Chloriosis or a more serious issue?

paul_(z5 MI)August 3, 2013

I've had this Dracaena (lost the tag somewhere along the line ... don't remember if it was a 'Pandora' or just what) for a number of years now. Over the past year or so, I have been noticing a great deal of yellowing/yellow spotting on the leaves.

New leaves emerge "clean" but do eventually develop the spotting. Plant is grown indoors in an area that could be considered "bright shade", I imagine. Have not noticed any bug issues like spider mites and definitely no scale or mealies.


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Paul...Hope I'm wrong, but the Dracaena looks like leaf spotting.

I found this: Leaf Spotting:

Fungi and bacteria cause leaf spot on Dracaena sp.

Wet, humid conditions favor leaf spotting.

Reduce moisture on leaves. Water from below foliage.
â¢Remove and destroy infected leaves.
â¢Move to a location with better light, and add Epsom salts for the yellow-spot condition.

Paul, I disagree watering from below/saucer. I'd water on top but make sure soil dries before re-watering.

The leaves next to spotted leaves look perfect. No spots, or none I see. Toni

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 3:20PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I think that those directions mean to water the surface of the soil and not to hold the watering container or faucet over the leaves when watering. No misting and no getting the foliage wet. Many fungal diseases of the leaves can be made worse AND spread by water.

Paul, what happens to these spotted leaves as they age? Does the leaf eventually turn brown or just stay spotted but healthy looking? Do the spots stay a simple yellow or do they turn brown?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 4:18PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Rhizo & Toni, thanks for the comments. Perhaps the following will further aid you and others in helping me to determine what the problem here is.

Rhizo, many of the older leaves are much more heavily spotted though it does NOT look like a case in which the spots increase much if at all in size -- just far more numerous. The yellow areas do not turn brown nor are those areas pitted/sunken on either side of the leaf.

The eldest leaves typically yellow up still more then wither/die but don't know if that might not just be "old age" (though I do not do much in the way of Dracaena, the leaf death phase seemed to be a normal situation). In all cases, the spotting is far and away more prevalent on the distal half of the leaf.

On extremely rare occasions, the plant does get placed outside during a good rain, but there is no sudden proliferation of spotting afterwards. It does not get misted -- ever. It has never been given a foliar fertilizer nor do the leaves typically get wet during watering -- and the upper leaves never get wet.

Humidity in my apt is rarely high -- most of the year it is horrendously low (typically around 30%RH during the late autumn through late spring).

Plant is currently about 2ft tall. Have had it for two or three years now. Leaf pictured in OP is located in the upper 1/4 to 1/3 of the plant. Leaves -- the good the bad and the ugly are present in over the upper 2/3 or so of the stem.

Should the spotting simply be a case of nutrient deficiency or even a fungal/bacteria issue, the situation is dealable. However, should this be an indication of something more serious like a virus, then it will be time for the dumpster.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 4:19PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Not a virus.

Please post image of entire plant.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 10:13PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Lowest leaves

Plant normally does not reside outside, only done so for the sake of photographing. :)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 1:28PM
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Paul, don't know if this is the problem or not.

I'm ashamed admitting, 'I have a striped Dracaena in the upstairs hallway,' that gets watered whenever I remember to water. In other words, infrequent waterings.

After looking at your photos, I went upstairs to check Dracaena's leaves. Sure enough, foliage is similiar to yours.
Please do not think I'm insinuating you do not care for your plant....

Dracaena soil dries to the point leaves brown, gets as hard as cement. Then, it'll either go in the shower or watered from the top.
So, basically, my Dracaena gets irregular waterings, which IMO, is the reason its leaves have mars.

Again Paul, I'm not saying you don't take care of your plant, but there's a chance you need to water differently...more or less.
Fertilize once a month..'nof if sick.' Half-strength.

BTW, my other Dracaenas are watered regularly..they don't have spots..They are misted daily, unlike the D in the upstairs hallway.
Some older/bottom leaves brown and fall, but I believe that's natural. Google 'Dracaena tree pictures.'
Growing in-ground, lower Dracs have bark in place of foliage.

For your sake, I hope your Drac is a watering issue, nothing serious.

I LOVE your palm!!! Cycad? It's most beautiful. That guy has to be up in age. Toni

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 2:49PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Mine typically gets watered once a week -- the watering schedule most of my plants are on. Fertilizing, on the other hand, I am very lax about doing. (Hence my suspicion that this might be a chloriosis issue)

I LOVE your palm!!! Cycad? It's most beautiful. That guy has to be up in age. Toni

LOL! There is no palm or cycad in that photo, Toni. :D I believe you are referring to the 2 plants in the background behind the Dracaena, yes? Those are bulb plants ... or more accurately growing from "corms". They are Amorphophallus riverii 'Konjac'. I'll toss on a post featuring them for those for whom they might be of interest.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 3:08PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Hmm, no further thoughts?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 5:25PM
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a google: 'dracaena chlorosis'
gives some interesting answers for possible causes:
temps above 90F, very low temps, fluoride ,
ph dropping out of range...66.5.. could give chlorosis that is not fixed by any ferts/iron,etc.
I like to look at production guides from .edu for tech info that is otherwise not mentioned much anywhere.
some conditions from other dracaena types might apply too, so you need to read a lot and then try to analyze if it applies. that's what I do, anyway, for most of problems.
once you click on site, do ctl F - that will open a find window on top: type in 'chlorosis', etc to quickly get to relevant points, otherwise it takes lots of reading time.
just as an example see these 2

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 8:09PM
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paul_(z5 MI)


    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 9:57PM
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