Houseplants forum: Dracaena help, please!

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Name: Shirley Basham
Buckeye, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Feb 2, 2018 9:53 PM CST
So I have had this dracaena lemon lime plant for a few years now. It struggled for a little while but my bf would splash a bit of water on it ever few days and we stuck it in the window and it was as happy as could be. Now he isn't around and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I tried giving just a bit of water every few days. I tried watering it once a week. Nothing is changing. The leaves are turning brown and dying. The plant keeps growing and producing more leaves. But it just isn't happy. I love this plant, I would like to know what I can do keep him happy. Any thoughts?
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Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
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Feb 3, 2018 8:46 AM CST
My 1st question is: does that pot have drainage holes? Or is there a saucer underneath? If there is, is it emptied after every watering? Stagnant water at the root zones suffocate them, and the plant dies from the bottom/roots up. What type of potting medium is the plant in? It should be well draining.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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Feb 3, 2018 6:00 PM CST
I think I recognize that pot, have one just like it, with an attached dish. some water can sit in the dish.
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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Feb 4, 2018 7:59 AM CST
If the soil is not getting flushed once in a while, a buildup of fluoride, lime, any other substances in water could build-up to toxic levels. I try to use rain water whenever possible for Dracaenas.

If only watering in sips, not all of the soil can become moistened.
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Greece (Zone 10b)
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Feb 4, 2018 11:36 AM CST
Hello! Dracaena is not a plant that needs watering every few days, so if your bf kept watering it as you wrote that way, the plant has probably been overwatered. The pot seems too big for it also.
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Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Feb 4, 2018 1:18 PM CST
Dracaena lemon-limes are hybrids that are very prone to leaf edge and tip browning; much more so than other hardier Dracaena species. I struggle with these all the time. They are extremely sensitive to both the frequency of watering and the quality of water, as Tiffany indicated.

I suggest that when you water, do it thoroughly until a bit runs through into the saucer and then empty the saucer. Water again as soon as the top half-inch of soil feels dry. If it continues to get more brown spots, especially on newer leaves, you may be letting it get too dry.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Name: Shirley Basham
Buckeye, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Feb 12, 2018 7:34 PM CST
Thanks for the responses everyone! The pot has a built in holder on the bottom for run off. But it is a new pot. The roots are nearly at the bottom of that pot. I've had it for several years in a smaller pot, and it was outgrowing it. Plus it's only been in that pot a short amount of time, it was acting up before repotting. When I repotted, the roots were not soggy or unhealthy. It actually had great strong roots.

Now the watering situation, the plant was full of green leaves and none were dying when he was watering that way.
Second, I'm in Arizona, so rain water is few and far between. I am however on a private well with great water.

So, I think my next step, I'll take it out and do a thorough watering as WillC stated. And try that.

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