Ask a Question forum: Dracaena plant help!

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lauren932
Nov 16, 2014 6:06 AM CST
Hi I have a 11 year old Dracaena plant which has always been very healthy. It started getting some fungus gnats so I changed the soil. Since re-potting the plant has lost all it's leaves. Is it dying and can I save it? It has one leaf left and the tops of the branches are still green.
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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Nov 16, 2014 6:21 AM CST
Welcome! lauren 932!
I think the tips of your plants are too far gone. Luckily, Dracaenas resprout easily when cut and you might have a more interesting plant that way. Personally, I would cut back to about 8". Cut the remaining stems into 6" pieces, and place these in the soil around the mother plant. They should root easily and you'll have a more bushy display.
Good luck!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Nov 20, 2014 2:01 PM CST
I still see some green parts on the stem..so it can be saved..just do as Hetty suggested.

But you may want to move it away from the window after you do it. It is getting too cold. It may take awhile since it is cold season, but it will come back eventually. Be careful with watering on the cut off parts, just damp moist soil, not heavy watering, till new growth appears, otherwise it may rot at the soil line. I find this plant actually likes to be on a drier side most of the time.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Nov 20, 2014 4:13 PM CST
I agree
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Nov 20, 2014 9:08 PM CST
Fungus gnats usually appear when the soil stays way too wet. I grow Dracaena marginata: http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=Dracaena+marginat... and let mine dry out quite a bit between waterings; they are very forgiving plants. As long as the roots are not rotted I'm sure your plant will survive; you can cut back those stems and if they are not soft and mushy, just stick them in the soil in the same pot as the mother plant. It can take months and months but eventually the main stem of the mother plant will produce new branches and growth; usually just below the cut area as shown in this photo:
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Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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karmatree
Nov 26, 2014 12:56 PM CST
Howdy, the Dracaena does like dry feet. And I noticed that one of mine acts like a deciduous tree in that it sheds some leaves when it gets chilly and looks really sad. But it's always fine when the days get a little longer. Def cut way back on the water during the cold season. I think they also drop leaves when they're stressed out, like after planting. I have a big tricolor that I just planted outside and it lost most of its leaves. But it's still healthy...it is probably just having a little protest Smiling
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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Nov 26, 2014 9:27 PM CST
I would do a few things first move it away from the cold window, and second as others subjested let the soil dry out. place it under a growlight if you can.
Name: Lindsay Moore
Guelph, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
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lavenderandjade
Nov 30, 2014 1:06 PM CST
Does anybody know at one point too much humidity can hurt a dracaena marginata?
Lindsay of Lavender&Jade
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Nov 30, 2014 6:38 PM CST
Welcome, Lindsay! Welcome!
Recommended humidity is around 30%.
And I have to chuckle when I see that you're from Guelph. I haven't seen reference to that area in years. I used to work for a company that provided computers to the Guelph University library; somewhere around here I have a Guelph T-shirt. Smiling
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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Nov 30, 2014 7:07 PM CST
i think the soil choice you had was bad, dracaeca dont like wet or clumping growing medium. sense its so stressed i reccomend cutting it back hard and changing back into what you had before.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Nov 30, 2014 7:15 PM CST
@lavenderandjade, I don't think too much humidity can hurt Dracaena marginata. I live on the coast of Florida where the average humidity fluctuates throughout the year (anywhere from 50 % to 95 % depending on the month and time of day) and Dracaena marginata thrives here. That being said, the plant does require a well draining soil; you don't want it sitting in water which will cause root rot and the demise of the plant.
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Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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karmatree
Dec 2, 2014 6:15 AM CST
I agree with plantladylin....there are SO many Dracaena growing in my neighborhood here (my house included) and it is very sticky and hot in the summer. And they all look old and established, so I think high humidity is fine. Maybe repot it in soil intended for cacti/succulents? I make my own using sand and coir (coconut husk dust...but isn't "dusty"...more crumbly and nice). You can find coir at hydroponic stores or terrarium/reptile shops.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Dec 2, 2014 8:28 AM CST
Lindsay, welcome to ATP! I agree with Lin also. I've had various Dracaenas for many years and I can assure you they love humid AL much more than than OH. Plants go outside in March/April, back inside in Oct/Nov.

Lauren, from what you described, I would just let this plant dry out at this point, until the pot feels MUCH lighter when picked up. Since it was just repotted, I wouldn't do any trimming until spring, probably May, as far north as you are.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Dec 3, 2014 7:42 PM CST
I agree There's no such thing as too much humidity for dracaenas. I did have a bad experience with a gift plant potted in that "moisture control" potting soil that has those moisture gel crystals that hold water. Can't use that stuff in humid conditions, for sure, unless you're growing plants that really like wet feet.
Elaine

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