Various House Plants

LKarasz4July 15, 2012

Hi all! I'm new here, and obviously seeking expert advice! I have several different types of house plants and the ones like the Dracaena and Chinese Evergreen grow, but not well. My Dracaena grows tall, but never develops a thick stem so its very top-heavy. I've cut it a couple times, but now I have 3 skinny, top-heavy plants. :)

My Chinese Evergreen USED to grow straight up and be beautiful, but now it kind of grows in a spiral. It gets about 8" high and then starts to droop and then grow in a spiral. I've tried staking it, but I think the problem is in something I'm doing because it never needed staking before.

I'm going to be transplanting all my house plants today, but looking for input as to how I can grow healthier, stronger plants. Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Lorie

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Dzitmoidonc(6)

Talk to us about the light. The three basic needs of a plant are soil, water, and light. I assume they plants have dirt, and watering rarely determines shape. Light, or lack of it, can make plants twist, lean or etiolate. The amount of light at 2 or 3 ft from a window is generally not enough to grow very much very well.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:28AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Totally agree, Dzit. And I think repotting will do wonders for your plants, great idea. Be sure to remove all of the old soil and trim any circling or too-long roots.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:51AM
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birdsnblooms

Lorie...do you know the variety of your Dracaena?

I agree DZ and Purple, too. Toni

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:45AM
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LKarasz4

Well, lighting is generally very good. This weekend has been overcast, so I took all my babies outside and hosed them down so they're still outside getting some fresh air.

The Drac is where it usually sits - in front of a window with a lot of filtered light. The window in the picture shows my front porch; however, I have 3 windows above that allow light into the foyer so it's getting plenty of soft light. It doesn't seem to like direct light.

Hopeful, I have no idea what kind of Drac it is, but its in this picture - it's also called a corn plant I think.

The Chinese Evergreen sits below the other window in the picture (red looking room). That is my back porch and it gets a lot of light there as my house sits N/S so it gets all day sun.

Thanks everyone for your prompt replies, its nice to get advice before I actually do something. :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:19AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Going outside for a hosing is an awesome idea!

Plants that can't hold themselves up haven't been exposed to enough wind resistance to develop strength. Dracs are known for doing this inside. Do you have a shady, not-too-windy spot where it could spend some time outside? That should help it gain some strength.

If there's a piece you want to trim off of the "heavier side," the removed piece may grow another plant for you. (Feel free to show more pics if you'd like to!) This may also cause the mama plant to make 1 or more new tops. I've done this with D. marginata, hopefully your plant is as willing to make new roots on cuttings and shoots from trunks. I'm sure someone who's done it will have something to say soon.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:04PM
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tropicbreezent

Dracaenas like to grow up into strong light. The weaker the light they're in the more they'll stretch into where they 'see' the light coming from. If it's growing that fast for you then indoors you'll be stuck with constantly trimming it to keep it under control.

Out in direct sunlight you'll find it will stay shorter and fill out with more leaves. In the end, though, it will always end up tall, they're that sort of a plant. Where they naturally grow in rainforest if it's too dark they grow slender/tall and fall over. Then they'll root from the top of the plant and start again, doing the same thing until they get into bright enough light. Yours are going through that process.

By Chinese Evergreen I guess you mean Aglaonema. What you're describing is more like the growth habit of Costus. Aglaonemas don't grow very tall and usually have a thick enough trunk to support them. If it's growing like a Costus then that'd have to be low light again. They don't like as strong a light as Dracaena, but at least a very bright shade.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:14PM
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