Dracaena Cane Shriveling

keltic_pickleSeptember 20, 2010

I've got a Dracaena Janet Craig (or maybe Lisa?), which seems to be doing fine, though lately I've noticed that the canes are starting to show a little bit of wrinkling, as you can see in the somewhat lousy picture I took with my cell phone.

I've had the plant for a few years and it's in a very good substrate which drains well. From a somewhat logical standpoint, it would seem that this could be caused by underwatering, but I wanted to see if any of you had experienced this, and if you could offer any insight.


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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If you think about how smooth and unblemished the cortex (outer covering - skin) of young cuttings usually is, and the changes it goes through as the almost herbaceous outer 'skin' turns to bark, you can imagine that 'might' be what you're witnessing. I can't say for sure that what I suggested it might be is what you're seeing, but the fissures, cracks, and corky flaking pieces that make up bark have to start sometime. Is this occurring low on the stems - on the oldest and woodiest parts of the plant?


    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 6:00PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

OP said "in the somewhat lousy picture I took with my cell phone. "

Nothing wrong with the camera. The focus is fine, but it's a tad behind the stem you wanted in the picture. Perhaps you just plain can't get as close as you were trying to be.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 6:26PM
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Hello, I have a Janet Craig Dracenea also, which has some problems with tipping at the edges. This type of plant is prone to that, however - due to its broad, strappy leaves with pointed egdes. While the cane of my plant has not had any issues like yours, I will try to help the best I can!

If the cane is appearing to shrivel, I find with many plants, esp. of the cane type (Warneckii dracenea, Lucky bamboo etc.) this means they are in need of water! Some cacti also 'wrinkle' up, as a signal saying, 'I need water!' I did experience this with a few of my plants before. Upon watering my Lucky Bamboo, the canes were no longer shriveled on the surface. Think of the plant's skin like our own skin - whenever it gets wrinkled or dry, we have to drink some water to replenish lost moisture. Do you keep your JC very moist? I find my plant needs quite a bit of water even though its planted in a fast draining medium!

In short, try watering your plant. My JC droops a bit whenever I forget to water it for a little while. It sits on top of the TV in my living room, so that whenever I can't see the screen very well anymore, I know its time to water! I hope this helps!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 1:06PM
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Thanks everyone. Yes, I can only imagine that it needs more water. It's definitely not an overwatering situation. Will try to give it a good soak tomorrow and we'll see. I don't think that it's the beginnings of forming the bark, Al.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 8:18PM
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I don't mean to sound different, but if I took a picture of mine, it looks eactly like that.

The problem was that I let in dry way beyond the point of dry,neglected it far too long until I noticed it started to shrivel..
I then watered it for the first time in weeks, which seems to have made it worst since I think the roots are trying to come back after they died, if they are not rotted...You may want to look at the roots and make sure you are getting a good amount of white ones..
I have two growing in the same pot, and one made it and looks smoth now, the other is struggling with the wrinkles..The roots to the healthy one are white, the other, just starting to turn from brown to white..Good luck..It might make it..

I will post a picture soon to show you mine. The same can happen to plumeria too stems too..


    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 12:45PM
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One other thing....

These plants can live for weeks on end without water, feeding on the canes themsleves until it's final demise...Many plants with lot's of water in their stems, trunks,and canes can do so...This one is notorious for being able to ignore, but for only so long...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 12:50PM
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Hey guys, do older Janet Craig's typically have a long, woody stem they develop when have been growing a long, long time? I have seen photos of some that have many canes (probably several plants are in the pot) and several full bunches of leaves--all of varying heights....they start to look like palm trees! Very thick healthy stems too. Mine is too small to look like that....any tips on making them very tall and palm like??

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    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 4:24AM
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Houseplantlover..Actually, D. JC's trunk remains green. D. deremensis, 'Lisa' turns woody as it matures. JC has broader and glossier leaves than Lisa.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 1:23AM
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