House plant needs help

sicembearsOctober 18, 2012

I'm not sure what is going on here but it's been steadily getting worse. What should I do?


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Hi Sice
any chance you are watering to much?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 4:59PM
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Just re-posting your photo right side up.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 5:00PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

We can't see the mix the plant is in but my guess is too much water. Possibly also insufficient light. Can you say where exactly it is located in the room? Since it's near the TV I assume it's not near a window. Also some computer equipment nearby? Maybe too hot and dry too?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 5:01PM
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raelynn09(5b MI)

I'm going to guess (not an expert here) that it's a watering problem. We'd really like to know what kind of soil it's in, though. That's usually the biggest culprit!
How do you water (how often and how much, tap/distilled water)? Do you fertilize? And how's the light situation?

Browning tips could be a nutrient/water problem? It may be from over-fertilization, or tap water could be giving an overdose of fluoride and other chemicals. From the drooping and yellowing I want to say it's getting too much water, also.

I suggest you do a good inspection. Could it possible be a disease or bug problem? I would check the soil for critters or root rot. Also check where the leaves connect to the stalk - mealy bugs like to hideout there. It'd be white fuzzy stuff. However, from the photo I don't think that's it.

Again, I'm no expert, but this is what I've come to learn about Draceanas, which are one of my favorite plants. Shhh!- don't tell the others! :)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 6:35PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

That plant looks like it's gotten way too dry, then way too wet a few times. The growth tips don't look healthy so I agree with the suggestion to check for pests.

Totally agree with the suggestions for more light and that there's a problem with the roots. Have you had this a while? Does the pot have a drain hole? Ever repotted it?

If you trim off the brown parts of the leaves, your plant will look at lot better. Brown leaves can't heal back to green. This will also allow you to know if more damage shows up.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:21AM
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The pot is currently dry.

I don't see any bugs.

My guess is it has never been fertilized knowing what I know about my x.

How often do you water it? What should I do moving forward. Repotting problem isn't an option.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:00PM
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I have to agree with Purple. Looks like your Dracaena Marginata has been heavily watered, then left to dry too long.

Marginata should be in well-draining soil..if repotting isn't an option, give a drink until water runs through drainage holes...pot has drainage holes, right?

Before watering again, allow soil to dry thorougly between drinks. If possible, lift plant to test weight before and after watering.
Insert a stake/skewer deep within soil. If skewer comes out wet, lower soil is moist/wet, so withhold watering, then retest a few days later.

Soil shouldn't be so dry it cracks though. Upper soil will start looking crumbly when soil starts to dry.

My D. marginata's are watered similar to succulents..not too dry though.

Marginata needs at the minimum, medium bright light. No direct south or west 'summer' sun, but from now until Feb/March, your marginata will do well in the brightest window. (depending on your location.)

Don't worry about fertilizer now. It's best not to fertilize a stressed plant...also, D. marginata is slow-growing, so until days lenghten, there's no need to add fertilizer until sun is once again shining.
If you feel it's a must, wait until your tree is settled, healthy.

A few yellow leaves are common, 'this time of year,' but if it happens regularly, there's a problem.

One reason insects were mentioned...when Spider Mites attack a plant, more often than not, leaves yellow.
Look for fine webbing. Mites are difficult to see so inspect thoroughly. Sometimes a magnifying glass is needed. A single mite is very hard to detect with the human eye..only after mites group together and erect webs can they be spotted without the use of a gadget.
Problem is by then, mites are more difficult ridding, and neighboring plants will also have mites.

If it was my plant, the first thing I'd do is remove yellow leaves. Clip brown tips leaving about 1/8" of brown on ends..
Water w/water that's been sitting out at least 24 hours.
Shower foliage w/o hitting soil..misting will help somewhat.
Place plant in a brightly lit window, in a room that isn't too hot or stuffy.
Water when soil is dry.

In the future, repot in a sufficient size pot with well-draining soil.

Your Dracaena isn't all that bad, Bears..just needs a little work.

Darn those ex's.... Toni

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:43PM
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This Web site is amazing. Thank you guys for your help. I'll let you know if I need more help.

Seriously appreciate the help.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 6:50PM
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