Ask a Question forum→Houseplant spindly growth, pruning suggestions?

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Name: Dave Dorsett
Evanston, Illinois
As always, advice much appreciated!
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DaveDorsett
May 18, 2020 12:51 PM CST
Hi, this plant is about 6 months old, I just repotted it as the folks at the nursery told me to wait for spring. I gets a decent amount of light, but all the new growth (approx the upper half of what you can see is new) is very spindly, thin, seems bigger branch/stem distance between new leaves. Ideas on pruning (or any other ideas, feeding, watering, anything that jumps out as possibly needed!) would be greatly appreciated!
Dave

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[Last edited by DaveDorsett - May 18, 2020 12:52 PM (+)]
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
May 18, 2020 2:40 PM CST
Overall, I think it looks fine as it has kept all its leaves.
Extra space between leaves can be a clue the plant wants more light (etiolation)

Dracaena of some kind?
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[Last edited by sallyg - May 18, 2020 2:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
May 19, 2020 12:59 AM CST
I agree That's a very nice plant! Sally's advice is good, more light. Otherwise, I think it's doing great! I vote for dracaena, too.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 19, 2020 8:57 AM CST
Your plant is a variegated Dracaena reflexa.

Its new growth is stretching a bit due to the reduced light it gets in your home compared to the stronger overhead light it received in the nursery greenhouse. There is nothing you can do about that. The location there is fine.

The individual stems will continue to get taller and some of the older lower leaves will die back as they age. Any stem can be shortened by pruning back to any height. New growth will emerge subsequently start when you make the pruning cut and grow upward from there. Pruning will keep it from getting too tall or leggy.

I am concerned about the ill-advised repotting that was not necessary. How much of the original soil did you remove when you repotted? Or did you leave the rootball intact?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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