Ask a Question forum: My Dracaena rapidly losing healthy leaves.....

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christy1981
Feb 3, 2017 4:43 AM CST
Hello there,
i have a serious problem with my draceana margianata.
it is a tall one margianata (almost 1 m + 70 cm) with 3 parts. Suddenly 3-4 weeks ago the one part started to loose leafs rapidly and it died. now the other part is loosing leafs and i think it will die too. i have to mention that the falling leaves look really healthy and bright with no spots or something. i have this draceana almost 8 years inside my apartment - almost in the same place. The only thing i can think that might changed the circumstances of her environment, is that 1,5 month i close the shutters and i open them around 10 o' clock in the morning, and i put and an hibiscus in the room too. It breaks my heart to see it like this. i have no idea what to do....
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Feb 3, 2017 10:32 AM CST

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Can you provide some photos?
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 3, 2017 10:40 AM CST
Yes, photos will be nice, take a shot of the media as well, and you said you have it for 8 years. In all those years, has it ever been repotted, or always in that container for the whole 8 years. What type of container is it living in? If it has never been repotted, maybe it is due for a repot, soil may be too steeped in salts.

Any change done lately about its watering too? Did you by any chance try to step up watering more than usual when you saw the leaves dropping? This plant does that leaf drop at this time of the year in my area, but mostly the older, lower leaves. Then slowly newer leaves shows up at the tips. Sometimes if watering has been done way too much, it will hasten its demise all the more, since it is quite a drought tolerant plant.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Feb 4, 2017 7:52 AM CST
The sketchy information provided here makes it hard to give a definitive diagnosis. However, it is quite common for older Marginatas that have been surviving in marginal light to one day start to fall apart. In less than ideal light, Marginata growth slows down and so does its need for water. Unless the care giver compensates by watering less, then the roots slowly start to rot and die back. Eventually, the plant reaches a tipping point where it no longer has enough roots to support the plant and it starts to drop leaves. In this scenario, the only solution is to move the plant to better light and allow the soil to dry out much deeper into the pot in between light waterings. Repotting and fertilizer will not help.
Will Creed
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christy1981
Feb 5, 2017 4:30 AM CST
Hello there again and thank tou so much for your replies.. One thing i did but i forgot to metion is that i used fertilizer -but only when draceana started to seem weak. I never changed the pot in many years. The watering i think was ok, the atmosphere in th house is quite dry because the heater is on the most time of the day..i post some photos which i hope they will give you some additional information. Thank you so much again Smiling kind regards fro Greece
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[Last edited by christy1981 - Feb 5, 2017 4:32 AM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 5, 2017 11:51 AM CST
Ah, there lies the problem. The use of fertilizers. Any untimely use of fertilizer on an already weakened plant does not help at all. It just hastens the decline.

I notice the container does not have a saucer to catch excess water, does your container have drainage holes?

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