Ask a Question forum: Found an 8ft Dracaena? - Help me keep it alive! Photos Attached.

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downtownnyc
Nov 2, 2015 9:32 PM CST
Hi Everyone -

I found what I believe to be a Dracaena on my block this weekend - with a 'Free household plants' sign, so I grabbed it. I have no idea how long it was outside for, but I would assume at least 3 or 4 days in about 50 degree Fahrenheit.

It has two stalks, one is about 3 ft and the other is about 8 feet. Very tough feeling.

However, the leaves are all a bit droopy - with roughly 15% of them a crinkled up dark green color. A good amount of the leaves also look a bit wrinkly.

I just want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to make it adjust properly. Should I just give it some time? Does it look over or under watered? The soil did feel wet as an FYI.

Also - is it a Dracaena? (I'm new to this)
Thumb of 2015-11-03/visitor/b931f2
Thumb of 2015-11-03/visitor/d156d4
Thumb of 2015-11-03/visitor/7ccb5d
Thumb of 2015-11-03/visitor/51b04c

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
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Nov 3, 2015 4:15 AM CST
Welcome! downtownnyc
It looks to be a Dracaena yes. It looks like you already repotted it which would have been the first thing I would have suggested. They like a moist atmosphere and misting it daily will surely improve its appearance.

downtownnyc
Nov 3, 2015 9:47 AM CST
@dutchlady1 I actually did not repot it..would that definitely be advised?
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
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Nov 3, 2015 12:36 PM CST
I would; usually when a plant is looking stressed there is something going on with the roots. Since it was someone else's houseplant for a while I would definitely consider repotting it.

downtownnyc
Nov 3, 2015 12:37 PM CST
Great - thank you so much for the follow up. If anybody else has recos will gladly take them as well.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Nov 3, 2015 2:06 PM CST
Hello downtownnyc! I agree with Hetty, try to check the roots below. Maybe the plant has been living in that media for a long time and has compacted so you need to allow the roots to have some breather. You can mix in some perlite or pumice to make the media well draining. Their leaves tend to be dark green color most of the time since it is often grown in low light.

Also when you water this plant, water it thoroughly during the day and allow to drain. Your container has drain holes right? You will have to adjust watering as seasons change, but keep it relatively moist, not soggy. Maybe once a week during winter and a little more when Spring returns. Light levels are lesser during winter, and most houseplants even though indoors tend to slow down too in growth. They will return with better vigor in Spring.

Do you intend to keep that 8 feet height on the tallest one? You can trim that but suggest wait to do it in Spring. New heads will sprout below the cut off part. Then you can also root the top part you have removed.
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
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Nov 3, 2015 2:21 PM CST
I agree with tarev that in time I would cut off the top.

downtownnyc
Nov 3, 2015 2:25 PM CST
This is great info.

Nervous about the re-potting, I'll be honest. Jumping from a few 8" plants to an 8' has me a little nervous.

Yep - I do have a drainage system out of the bottom. I heard that I should water it with about 1 liter, every 7 or so days. Does that make sense?

I do intend to leave the top for now, but great suggestion. And by root, does that mean creating a new plant in a new pot?

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
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Nov 3, 2015 3:13 PM CST
It's really hard to kill one of these Smiling so go ahead and take the plunge on repotting. The plant will thank you.

The watering sounds about right.
And yes, create a second plant by rooting the top; preferably done in spring.

downtownnyc
Nov 3, 2015 3:19 PM CST
OK - I'm gonna give it a shot. Just to spell out what may be the obvious - I should get new soil, or no?

Thank you!
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
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Nov 3, 2015 3:28 PM CST
Preferably, yes. Something that drains well (avoid the ones with water retaining crystals).
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 4, 2015 6:12 AM CST
This might help you feel more confident:
http://purpleinopp.blog.com/2012/09/05/repotting-corn-plant-...
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Nov 4, 2015 12:34 PM CST
Hi downtownnyc, Welcome! from me too!

I agree with Dutchlady (Hetty), the Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans) is a tough plant and will withstand quite a bit of abuse.

*Blush* I have a tall corn plant (an older photo below) that's now looking really, really ratty because it had been sitting in a corner of my back deck without much care this year. A couple of weeks ago I moved it from the deck and I've been trying to decide whether I want to keep it or put it out on the curb for yard trash pick up. The plastic pot is split all the way down the side and and even though the plant looks really awful, I know that with a little TLC it can look good again. I've been out of town for a few days and I'm trying to recuperate from my trip but I might take the time next week to give it a new container with fresh soil and trim it up a bit and removing some of the sad looking leaves. My plant has three stalks in the pot and I'm thinking about chopping them back to make the plant shorter and rooting the cut pieces. I pruned it back a couple of years ago because it was hitting the eaves of the roof and I saved one piece and stuck the cut end back into the same pot where it formed roots within a couple of weeks.

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