Houseplants forum: Dracaena (?) hasn't been doing well, so advice would be much appreciated!

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Newcastle-upon-Tyne
mateoboom
Apr 12, 2018 4:42 PM CST
My Dracaena (?) is not well. It's about 2.5 years old and hasn't been repotted since purchase. Over the winter it started producing new growth, which I thought was strange, but hey-ho I'm not a pro by any means. Anyway, the growth at first was fine, but over the last month or so has become particularly pale and yellow. I probably watered more over the winter than I usually would as I felt the new growth could probably do with it, this may have been a mistake. It's late here so the photos are not great I'm afraid. The younger stem seems to be okay, but it's big bro is in a sorry state. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thumb of 2018-04-12/mateoboom/6883e4

Thumb of 2018-04-12/mateoboom/39ad76

Thumb of 2018-04-12/mateoboom/7f72e7

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Apr 12, 2018 5:18 PM CST
You have a number of misunderstandings about this plant.

First, it is a Yucca elephantipes cane, not a Dracaena. That matters because Yuccas require a lot more light than Dracaenas. Not getting enough light is part of the problem. If possible, move it to your sunniest available location.

Second, it is quite common for most indoor plants to continue to produce new growth in winter. They are tropical plants and they do not go dormant and stop growing in winter.

Third, when to water a potted plant is not based on how much it is growing but on how dry the soil is. For Yuccas, the top quarter of the soil should be dry before you water, regardless of the season or its recent growth.

It is likely that you have watered it too frequently and that is why the new growth on the taller cane is yellowing. Feel the lower part of the taller cane. If it is at all loose or soft, then the roots of that cane have rotted and it will not recover. Otherwise, with improved light and better watering, new growth should be greener.

No need to do anything more than improving the light and reducing the watering.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
mateoboom
Apr 13, 2018 1:41 AM CST
Morning Will,

Thank you for your help with identification and a solution to the problem, it is very much appreciated. I have moved the Yucca (!) to a much sunnier spot and will take your advice regarding watering also.

Now to solve the problem of the Monstera!

Many thanks,
Matt


WillC said:You have a number of misunderstandings about this plant.

First, it is a Yucca elephantipes cane, not a Dracaena. That matters because Yuccas require a lot more light than Dracaenas. Not getting enough light is part of the problem. If possible, move it to your sunniest available location.

Second, it is quite common for most indoor plants to continue to produce new growth in winter. They are tropical plants and they do not go dormant and stop growing in winter.

Third, when to water a potted plant is not based on how much it is growing but on how dry the soil is. For Yuccas, the top quarter of the soil should be dry before you water, regardless of the season or its recent growth.

It is likely that you have watered it too frequently and that is why the new growth on the taller cane is yellowing. Feel the lower part of the taller cane. If it is at all loose or soft, then the roots of that cane have rotted and it will not recover. Otherwise, with improved light and better watering, new growth should be greener.

No need to do anything more than improving the light and reducing the watering.


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