why is my dracaena janet craig dying?

violetta1976(8 Portland OR)September 27, 2007

Please help?

At the beginning of August I cut the stalks of my Janet Craig pretty dramatically so that I could fit it in my car and take it home from my office. One of the stalks browned out from the top down, and I eventually removed it from the pot and considered it dead. Now it looks like one of the other stalks is doing the same.

At around the same time as the big chop, I unpotted the plant and filled in the bottom of the pot with more soil (it had previously only been half full). I used what I had - a mixture of cactus and african violet soil. My thinking was that the AV soil would retain a small amount of moisture while the cactus soil would provide good drainage.

I haven't watered it at all since chopping it, since someone on this forum advised withholding water until new growth appeared.

It's in a fairly low-light area. There's a south-facing sliding glass door about 20-25 feet away from it, and a north-facing picture window an equal distance away.

What are your thoughts? It was showing signs of starting to sprout new growth before this started happening.

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Water it! But get it into a lot more sun than it's had - what might look bright to you indoors is very dull to a plant, and what looks dull outdoors (to us) is still very much brighter to a plant than indoors.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 5:07AM
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Not only water it, but soak the entire pot in a bucket or sink until soil is thoroughly soaked. It will take time to rehydrate the soil. After about half hour, let it drain.
Two months is way to long to go without water. Plus, as lucy said more light.

Just to be sure we are talking about the same thing though, you are talking about the bottom of the plant--the part with ROOTS, right? Either way, at this point get some water to it pronto. Sandy

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 6:03PM
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The advice not to water your JC was way off..if the soil was dry, it should have been given a drink.
JC is one of the easiest dracaenas around..And fast-growing, too.
I agree it needs more light..is there anyway you can set closer to the window/s? Even a bright north would do fine. (if plant is sitting in window) 25' away from a window is low-low light. Other than mushrooms, I doubt plants will grow/thrive so far away. How about artificial lighting? Is there any above? Toni

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 6:44PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

The brown dying part is actually at the top, but I'll start giving it some water right away. I have a spot for it about 5 feet from the south facing window, so I'll move it over there. Thank you everybody!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 10:01PM
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Violetta, someone told you to "CUT BACK on water till you see signs of growth." That doesn't mean NO water for 2 months!

The reason for cutting back would have been because there were no leaves to draw and evaporate water from. So less water is needed. But the roots and stem still needed to be kept alive= water well, then wait till soil dries.

Hope you can save this one. They are nice plants. If not, you've learned something useful for the next time. Sandy

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 11:24PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

I think I was waiting for the soil to dry out, and it never happened. :0(

I watered last night and moved it to a sunnier location. Relatively speaking, anyway. Now that the rains have started I doubt we'll see any sun for a while!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 4:48PM
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