Ask a Question forum: Dracena issues

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May 27, 2017 11:03 AM CST
Hello there, I have had my baby for 5 years now and she has grown to be a beaut. I have recently changed the soil and noticed that the upper layer was constantly dry so I of course delivered. Being stupid and all. Plus plant feed.

After a month noticed leaves getting yellow, 6 first week, 1 yesterday so its slowing down but need advice .

Location appears to be perfect as was chosen by a fellow gardener whos actually a pro.
Please help.

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
May 27, 2017 11:14 AM CST
It is normal for the plant to drop the lower leaves as it generates new ones. It is also normal for the top layer of soil to dry out way earlier than the soil at depth... there is usually a big difference between top and bottom, and what counts for the roots is the water lower down anyway. You can put a chopstick or a moisture meter in there to see what's going on underneath. But your plant looks like it's thriving, so keep doing what you've been doing.
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
May 28, 2017 8:11 AM CST
Your Dracaena marginata is reacting to the "soil change," although I am not exactly sure what that means. Did you just move it to a larger pot? Or did you replace all of the soil? Or did you just add some soil to the top?

It is likely that you added new soil to the top of the original rootball. That is a common practice and common mistake. Adding soil on top of the original rootball serves no useful purpose but it does keep air from reaching the root zone and it also affects your ability to determine when the soil is dry. Loose soil on top that is not connected to roots will dry out quickly, but the soil in the root zone may still be very damp. To make your determination of soil moisture easier and more accurate, remove all loose soil that is not in immediate contact with the roots.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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