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#373240 Jul 16th, 2013 at 06:32 AM
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Mookiii Offline OP
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hey im new to the forum and i just started taking care of my first plant and was wondering if i can get some help. i definitely got some questions for you all and would be great if i can get some help!

This is my Draceaena, not sure what kind it is so help on that would be awesome!
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now for my questions, what does these kinds of tips mean? do i need to cut them off?

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next is, i got one my Dracaena like this and was wondering if the tip would grow back.

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i did some basic googling and i found out some neat stuff about how to take care of this plant, but i do got some more questions:

1) is it really okay to water it once a week?
2) i used a soil fertilizer from Miracle-Gro, the one that holds 33% more moisture, is that better than getting regular potting soil and dosing it with fertilizer?

any help would be great, and please add anything that i have missed! thanks

Mookiii #373244 Jul 16th, 2013 at 09:47 AM
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that looks like the dragon tree to me. Do you have it near the ac vent?

If your dragon tree develops dry leaf tips and margins, it's likely suffering from air humidity levels that are too low. Too much sunlight can cause round dry patches on the leaves or leaf streaking, and leaf tips and edges that yellow and burn are signs of over-fertilizing. Also when the leaf tips are touching something they will turn brown as well. Rotate your plant every few days so it will grow with out leaning towards the light. They really like indirect light. I've never taken mine out side, some people do and place it in dappled shade like under a tree so it can get some light thru the leaves and branches, but you'll have to water it more often if you take it out side.

Potting soil should be a Premium potting soil with 1/4 added perlite. Although I always added a little plant sand to my soil, and some cactus soil ( a little bit) with the potting soil and perlite you want to make sure you have adequate drainage. I also had mine sitting on a pebble tray to enhance the humidity.
Your soil looks really dry. I would water it with room temperature water until it stops running out of the bottom of the pot: then only water it when it is dry down to your second knuckle of your index finger.
I also only used miracle grow ( solvable ) and only used it every 3rd watering during the growing season (april -september) None during the winter and slowed the watering up during the winter.


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Mookiii Offline OP
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Originally Posted by angelblossom
that looks like the dragon tree to me. Do you have it near the ac vent?

If your dragon tree develops dry leaf tips and margins, it's likely suffering from air humidity levels that are too low. Too much sunlight can cause round dry patches on the leaves or leaf streaking, and leaf tips and edges that yellow and burn are signs of over-fertilizing. Also when the leaf tips are touching something they will turn brown as well. Rotate your plant every few days so it will grow with out leaning towards the light. They really like indirect light. I've never taken mine out side, some people do and place it in dappled shade like under a tree so it can get some light thru the leaves and branches, but you'll have to water it more often if you take it out side.

Potting soil should be a Premium potting soil with 1/4 added perlite. Although I always added a little plant sand to my soil, and some cactus soil ( a little bit) with the potting soil and perlite you want to make sure you have adequate drainage. I also had mine sitting on a pebble tray to enhance the humidity.
Your soil looks really dry. I would water it with room temperature water until it stops running out of the bottom of the pot: then only water it when it is dry down to your second knuckle of your index finger.
I also only used miracle grow ( solvable ) and only used it every 3rd watering during the growing season (april -september) None during the winter and slowed the watering up during the winter.


no i dont have it near a AC vent, its summer in the US.

i have it near a window, it gets hit with direct sunlight i would say about 4-5 hours a day.

i actually got my plant the way it is, the only thing i did was add the soil after i moved it to a bigger pot.

i dont take mine outside, i read that it doesnt like direct sunlight.

its been really hot lately in NY, i water my plant every 4-5 days, i actually just watered it after making this thread, i also made four holes around the base of the plant so water gets all the way down, ill take your advice and water every level of the soil while i replant it.

thanks for the advice =]

what do you suggest about the tips? should i cut them off so the plant doesnt waste energy trying to heal them?

also should i leave my plant coiled or uncoiled? when i got my plant, the three stems were coiled together, is it alright if i leave it like that or should i uncoil them?

Last edited by Mookiii; Jul 16th, 2013 at 01:25 PM.
Mookiii #373247 Jul 16th, 2013 at 07:46 PM
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I would leave it coiled, and since we both agree it doesn't like direct sunlight I would move it away from the window, the heat off the glass will also burn the tips of the leaves. I have cut my end tips before but remember the tips won't grow back, they will just have the blunt cut, and sometimes that entire leaf died off after cutting it, but that's okay as long as new leaves are growing. thumbup


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Mookiii #373251 Jul 16th, 2013 at 09:20 PM
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Good morning Mookiii. I am also in NY - Rockland County - may I ask where you are?

