Houseplants forum: Found this Dracaena by the side of the road...

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isabelg
Jun 1, 2017 5:07 PM CST
Yesterday evening while out for a walk I found this really tall Dracaena by the side of the road. I brought it home and would like to coax it back to good health, but I'm no expert in this area.

There are four cane stems, though one of them has no leaves at all. The shorter two stems look the healthiest, with lush green leaves. The tallest stem doesn't look very good, and as I said, the second tallest has no leaves. Currently, it is planted in a plastic bucket (wrapped in a garbage bag), but I have no idea how long it's been in the bucket; the soil feels moist, so my guess is that this current condition is too damp, and without drainage the plant is not happy.

Besides re-potting in a pot with proper drainage, do you have any tips? I have already trimmed away the yellow and brown/dried-out leaves from the top of the plant. Should I keep the stem with no leaves on it? Any other trimming I should do?

Thanks so much!

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Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Jun 2, 2017 5:31 AM CST
Why in the world would someone toss that to the curb, heartless Hilarious! It just needs some TLC, transplanting to a new pot with new soil and I bet thats probably all it needs, I'll be watching to see what other members have to say. Congrats on your new addition she's a beauty Thumbs up
Name: Ed
Central ,NJ (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Sempervivums Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1
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herrwood
Jun 2, 2017 5:49 AM CST
It looks ok to me and can't beat the price. Thumbs up
Plants are like that little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.
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
Jun 2, 2017 2:00 PM CST
Wow, that's gorgeous!

2 fairly common reasons people dump a plant. It's too big and they don't know it could be trimmed, or it has pests. If it was dumped for the latter, it would probably be something you could notice easily.

I would wait a while before removing the trunk w/o leaves. It may decide to grow some if it is still firm (alive.)
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jun 2, 2017 2:37 PM CST
The cane with the withered (shriveled) stems has no functioning roots and will not recover. To remove a dead cane, twist and rotate the cane in place until that the dead roots break free. When it rotates easily, pull it straight up and out. This will allow removal of the cane without disturbing the roots of the healthy cane.

The cane without any stems is likely dead, as well. If the bark at the base of the cane is loose and papery, then for sure it is dead and can be removed.

It looks like you have one healthy cane that can be salvaged and will make a nice plant. Corn Plants have thick roots, but they are not extensive and they are vulnerable to root rot that most often occurs when they are potted in a pot that is too large. I suggest that you gently allow any excess soil not in immediate contact with remaining healthy roots to simply fall away. Keep the remaining soil that is in contact with the roots in place and put it in the SMALLEST container that the soil and roots will fit into. Adding draiange material to the bottom of the pot is an out-of-date and discredited practice. If you need to add any soil to fill in empty spaces, use a peat-based potting mix that has lots of perlite mixed throughout. That is what makes a well-draining potting mix.

Corn Plants do best indoors in bright indirect light. They do not tolerate direct sunlight. If you keep yours outside, which I don't recommend, keep it in deep shade at all times. Water only when the top quarter of the soil feels very dry.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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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
Jun 2, 2017 3:05 PM CST
I did not tell any of the 10 kinds of Dracaena in this pot that they do not like direct sun, and they had not heard about this.
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I did not tell these Dracs they should not like having the sun shine right on them for a few hours every day for the past couple decades, both inside and outside when warm enough.
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Or this JCC
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Or this 'Ricky/Rikki'
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Or this 'Lemon Lime' with its' Cordyline 'Red Sister' companion
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Or these...
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Going beyond what you have experienced yourself can be enlightening. The link shows pics of D. fragrans growing in the ground, fully exposed to sun. They have a more perky, upright appearance than an indoor plant could have, unless indoors means a sunroom, greenhouse, other great but unusual exposure, for the average home/average size windows.
http://masteringhorticulture.b...

Dracaenas do not need this much sun to maintain a relatively normal appearance as far as its' function as a house plant goes, or to be able to remain healthy enough to live indefinitely, but it does not at all mean they can't or don't appreciate it. Plants that are not used to this exposure will sunburn easily. Very gradual acclimation is needed if desired at all. Since Dracaenas can retain individual leaves for years, sunburn takes a very long time for this kind of plant to outgrow. If there is not available significant exposure when plants are inside for winter, acclimation attempts into significant direct sun might be more trouble than benefit.

As tall as your plant is, placing it as close as possible to a window will allow the foliage at the top to get the most possible sun from the window.

That looks heavy. I'd already assumed you have a decent spot for it, having made such a valiant effort. Smiling If it is too tall to get decent light by available windows, secondary or even main trunks can be cut, as the older, healed cuts on your plant show clearly.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
[Last edited by purpleinopp - Jun 2, 2017 3:25 PM (+)]
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isabelg
Jun 3, 2017 8:36 AM CST
Wow, thanks for this input!!

Too bad about the withered stems/sprouts - do you really think there's no hope for them? Would it be possible to trim both ends of the cane and try to start it again from scratch? Or once the roots die, the whole stem is a goner? I checked the bark on both the cane with no leaves, and the one with the withered stems, and it still feels strong and securely attached, not papery or soft.

I'm glad to know that at least the two smaller canes are pretty healthy, but I'd still love to try and revive the taller ones if there's any hope for them.
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
Jun 3, 2017 9:05 AM CST
Happy to share info that has helped me/my plants. It's impossible to predict what will happen, but if the leafless trunk is still firm, it could still be alive enough to grow again, if conditions improve/change from that which made it so unhappy. Since that is unknown, we are left with guessing/theorizing. Anyway, when you repot, you'll be able to see if there are any roots that do not look healthy. If so, cut them off, back into healthy looking/feeling material. That will also help with removing the old soil.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.

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isabelg
Jun 3, 2017 9:28 AM CST
Ok, thanks so much, purpleinopp. I want to get to repotting as soon as possible to see what's going on, and fix it up!
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
Jun 3, 2017 10:53 AM CST
That is what I would do. Best luck!
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.

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