Ask a Question forum: Dracaena marginata rainbow Help

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Name: Sebastian
Los Angeles,CA
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sebastiamrodrigue661
Feb 25, 2016 3:12 PM CST
Bought Dracaena Rainbow yesterday at nursery. It was kept indoors and planted in lava rock soil. Have a few questions since I'm new to plants.

1. Will a 48" 2 T5HO bulbs at 6700k be enough light or over kill?

2. Does this plant do well in direct artificial light listed above?

3. What type of water Tap (pretty hard water), distilled water, or remineralized ro water?

4. What fertilizers and how often?

All comments will be greatly appreciated.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 25, 2016 9:50 PM CST
Hi and welcome. That's a really pretty Dracaena. I'm probably not the best person to answer your question, but since nobody else has stepped up, I'll tell you what I know:

These plants grow here in Florida in regular (sandy, well draining) garden soil. Outside in the garden. It rains like crazy here in the summer and there is non-stop thick humidity from June through most of October. Is your plant growing in nothing but lava rock? They're not really desert plants. If you re-pot it into that nice IKEA pot in your picture, use regular potting mix, and mix the lava rock from the original pot into the new mix. That way it will drain well but at least hold a little moisture. Don't water it until the soil feels dry to your finger, at least an inch down in the pot. Yes! Stick your finger in the soil to tell when to water. It will depend upon how warm it is, how cool at night, and how humid it is (where are you, btw? ) as to how often to water, so you can't just say "I'm going to water this plant every Friday . . . " unless you have a perfectly uniform temperature and humidity.

They will do fine in some sun or shade here. I've never grown anything under lights except seedlings, but another guy on the Orchids forum uses those T5HO bulbs as supplemental lights in his greenhouses so it should give great light for your plant. But watch for signs of either a) leaves getting paler green means not enough light or b) leaves getting brown areas or edges means the light is too close to the leaves and they are burning. Oh, and don't forget this plant will grow taller, so . . well can you move the light up higher as the plant gets taller? Start out giving it no more than 3 or 4 hours/day of light. Is there NO other light source (window) near the plant? Natural light is much more gentle, not to mention gradual, than an artificial light turned on to Full On, then off again.

I wouldn't water it with your tap water if it is hard - usually this means it has a high pH and that can inhibit the plant from taking up some of the minerals in the plant food you use. Either distilled or the R/O water would be better. Rain water is the best if you can collect some. A balanced, soluble plant food once a month or so should be enough. These guys are not heavy feeders. Again, if it gets pale, increase the food a bit and the light duration.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sebastian
Los Angeles,CA
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sebastiamrodrigue661
Feb 26, 2016 9:07 AM CST
Thank you Elaine. I am in southern California. I don't have a very big window so that is the reason I am planning on using artificial light. Since this is considered a low light plant I am skeptical on using my T5 fixture on this. That's why I was asking. I guess I can try it and see what happens since this plant is a outside plant as well.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 26, 2016 9:32 AM CST
Right. They certainly can take *some* high light, but be sure to keep your T5 at least a couple of feet away from the foliage or as I said above, I think you might see some burning of the leaves. It's good that there is at least one window.

Btw, you could put your location info into your personal profile, and then it will always appear when you post. (see the upper right corner of mine?) This is helpful to people when you have a question - your day lengths, humidity and light levels for instance, and ambient temps etc. will affect your plants and the answers to your questions.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sebastian
Los Angeles,CA
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sebastiamrodrigue661
Feb 26, 2016 9:54 AM CST
Thank you Elaine very knowledgeable. Planning on using the t5 fixture as experiment will give updates.
Name: Sebastian
Los Angeles,CA
Image
sebastiamrodrigue661
Feb 29, 2016 9:39 PM CST
So I did this you guys ... what do u think?

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Mar 1, 2016 12:17 PM CST
Looks good, but keep an eye on it for signs of burning - crispy brown leaf tips or edges. Less light, or light for shorter intervals should help if that happens. Simulate a garden situation with the sun peeking through tree branches at intervals . . you know what I mean?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Mar 1, 2016 3:47 PM CST
I agree It looks good. Your plant should love that. Thumbs up
Name: Sebastian
Los Angeles,CA
Image
sebastiamrodrigue661
Mar 1, 2016 4:26 PM CST
Thank you all you guys give great advice. Sorry about the negativity at first. I was a bit frustrated . I'll keep you guys updated on progress. Thank everyone again. Green Grin!
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Mar 1, 2016 9:37 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.

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