I have the same plant - my husband brought it home from his office about 5 years ago when they were switching out plants. I keep mine by a western facing glass sliding door, but not right next to the door, so it does not get direct sun. These plants like good indirect sun. teach I water it once every week to 1 1/2 weeks. It does lose the bottom leaves now and then - I think it's the nature of the plant. Mine is also braided - I have left it that way as well.

The top of your plant looks very full and healthy! thumbup My dad has been growing one for about 57 years now. bop Every once in a while, it gets very leggy, so he simply cuts the tops off, and new shoots grow out of the tips. His is not braided, but it does have quite a few growing tips. He also roots the cuttings. Just the other day, he gave me 3 very well rooted cuttings. Now I need to find a place for them, as the stems are not long enough to prevent one of my cats from eating all the leaves - this plant is a specialty of hers, and she could destroy it in a minute!

shockI just read this online, so if you have cats, please beware:
Quote
Dracaena. Over 40 species are included in this family of popular houseplants, including the red-edged Dracaena, the dragon plant, and the Dracaena Janet Craig. Cats that eat the long, skinny fronds that are typical in the Dracaena plant family will vomit, sometimes with blood, become depressed and lose their appetites. Kittens can get a little wobbly and appear to be drunk. Luckily, these plants are not usually lethal and symptoms should disappear in 12 to 24 hours.


Fortunately, I have never seen these symptoms in my cat, but it does worry me now!

Diane gave you some very good advice! :wink: Last winter I started misting all of my houseplants, as it gets sooooo very dry in the house when the heater is on - we have baseboard heat - hate it! That has helped the plant as well, and I notice less leaf drop.


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Hi MOOKII
I've been an interior plantscaper for 30 years, and I've cared for 1000's of these plants. The common name is Dragon Tree, or Dragon Plant; its true name is Dracaena marginata. To answer one of your last questions first, they are often sold with multiple stems braided or "coiled" together, and they are not meant to be undone - you might break the stems! Many plants are sold like this, BTW.
Regarding the brown tips, while it's true that those CAN be an indication of humidity, air flow, or mineral issues, the MOST likely cause is too wet soil. The main secret to growing marginatas is to let the soil aerate thoroughly, all the way to the bottom of the pot, not just on the top couple of inches. This is because the roots are in the bottom of the pot, and if the roots are in soil that is constantly damp, they will rot and the plant will die.
You need to test the soil in the bottom of the pot before you water again, to make sure it is almost dry. Here are a couple of videos that will tell you more about testing the soil http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBBh0RPPqu0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf-8InSamYQ
After you've determined that the soil is dry enough (aerated), you can add water until it runs out the bottom of the pot. No need to poke holes into the soil - water will filter down on its own.
A couple of considerations about soil and potting. First, you don't need to repot a plant as soon as you buy it. The growers have put it into the best soil to promote its growth, and fertilized it heavily. Leave it in the grower's pot, and don't fertilize for at least 6 months. Set the plant/grow pot into an attractive container; this is called double-potting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG9PImILzh8
Of course, since you've already repotted, you're kind of stuck, but in the future you'll know better. Also, avoid "moisture retentive" soils, especially for plants like the marginata; instead, use "soilless" mixes, or at least cactus soil. And interior landscapers have found that the less fertilizer the better. Your plant should be fertilized no more than twice a year.
Finally, about leaves and brown tips. Leaves never regenerate themselves. The plant, any plant, may send out new leaves from a growing point, but each new leaf is complete. Its cells can fill out to make the leaf bigger, but it has no capacity to make new cells. Therefore, you can trim off the brown tips in an artistic way to preserve the natural shape of the leaves. If the brown continues to move down the leaf, the plant is telling you that its roots are still too wet. You can always remove unattractive leaves entirely, which may actually stimulate the plant to grow new leaves from the top.
I hope this information will be useful, now and in the future. Feel free to ask about anything you don't understand.
Marlie

Mookiii #373266 Jul 16th, 2013 at 11:59 PM
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PLANTS N POTS
Just wanted to add a few thoughts to the points you brought up. Regarding cats and indoor plants, while it's true, I suppose, that technically dracaenas (and most other houseplants) are "toxic" to pets, the truth of the matter is that most of them apparently taste bad, so cats and dogs don't eat them. And if they do want to eat them, the plants will in short order start to look really ugly, so why would you want them in the house. I have to keep my dracaenas, spider plants, and palms on the porch because my cats insist on eating them. There are plenty of plants to keep in the house that the animals don't bother.
Also regarding humidity and marginatas, after using them extensively in indoor commercial situations, I find that humidity or lack thereof is not something that concerns them very much. Besides, "misting" as commonly practiced doesn't affect the humidity for any appreciable amount of time - like, 15 mins after you mist, the air is just as dry as it was before you misted.

Mookiii #373294 Jul 17th, 2013 at 11:01 AM
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i live in Fresh Meadows, Queens!

thanks for all the advice, ill look over all the posts and ill post again if i have any questions =]


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