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Feb 15, 2018 10:54 AM CST
My boyfriend just gave me his lovely indoor palm tree (we are beginner gardener level 0) and the door accidentally shut on its head… Its now broken and I am very sad. Could anyone advise me on what to do?
Should I try fixing the head back with some tape?
Or leave the head in water or soil hoping it will grow again?
Do you think the tree will survive?
Many thanks for your help
Feb 15, 2018 1:56 PM CST
|Welcome. Not a palm tree. Dracena. Yours will be fine and should put out new growth where the top got cut off. Top will not root. Throw the top away. The entire plant looks poorly though. Needs a LOT more light. Please move it away from that door and into more light. Gene|
Feb 15, 2018 6:47 PM CST
|Hi colinehill, from me too!
I agree with Gene, your plant is a Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata) and new branches will form just below the cut end.
There are a few varieties with colorful foliage like Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor') and Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata 'Colorama') and Dracaena marginata 'Red Princess'
My eyesight is poor due to cataracts but if the broken piece is a bit woody at the end where it broke from the main plant, you may be able to root it to have a new plant. Remove the lowest leaves and find a very small pot, fill it with potting soil and stick the cutting into the soil, leaving any green above the soil line. Place it in bright light but away from direct sunlight; keep the soil barely moist and wait ... in a few weeks to a month, very gently give a little tug and you should feel a bit of resistance if it has taken root. I live in Florida where these are sometimes grown outdoors as landscape plants. I have a few but mine are all currently in containers and one in particular has a very wonky growth; it needs a new pot and also needs to be pruned/chopped back so that it will branch out.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Feb 15, 2018 7:19 PM CST
|Your Dracaena marginata had previously grown very tall, thin and leggy and was in need of pruning - accidental or otherwise. I agree with Gene, but would take it a step further and cut that stem down even lower to a height of 12- 18 inches. That way you will eliminate most of the bare stem and get new growth starting lower down and growing up from there.
More light and water it only when the top quarter of the soil feels dry.
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Feb 16, 2018 12:27 PM CST
|Hello colinehill, your remaining mother plant should still do okay. It would be like giving it a nice prune after being rather leggy.
I agree with Lin, if you have the patience, you can try to root that cut off part. I do not know where your growing location is, but ideally doing the cut in Spring is best. It is a drought tolerant plant so use very well draining media, keep in bright warm area and wait patiently for new leaves to sprout from the tip.
Your remaining plant will just do new leaves below the cut off point.
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