Ask a Question forum: Worms in dracaena

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Name: Planterjoe
Toronto, ON, Canada
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plantsaregreat
Nov 17, 2020 4:36 PM CST
My dracaena has been showing signs of distress (yellowing, browning of leaves) and the leaves have been falling. When I bought this from a local nursery a few months back there were leaves on all the 3 'stems'. However, in the past few weeks, the leaves from two of the three stems have turned brown and fallen off. The leaves on the 3rd stem have already started yellowing/browning.
Thumb of 2020-11-17/plantsaregreat/13112c

I keep this plant indoor and it seems to be getting enough sun. I am water the dracaena only once the top inch of the soil has dried.

One of my other plants got a fungus gnat infestation. I suspected that the dracaena might be infected too. So, I put a mosquito dunk in a gallon of water and let it soak in overnight. Then used this water to water the dracaena. That's when I noticed about 10 or 15 centipede like worms falling out from the bottom of the pot along with the water. I am not sure whether these are fungus gnat larvae, or some helpful worms found in the soil. At any rate, I have put some yellow sticky traps to see whether it catches any adult gnats.
Thumb of 2020-11-17/plantsaregreat/4ba72d

Would be grateful if anyone can help me understand how I can get rid of these worms (or whether I need to!) and share any advice on how to nurse the dracaena back to health. Thank you!
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Nov 17, 2020 5:08 PM CST
Hi plantsaregreat, Welcome!

The narrow leaves of your plant remind me more of Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea), rather than Dracaena. I can't see the pest in your photo clearly but it doesn't look like a worm, it appears to have legs which leads me to think it is indeed a centipede which are a nuisance but will not cause harm to your plant. Centipedes feed on the organic material in soil and I've heard that they do bite (feeling similar to a bee sting), so be careful if you handle them.

I believe the yellow, dropping leaves of your plant is a moisture issue, the soil may be staying too wet at root level. I'd advise allowing the soil to dry longer between watering and see if you notice a difference.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: John
Hollywood, FL (Zone 10b)
serious plant addiction!
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John2468
Nov 18, 2020 8:32 AM CST
I agree
Be nice and....be nice!
Name: Planterjoe
Toronto, ON, Canada
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plantsaregreat
Nov 18, 2020 12:27 PM CST
plantladylin said:Hi plantsaregreat, Welcome!

The narrow leaves of your plant remind me more of Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea), rather than Dracaena. I can't see the pest in your photo clearly but it doesn't look like a worm, it appears to have legs which leads me to think it is indeed a centipede which are a nuisance but will not cause harm to your plant. Centipedes feed on the organic material in soil and I've heard that they do bite (feeling similar to a bee sting), so be careful if you handle them.

I believe the yellow, dropping leaves of your plant is a moisture issue, the soil may be staying too wet at root level. I'd advise allowing the soil to dry longer between watering and see if you notice a difference.


Thank you plantladylin! I've attached a better picture of the plant. While I thought that it was a Dracaena but you are probably correct about it being Spineless Yucca. Thank You!
Thumb of 2020-11-18/plantsaregreat/589b37

I will reduce the watering frequency and report back. I usually water it only once every 25 days, so will it take time to test this one out. I really hope that I can save this plant!
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Nov 18, 2020 12:55 PM CST
LOL, that is a much better photo showing the entire plant and it is indeed a variety of Dracaena, rather than Yucca as I'd first suggested! It looks a lot like Dracaena reflexa 'Riki'
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


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