Ask a Question forum→Help! Dying Janet Craig Dracaena

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Name: Bree
Ontario
Image
Breezly
May 10, 2020 4:52 AM CST
I've had this Janet Craig Dracaena for many years now. Lately the one side of the plant has started spotting, turning brown and losing leaves. I did a repot about 2 months ago to freshen the soil, but I'm noticing the plants roots at the top of the soil. Is this effecting the plant? Are the roots too exposed? It sits in a window that gets indirect sun, and I water it when I notice the soil is dry. The pot has an inner draining layer. Please help!!
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 10, 2020 10:08 AM CST
Your Janet Craig Compacta is reacting to the repotting that you did and also the subsequent watering.

Contrary to popular belief, soil does not need to be freshened. When you repotted did you leave the original rootball intact or did you remove some of the soil?

How do you decide when to water it and how much do you give it?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Bree
Ontario
Image
Breezly
May 10, 2020 11:22 AM CST
Hi Will!

The soil the plant was in was more like dirt and it didn't seem to properly distribute air or water to the plant so that's why I decided to repot.

The roots were very high up to the stock and very bundled so I didn't remove any root or soil that was around it. I'm not a professional so I didn't feel comfortable removing the tangle.

I water it when I notice the top layer of soil is no longer moist and I would give it about half a spray bottle.

Sometimes when I notice a decline in my plants I try and fix them to the point of making it worse!

Is there anyway of fixing the issues I potentially caused?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 10, 2020 3:03 PM CST
The soil that a plant is grown in is the soil that the roots have adapted to regardless of how it appears to us.

IF - big IF - you can manage to carefully undo the repotting you did by gently removing just the soil you added and moving the intact rootball back into its original pot that would be better long term. Otherwise, managing the watering will be more difficult because the excess soil tends to either absorb the water away from the rootball or to retain the water for too long and suffocate the roots..

All the brown tips that your Compacta has is due to either damage done to the roots during repotting or subsequent issues with watering. The soil around the roots should get water a soon as that soil feels dry to your touch and should be given just enough water so that it lasts for about a week. It is the moisture of the soil in the original rootball that matters, not the surrounding soil that you added.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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