Ask a Question forum: Soft stem or trunk?

Views: 1028, Replies: 7 » Jump to the end
UK
SpamAllan
Dec 3, 2017 4:41 AM CST
Hi guys,

I found the plant in the attached photo looking very sad on the side of the road a couple of months ago. I carried it home and nursed it back to health but I have now noticed that one of the stems has gone very soft.

Thumb of 2017-12-03/SpamAllan/5316fa

So from the base up to the point where it splits in three if you squeeze it then it feels hollow. But the larger stem in the back does not?

Is it okay? If it isn't is there a way to save the three shoots?

I hope that makes sense!

Thanks,
Sam


Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Image
sallyg
Dec 3, 2017 9:06 AM CST
Dracaena marginata.
Someone may have cut off the longer stems to root them , and discarded this as too tall and gangly (common scenario) but this is growing new leaves, and other stems if healthy should do that too.
Continue careful watering, as this has such small active growth it won't be using a lot of water.
I think it would look funny if that big back stem grew, so I would cut it, cut off anything that seems bad, and if you find green healthy looking stems near the tips you can try to root those.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 3, 2017 10:24 AM CST
Any stem that is soft or shriveled is already dead and should be removed entirely. Healthy stems can be shortened by cutting them at any point and new growth will subsequently emerge just below the pruning cut.

Propagating Marginata stem cuttings is not easy and is best done by air-layering.

Keep your Marginata right in front of a sunny, uncovered window. Allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry before watering.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
UK
SpamAllan
Dec 3, 2017 11:10 AM CST
Ah that's a shame then.

So if it's soft then it's dead? Even if it has green leaves at the top?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 3, 2017 11:40 AM CST
Yes, when there is a problem with the roots, it dies from the bottom up. The top section is the last to go. That does allow for tip propagation, but it is not easy to accomplish with a Marginata.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
UK
SpamAllan
Dec 3, 2017 12:31 PM CST
Thanks for the help guys. I'm guessing maybe overwatering. Hopefully the other stem survives!

Perhaps I can buy a smaller Marginata to add to the pot come spring so it doesn't look so sparse.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 3, 2017 1:42 PM CST
Trying to insert another plant in the existing pot is difficult and risky. You could end up losing both plants as you disturb both root systems.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
UK
SpamAllan
Dec 3, 2017 4:46 PM CST
WillC said:Trying to insert another plant in the existing pot is difficult and risky. You could end up losing both plants as you disturb both root systems.


Oh thanks for the advice Will! I did repot it when I found it as it was VERY dry and lots of soil had been lost when it was dumped on the kerb. Maybe that upset it. Lesson learnt!

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by EscondidoCal and is called "Geranium maderense"