Dracaena Frangrans Sol Cane................

elkay_gwOctober 29, 2011

I bought this plant Apr 1st - it's about 14 inches tall and there are 3 stems growing from the cane. I keep looking at it wondering why the leaves are wavy/rippled looking - it doesn't look normal to me. I have had dracaena deremensis warneckii and dracaena marginata for years, but never a fragrans. The few pics I found of a "Sol Cane" show wide, smooth leaves - not wavy. It's still in the pot I bought it in (about 4") and the growing medium is very spongy/peaty type stuff. I wait until it is basically all dry before watering again. I slipped it out of the pot to look and there are some roots encircling the bottom. It was outside all summer on a shaded deck and I fertilized it with fish emulsion and the next time with some diluted Miracle Grow.

Can you see what I mean? This doesn't look right. Any idea what causes the leaves to look this way?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If indeed it's NOT normal genetics at work, there are a couple of nutritional deficiencies that cause curling, cupping, or puckering; and plants grown in more light than they prefer often exhibit a similar response because it reduces the plant's photosynthesizing surface.

Al

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 1:39PM
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elkay_gw

Well, that's interesting. I can't imagine a deck shaded by trees could be too much light...........but, what do I know!?

What kind of nutritional deficiencies were you thinking of and what can I try to correct the problem?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 2:31PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If that's your growing arrangement (light), then that's probably not what it is, so disregard that possibility. I should have asked if aphids are visible on the plant, as they can cause foliage distortions as well.

Deficiencies of Calcium, Boron (in particular), Zinc, Molybdenum (in particular), and Copper can all cause foliage distortions that vary by plant; but rather than try to isolate and treat individual deficiencies or toxicities, which almost always ends up doing more harm than good for the hobby grower, it's better to rearrange you nutritional supplementation so you're ensuring your plants are getting everything they need, in the most favorable ratio.

What are you fertilizing with now, Elkay?

Al

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 12:40PM
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elkay_gw

Well, I have quite a few plants, so I don't really keep an exact log, but during the summer I fertilized with fish emulsion 5-1-1 a couple of times and probably two times with All Purpose Miracle-Gro 24-8-16 which I dilute so it's weaker than the directions call for.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 1:13PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Sorry - I missed that in your first post. The hooked leaf tips look a lot like a Ca deficiency, but it's really hard to say. Even the pros often have difficulty diagnosing nutritional deficiencies with plant in hand. If it IS a Ca deficiency, fertilizing with a soluble fertilizer isn't likely to fix it, unless it has Ca in it (few do - Foliage-pro does). If it was my plant, I'd cut the bottom 1/3 of the roots off and score the sides of the root mass several times with a sharp utility knife, then pot up a size until next summer, & do a full repot then. For the potting up, I'd use a soil similar in texture to what it's in now, making sure it has lime in it, and change to a bark-based mix or something that offers very good aeration & drainage when it's repotted.

Al

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 6:04PM
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elkay_gw

Thanks, Al.....you are a wealth of botanical information - I appreciate it! :)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 1:53PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Al

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:11PM
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