot again into a better soil mix even if I just repotted two weeks ago?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 1:07AM
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Sooner the better. I would just put it in a smaller pot with 1:1 indoor potting soil and perlite. No need for fancy soil, but that's just my opinion. Have all my plants in that combo and they're doing excellent. Easy to water as well.

You can trim the roots a little too if need be. But do not use that same pot. Besides being to big it's just, well, to me it looks ridiculous. Sorry, just had to be the one to say it. Also takes up far too much room and it's too heavy to easily move around, gets in the way of things, uses up valuable space. Requires too much water... If that soil is outdoor soil it'll be infested with critters too. In that case I'd wash all that soil off the roots to the point of it being just bare roots to make sure the critters are gone. Then carefully put in new fresh indoor soil.

Even the pot behind it would be too big for this plant. It needs to be a smaller pot. The pot behind it is so big for that plant that it detracks you from actually seeing the plant itself, which kinda defeats the purpose of having a plant in the first place. It too could be 2x smaller at the very least. Infact, you could put both plants in that one pot in the back of the picture and it would still be almost 2x as big as it should be.

* rant over, sorry, just a pet peave of mine :/ *

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 10:24AM
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I know the soil is not ideal just so you all don't think I'm totally clueless. I was given a pot full plants and did some quick transplanting to see what I had to work with and unfortunately I just stuck this in a huge pot with garden soil because at the time I didn't have anything else. I will repot with a more porous soil mix soon. Thanks for all the advice. As far as pruning this goes (I know I have a long time to wait) but if you prune the top will it branch out more?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 12:57AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Fandog,

I don't believe this plant will branch out, not its natural growth habit.

Well if the root ball was being enough, then yes, a larger pot would be in order, unless one trims the roots some. Others here sound more experienced than I w/ this plant.

Purple, I'm sorry you feel my answer was so incomplete. It touched on the important point. Some of us have less time than others to post answers here, I mostly don't have the time for lengthy, detailed explanations anymore, so it's good that other folks can elaborate when I can't.

Sometimes Purp, a cigar is just a cigar & one needn't read anything else into it.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 10:07AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Sorry to interrupt, pirate is right that branching isnt natural but you can cut the head off if the plant grows too tall. the cut head will root in water like its relative dracaena sanderiana or lucky bamboo

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Thought this might add interest. :)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 12:17PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

that branching happend when they removed the terminal growing tip

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 1:37PM
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