Repotting dracaena and mealybugs

plumeriasJuly 2, 2013

Hi everyone! I have had this dracaena plant I got from ikea at LEAST 5 years ago, and I know it is definitely root bound. I always delayed repotting it because honestly, even though I've read article after article of instructions, I feel like I'm gonna mess up and kill my plant. So please, pretend I'm a 5 year old and include the type of soil I should get, including brands if possible! I kinda want it to get bigger, so I guess I need a new pot? How can I get the "limbs" to look more neat? Can I secure them with a wire or twin or something?

The other thing is, he's contracted mealybugs. I discovered the bottom leaves were falling off dramatically and all this white powder came out of it.. MEALYBUGS! Little demons. Since then (maybe 3 months ago?) I've regularly been spraying it with a diluted rubbing alcohol + water spray and closely inspecting the leaf crevices to smoosh out any I can see with a q-tip. He seems to be doing much better, and the mealy bugs are still there but decreasing. Are there any other natural/organic remedies I can try? I've heard about neem oil and might look into that.

Thank you!

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I think it looks fantastic! Here's some unpotted ones showing the roots. Started as severed-trunk cuttings, that grew these root systems within a year.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 5:31PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Here's one after trimming, you can be quite aggressive. Even after trimming, a larger pot would likely soon be filled with roots. As your plant looks much more top-heavy, I would take that into consideration, leaving more large, woody roots in places where they will help keep the plant from leaning while new roots form and roam into the new, surrounding soil. I prefer to not have to stake plants if avoidable.

This discussion is a great place to get started reading about making roots happy (which is necessary for great plants.)

P.S. The bag of stuff is for the ground garden, not for in pots...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 5:37PM
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