Ask a Question forum: Help! Dracaena Michiko Plant

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Santa Monica, CA
Mar 4, 2018 1:32 PM CST
I have a Michiko plant that was doing great for several months, then started browning leaves and a shriveling of the tallest stall at the top that feels a bit soft and smushy. I have only watered twice since getting it, waiting a whole month after purchase from recommendation of the nursery. The stalk seems to have two shoots from below the soil, if this affects anything. The first watering was thorough and drained out the holes to the base saucer, the second watering I waited until was thoroughly dry and was careful to not over water. It is about 12 feet from a filtered sun window. Wondering if intermittent heat and cold nights in apartment have any major influence. Also have read about this plant being fluoride sensitive, and believe tap water was used. The soil is mixed with lava rock gravel. I have not fertilized or repotted, and kept it in original plastic pot places in ceramic pot. Any help on the next recommended step would be greatly appreciated as I love this plant and it's current height and aesthetic and would hate to have to cut anything unless necessary, and don't want to overwater. Please see pictures attached. Thank you!
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Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Mar 4, 2018 4:02 PM CST
I'm afraid you have been poorly served by your nursery. Your plant is a Dracaena 'Compacta' not D. 'Michiko,' although their care is the same.

It is correctly potted in a volcanic cinder mix that is unusually porous so that it will prevent over watering. Consequently, there is no way it can go an entire month without needing water unless you left it sitting in water which you did not do. Potted as it is, it would need water every 7-10 days. I suggest that you water it slowly over the entire surface until just a bit runs through the drain holes of the inner pot and do that weekly.

The shriveled stem already has dead roots and will not recover. If the other stems are still firm, then they may be okay.

This is an excellent, low light plant, but at 12 feet from a filtered window, it may not be getting as much light as it should. Do protect it from the direct rays of the sun, but otherwise, it does best in very bright light.

Unless temps went above 85 degrees F. or below 55 degrees F, then the temperature is not an issue.
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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