Ask a Question forum: Is it time to let my dracaena fragrans go?

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Skj111
Apr 10, 2017 10:54 PM CST
I purchased my DFM in January 2016. By March of last year, it looked like the attached photos. Which was following a complete pruning of the tallest of 3 stalks after the leaves curled and wilted.

It's not completely dying, but it's not getting better. Nor does it appear to be growing, at all. I know they're slow growers, but no sign of new growth in about a year?

The leaves are all curled, some split where it bends closest to the cane. Some have holes. Some have light dusty white spots.

I don't *think* it's an infestation. I would assume that it would be much worse by now if it were the case, but I could be wrong.

The shorter stalk's leaves are droopier than the medium stalk.

It gets a decent amount of indirect sunlight. I'm a corner high rise facing north west. So it's bright for a decent part of the day, but not direct sunlight.

I also live in Canada, with full swing in seasons, although it didn't seem to do any better in the summer months when the passed.

I want to know if it can be saved. And if so, what should I do to make it healthier? Will the tall stalk ever grow leaves again? How long does it usually take for new regrowth?



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Name: June
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JuneOntario
Apr 11, 2017 7:09 AM CST
Hi! I think it might be time to move the plant into a larger pot, as it has probably used up all the nutrients in the soil and the roots have nowhere to go.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Apr 11, 2017 2:07 PM CST
That skinny, shriveled stem in the first picture looks pretty desperate. Is there green at the end of that?
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Apr 11, 2017 2:41 PM CST
It still has growth potential, since the other plant still has leaves. Typically if leaves are showing like that, and aspects of watering and light is right, then I check the roots. Maybe it needs new soil already. You mentioned you purchased it in Jan 2016 but did not mention if you did a repot. Use appropriate sized container with drain holes and use potting soil with lots of pumice to allow good airflow at rootzone. Don't fertilizer yet, give it time to adjust.

As for the other one that looks dried out, if it were mine, I will try to feel the rest of the trunk, if it is still feeling firm, I will just cut off those dried out parts till I get to fresh part. Dab some light cinnamon on the cut end as fungicide. It would be nice when you do make the cut, it shows something is still fresh and green inside the stem, so plant is alive, so it can still make new growth below the cut off point. But if it shows rotten and brown, then just got to remove that one out and you will really have to repot the remaining one with leaves, since there maybe pathogens in the soil from the other decayed plant.

Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Apr 11, 2017 11:05 PM CST
tarev said:It still has growth potential, since the other plant still has leaves. Typically if leaves are showing like that, and aspects of watering and light is right, then I check the roots. Maybe it needs new soil already. You mentioned you purchased it in Jan 2016 but did not mention if you did a repot. Use appropriate sized container with drain holes and use potting soil with lots of pumice to allow good airflow at rootzone. Don't fertilizer yet, give it time to adjust.

As for the other one that looks dried out, if it were mine, I will try to feel the rest of the trunk, if it is still feeling firm, I will just cut off those dried out parts till I get to fresh part. Dab some light cinnamon on the cut end as fungicide. It would be nice when you do make the cut, it shows something is still fresh and green inside the stem, so plant is alive, so it can still make new growth below the cut off point. But if it shows rotten and brown, then just got to remove that one out and you will really have to repot the remaining one with leaves, since there maybe pathogens in the soil from the other decayed plant.



Try some fertilizer that supports roots. 2-6-6 or like that. And yes, I would take the plant out and clean the soil off and replant first in fresh potting soil. I rescued a lot of office plants doing that alone.


Skj111
Apr 14, 2017 2:22 PM CST
sallyg said:That skinny, shriveled stem in the first picture looks pretty desperate. Is there green at the end of that?


Thanks for reply! No green Sad I just tried to cut those shriveled ends down. Attaching some photos. Does this mean that particular cane has rotted?


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Skj111
Apr 14, 2017 2:26 PM CST
tarev said:It still has growth potential, since the other plant still has leaves. Typically if leaves are showing like that, and aspects of watering and light is right, then I check the roots. Maybe it needs new soil already. You mentioned you purchased it in Jan 2016 but did not mention if you did a repot. Use appropriate sized container with drain holes and use potting soil with lots of pumice to allow good airflow at rootzone. Don't fertilizer yet, give it time to adjust.

As for the other one that looks dried out, if it were mine, I will try to feel the rest of the trunk, if it is still feeling firm, I will just cut off those dried out parts till I get to fresh part. Dab some light cinnamon on the cut end as fungicide. It would be nice when you do make the cut, it shows something is still fresh and green inside the stem, so plant is alive, so it can still make new growth below the cut off point. But if it shows rotten and brown, then just got to remove that one out and you will really have to repot the remaining one with leaves, since there maybe pathogens in the soil from the other decayed plant.



Thanks for your repsonse :)

I tried to cut down those dead ends, and it came out dry and almost hollow. I've attached pictures Of the plant today. The bark also appears to be shedding on that cane.

If I repot this weekend should I only include the 2 canes?


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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Apr 15, 2017 6:24 AM CST
The one cane in closeup looks kind of bad. If it has no green at all, I think you can investigate and probably get rid of it.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Apr 15, 2017 9:50 AM CST
You have at least one cane (the thick, bark covered stems are called canes) that is dead and should be removed. Twist the cane in place until it is loose enough to pull it straight up and out of the soil without disturbing the roots of the other canes. If there are any other canes where the bark feels dry and papery at the base, then they too are also dying and will not recover.

You have at least one healthy cane that does not require any radical change such as repotting, replacing the soil or adding fertilizer. There is no evidence or pests or disease. I am not sure why you have the nursery pot stuck inside another container. I suggest you remove the outer container and set the nursery pot in a saucer. Allow the top quarter of the soil to dry before adding just enough water (not much) so that the soil reaches that same level of dryness again in about a week. I suspect that keeping the soil too moist is the reason at least one of the canes has died.

I also suggest that you move it very close to and directly in front of the window. In your location, you need not worry about providing too much sunlight.

In sum, you don't need to do much - provide more light and less water and it should be okay as long as you leave the roots alone. Smiling
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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