The Q&A Archives: Tips Turning Brown

Question: I am trying to get some help on two things.
First I have no idea what type of plant it is. The trunk is about 4 inches around and no flowers. Instead of branches it has one or two outshoots where an indoor looking plant with long narrow leaves comes out. They are around 12 inches in length or longer and are about three inches wide.
Second the tips are turning brown and I need some help to save them. The plant is located in my bedroom where it receives no direct sunlight and moderate light during the day. The temp is around 70 to the high 80s.
Even a list of possible plants would be of great help so I can find out what type of plant it is and how to better take of it.

Thank you very much,

Answer: I think you're growing a Dracaena. There are many varieties, some with stripes and some with solid green foliage. With age the main stem becomes woody - almost like a trunk - and foliage emerges from near the top of the trunk and is strap-like. Your library should have houseplant books and I'll bet you can find a picture of a Dracaena similar to yours in one of the books. If it is a Dracaena, the leaf margins will turn brown if the plant is kept in too cool (such as in a draft), or if salts have accumulated in the soil. You can leach excess salts by flooding the soil with fresh water, allowing it to freely drain, waiting 30 minutes and flooding it again, then waiting 30 minutes and flooding it a third time. If you leach the soil every 3-6 months, excess salts shouldn't build up in the soil. Best wishes with your plant!

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