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Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96237 February 7th, 2007 at 08:36 AM
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Amy H. Offline OP
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This plant was given to me almost 7 years ago, and it was just a baby when we got it. It has grown so much, and now it looks like it's dying. sca It's dropping leaves like crazy. It usually drops a few at the bottom when more start blooming out of the top, but it's never been this bare. It's usually only about the bottom 5 inches that don't have leaves.

I have kept it in a spot where it seems most happy. This picture was taken at night, but it usually has a lot of indirect light on it. It's been a really hardy plant and doesn't really take a lot of water. In all the time I've had it, I've never known what it is. If anyone can help me identify it, and find out how to keep it from dying I'd be very grateful. I really don't want to lose this plant. It has a lot of sentimental value to me.

Thank you!

[Linked Image]

Re: Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96238 February 7th, 2007 at 01:45 PM
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That is a dracena

Re: Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96239 February 7th, 2007 at 04:33 PM
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Mine seems to thrive on neglect. I forget to water it half the time and it's doing great. It has gone through periods where it loses some leaves, but I'm not sure if this is common. Have you changed anything lately, such as watering habits, light, humidity (or lack of it)? Is it near a source of dry heat like a heating duct? Is it root bound and in need of repotting? Not sure what else you could check.

Re: Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96240 February 11th, 2007 at 02:06 PM
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Maybe stand a cup of water in it so the moisture can go up the stalk?

Re: Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96241 February 11th, 2007 at 06:00 PM
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My last Draceana of this form (Marginata) started doing the same thafter it was horribly pot-bound. You may find that this has happned as well. If you pull a bit of soil back, you may find that the root stock as started growing round and round in circles inside the pot. Not good.

Re: Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96242 February 12th, 2007 at 03:47 AM
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i'm moving this to the houseplants section. you will get better answers there. and yes, it is a draceana marginata. a very nice plant that has lots of potential, even with it so leggy!

Re: Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96243 February 12th, 2007 at 04:13 AM
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Amy... i deal with these plants all day long at my job, tell me are the leaves that are dropping yellow and "crispy" or soft... do they suddenly do this or do you notice it happens slowly? how does the stalk is it slightly wrinkled? how would you say the soil is constantly wet or do you let is dry out first... how big is the pot?

Re: Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96244 February 12th, 2007 at 04:17 AM
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besides... Marginatas always shed leaves as new ones come out, and even in their natural habitat these plants only have leaves perched at the very tip of the stalk for maximum sun exposure... it would not be beneficial for the plant to keep leaves at the bottom of the stalk in the shade... there isn't a single marginata i can find that looks "full" to me... except when "tips" are cut and rooted but even then the leaves drop at the bottom as the plant gets taller...

Re: Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96245 February 12th, 2007 at 04:19 AM
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your plant will be fine... there seems to be a watering issue...

--AARON

Re: Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96246 February 12th, 2007 at 12:22 PM
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Dracaena marginatas thrive best in bright indirect light; a few hours of direct sunlight is OK. Placement directly in front of an east or west facing window is best.

Have you recently repotted the plant? These plants have small delicate root systems that make them particularly susceptible to root rot if overpotted as yours appears to be. Marginatas need to dry out quite a bit between waterings. Overpotting leads to soil staying moist too long leading to root rot which may be causing your symptoms. I suggest removing the plant to examine the rootball for firm, healthy, whitish roots, trimming away any roots that are black, shrivelled, or mushy, then repotting the plant in the smallest pot in which the rootball will fit. Then let soil dry out to a depth of about a quarter down the pot between waterings.

Marginatas will not regrow dropped leaves. If you don't like the sparse appearance of the plant, you can cut it as far back as you wish without harming the plant. New growth will emerge just below the cut. You can also try rooting the top 6-8" of the tip cutting by stripping the lower leaves and placing the cutting in damp rooting medium and tenting the pot to keep in moisture until the cutting roots. Place the tented pot in a warm, bright location. Lift the tenting occasionally to release condensation or to check soil moisture, however, it is unlikely the cutting will dry out before it roots, indicated by emerging new growth in about 6-8 weeks. Then remove the tenting gradually over a week.

Good luck with your Marginata!

Star

Re: Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96247 February 12th, 2007 at 08:04 PM
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Thank you so much for your help. I didn't even know anyone had responded until today! (I thought the replies were emailed to me. LOL)

My plant seems to be doing a lot better. All the brown/yellow leaves dropped (they were crispy) and it doesn't look like any are turning yellow again.

I tried to tell if it is rootbound, but I didn't see any roots starting to circle the pot. I'm not sure how to tell how big the pot is, but straight across it measures 12 1/2". The plant is about 2' 3" tall.

If I decide to cut it down, how long does it take to re-sprout? What is the best way to do it?

Re: Help me save my plant!!! Please!
#96248 February 12th, 2007 at 08:05 PM
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Oh yeah... it even has baby leaves sprouting out the top !!


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