Ask a Question forum: Help please

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Dublin Ireland
Imsobad
Dec 27, 2016 6:57 AM CST
Hey, I'm new at this and I'm worried about my only plant. I got this plant and the leave tips were yellow for about a year. I figured it could be lack of watering. I decided to give plant more water and for a week I did and nothing changed. 3/4 days ago I decided to repot it. Roots looked fine, I did chop some of the roots off. Mainly the little ones and other thing I did I removed about 1/3 of soil that was with roots. I used bagged soil that was left outside and I think it was more wet then usual. It looks like my plant is dying and my amateur opinion thinks it's soil is far too wet. The pot has no hole in it.

Question:
1. What can I do to save it?
2. What's the name of the plant?

I really like this plant. It's the only one I have, help me please. If I can't save this one I would want to get another one just like it. Any tips?
Thumb of 2016-12-27/Imsobad/40d695

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
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dave
Dec 27, 2016 8:55 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

That's a very pretty pot but the lack of a hole is a serious problem. The plant really does need drainage. (Why do they sell pots without holes?! For fake plants, probably.)

My advice is to go to the garden center and get a nice pot with a hole, and a dish to go under it. While you're there, buy a slow release houseplant fertilizer and a bag of nice fresh clean potting soil.

Repot that plant removing as much soil as you possibly can. Don't remove any roots but pot it into fresh soil into the new container. Water it until the soil is uniformly moist and don't let water pool into the dish.

I think the plant will then thrive.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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dave
Dec 27, 2016 8:57 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Oh, and your plant is a Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata).
Dublin Ireland
Imsobad
Dec 27, 2016 9:07 AM CST
Dave, you're the best! Group hug
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Dec 27, 2016 9:26 AM CST
Hi & welcome!

I would encourage you to trim the roots if you find a pancake of them at the bottom of the root ball, and/or very long, circling roots. I've always done that when repotting and trees always respond with a flush of fresh, new growth because the roots are again able to grow freely. Trimming excess roots will also make removing the rest of the old soil easier. This is also how bonsai trees are kept alive for hundreds of years in those tiny pots.

Potting-up (putting undisturbed root ball into new pot with more soil around the edges) can yield unwanted results, like excess roots rotting (and would be diagnosed as "overwatering.")

Dracaenas are known to be sensitive to fluoride in tap water, which can't evaporate, so whenever possible, using rain, distilled, or condensate from a dehumidifier or A/C can help keep your tree as healthy as possible, which will result in the best possible looking foliage. Don't stress about the oldest leaves because Dracaenas are constantly in the process of discarding them as the trunk lignifies.

An unglazed pot can also help keep your tree as healthy as possible, since roots are able to access oxygen all around the inside of the pot, even if the soil is dense and mostly airless. Roots need oxygen & moisture at the same time to function properly, stay healthy, and deliver moisture to foliage.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Dec 27, 2016 10:29 AM CST
Hello Imsobad, since you have already done the trimming of roots etc..the only thing you can do, is try to repot in a container with drain holes. Typically, I would have delayed doing any repot in Spring, but you have already done it, and trimmed roots as well. Dracaenas can be temperamental, but they do bounce back. Your plant has underwent a lot of shock during repot with the root trimming and all so give it time, but you got to change the container. The container you have is nice, you can use it as a cache pot, but the main container where your plant is planted in should have drain holes.

This plant is quite drought tolerant, and sitting in a very soggy media will harm the roots, all the more that it was newly trimmed.

I only use tap water on mine, but I give good intervals in watering, especially during the cold season.

Dublin Ireland
Imsobad
Dec 27, 2016 2:02 PM CST
Ladies and gentlemen,

You all are of great help. I will take care of this dragon. Will do all you told me and for anyone interested I will update how it's doing. In the mean time, show me and tell me about your trees. Oh and one more thing. Is there a way to manage size of the plant? I figured cutting the roots would do it, but it sounds as if it's to help the tree to adjust to repoting.
You're all great! Group hug
Dublin Ireland
Imsobad
Dec 27, 2016 2:15 PM CST
Also if anyone's reading,

Hypothetically, if one knows plants well enough, is it possible to pot a plant to a pot without holes? Have any of you done it?
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Dec 27, 2016 2:24 PM CST
I have used glass containers to some of my indoor plants like pothos, but I am not using soil as my media, I used water gel beads. That way the roots still has a chance to breathe below. Roots do need air below too, so in lieu of water draining out, the water gel beads holds the water, and roots can get the moisture needed but at the same time not staying soggy wet. Not all plants will thrive in this set-up, some can like pothos and Dracaena sanderiana.
Dublin Ireland
Imsobad
Dec 27, 2016 2:33 PM CST
Thanks Tarev,

Is there a way to manage plants size? I've read they grow to 15feet. I'd like to keep it around the size it is now Group hug
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Dec 27, 2016 3:11 PM CST
In Spring you can trim down the height of your plant. So it does not grow too tall. New growth will form below the cut end. They do get too tall and leggy as older leaves drop, so it is like a giraffe with a long neck.

Here is how it grows at the node below the cut end:
Thumb of 2016-12-27/tarev/986c29

Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Dec 27, 2016 4:17 PM CST
There are quite a few pics here:
Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

You can check out some of the cultivars too, if interested:
https://garden.org/plants/sear...

I would also not use any pot w/o a hole except, as said, for plants in just water. I tried the gel beads but they grow mold too quickly here.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Dublin Ireland
Imsobad
Dec 27, 2016 5:00 PM CST
You are great help and I'm getting a better understanding of botany.
I'm set to take care this baby dragon, but I also want a bonsai tree. Is there any place where I could begin to learn about them or at least get a name of a common bonsai tree?
It's even better if you can tell me here. <3 you all Group hug
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Dec 27, 2016 5:07 PM CST
Any woody entity with small leaves is a good candidate for bonsai. The primary decision is whether you want a tropical species for inside, or more of a challenge in growing a temperate one outside.

Then find a specimen, educate yourself about the basic pruning techniques & start exercising your patience for results that take years to manifest.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Dec 27, 2016 6:29 PM CST
Try watching videos on bonsai growing, lots of them in youtube. Various techniques used.
Dublin Ireland
Imsobad
Dec 27, 2016 6:47 PM CST
I'll be back with some interesting news when I got them. And questions.

You both are great. Thanks again. I'll name my bonsai purple tarev Group hug
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Dec 28, 2016 1:04 AM CST
Good luck imsobad! Big Grin
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Dec 28, 2016 3:30 PM CST
LOL! Cool! Happy to try to aid your investigation!

You might also find inspiration by visiting the nearest botanical garden with a bonsai collection.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Dec 29, 2016 6:33 AM CST
I'd just like to mention- if you can find a plastic pot the fits INTO the glazed pot nicely, you might plant the pot in the plastic, then set it into the glazed. Now you have the nice pot, but the plant can easily be lifted to see when you water, that it drains and does not sit in a pool. This is how I like to do my plants, when I find the plastic pot sized just right.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Dublin Ireland
Imsobad
Dec 30, 2016 9:08 AM CST
Yes sally,

However I found roots to be too big to place it in a smaller container. I got a new pot and it works out. It's massive haha. I think the plant will be ok. Now all that's left is waiting. I will update in time and show you my purple tarev when I buy one. Group hug
Thumb of 2016-12-30/Imsobad/8a48e2

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