Cleaning up Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana"

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by Barbara92021, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. Barbara92021

    Barbara92021 Active Member 10 Years

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    I wasn't sure how to add the second part to my "propagating and cleaning up dracaena fragrans "Massangeana" thread I just posted. Sorry for any confusion I may have created.

    The other question I have about this plant has to do with damaged leaves. My 1yo grson attacked my plant and this pic shows what a few of the leaves look like. I want to know how to remove these torn leaves. Do I just cut them off close to the stalk?
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  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i would just trim off the ragged parts and leave the rest be. a pair of scissors will clean them up nicely...just stay with the basic shape of the leaves and the lack of the full leaf will be barely noticeable!
     
  3. katprice

    katprice Member

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    My mom passed away in July and this plant was banished to the backyard. This tree has been in our family for as long as I can remember, so I took it in and put it in my Living room. The top of it is sprouting new leaves and it is rapidly becoming too tall. I've attached a couple of pictures of it's current condition. There is also some new growth sprouting out at the base of the plant.
    Any tips/help on how to trim/repot this plant or whatever I need to do would be much appreciated. Mom had such a green thumb but I on the other hand am not so good with plants.
     

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  4. Barbara92021

    Barbara92021 Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Katprice!

    I love your dracaena and would like to say that those who don't think they have much of a green thumb can do very well with these plants. Use the "search" part of this forum and look for "dracaena care". Reading the threads here really helped me alot. I can sure see how you need to have it be shorter!

    I can't be of any help other than to say that you should post this as a new thread in the section called Garden Miscellany - Plant Propagation. I'd title it something like "Help! My Dracaena is getting too tall!" As a new thread of your own, you should get great help from those who know how to propagate these plants. Having your post here, with my thread, it may not get any answers.

    My Dracaena hasn't been separated. I haven't had time to do it yet but it will be done before too long and then I will post back with pics. I'll check back on your name to see your new thread and then keep checking back to see what answers you get. It will be an interesting thread for me to follow. Good luck!
     
  5. katprice

    katprice Member

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    Oh my goodness. I Cut the dracaena as instructed and potted the cut part. It is deteriorating rapidly. Last week I put in Jobe's fertilizer spikes and I water it just once a week. Still, it looks like it's going downhill fast. Advice, please?
     

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  6. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member

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    Oh my!

    I believe the intent was for you to cut the top off and let the cane resprout, not cut the root and a section of cane away and stick the same old top try to cope with growing new roots.

    Am I right that there is a cane, rootless and forlorn, but with leaves on top that you stuck in a pot to grow?

    All of that growth is just taking any energy your poor Dracaena has, preventing it from rooting sufficiently.

    If I'm right that the last picture is of the cane with no or few roots, you'll really want to prune off ALL or nearly all the green areas. So cut below the lowest leaves where they join the stem or cane. All of the greenery has to go. The only way to save the green parts now is to cut the leaves dramatically, maybe two thirds the length of each leaf chopped off, and put the butt end of that section in potting soil to root.

    Your best option for renewed growth would have been the old root system and that section of cane. Have you discarded that? If you've tossed it in a remote corner of your compost pile or something, take a look at it again, because it's probably sprouted new shoots.

    Second best option for renewed growth is the lowest section of cane without any greenery or green parts, and root the cane itself. It may even sprout new growth before it gets any roots.

    The third and last option is trying to keep the same sad green parts you've been trying to maintain. You are going to lose those parts completely if you don't cut the leaves back very hard, maybe even trim out the top growth so it has to send out new shoots.
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    If I were doing it, I would take the top 6" of the two growing tips, pull off the leaves on the bottom half of those 6" pieces (they're sort-of wrapped around the stem - just pull them off the stem), and plunge the 3" part with the bare stems into soil. The two cuttings can go into the same pot. No fertilizer until they're growing. If the cuttings take, they'll grow quickly. Don't let them dry out, but there are no roots, so the pot isn't going to need as much water as when there are roots, so take care not to get it too wet. And keep it out of the sun until it's growing (or even after if you want - they do well in the shade).

    Without roots, you want a small bit of plant, as there's not much supporting it.
     
  8. katprice

    katprice Member

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    There's still the original (yellow) pot in my first set of pics above which now has about 2 feet of cane and the roots intact. It hasn't sprouted new shoots yet. I put fertilizer spikes in that one too.

    The cutting which I placed in the orange pot is the one having issues. I will follow your suggestions and keep you posted on what happens. I just hope this thing takes root, this plant means a lot to me.
     
  9. Barbara92021

    Barbara92021 Active Member 10 Years

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    Holy Hanna, Katprice!!! I am so glad to read this morning that you still have the yellow pot, with cane and roots!!! I'm thinking it will start getting green soon!!

    You might not have had this tragedy if you had done as I suggested and started your own thread. :( But, not to worry, (yet) b/c people here are super help!! Knowing what I know now, I can say that the 2 answers you got already are excellent. I would do exactly as suggested. It is possible that you may end up with 2 beautiful plants, eventually.

    I was having problems watering b/c I couldn't really tell if mine needed water or not as it is in a big pot. A friend of mine has a Drac and she helped me alot. She told me to go out and spend (under $10.00) for a moisture reader. It sure was worth it!! I have been learning so much about Dracs, mostly in this forum.

    In Search, type Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana" and read each of the posts to find out how to care for the Drac. It took me a few times returning here to read enough to learn how to care for this plant. They like dry soil but not for too long, they like warm water (even when I mist every few days, the water is tepid), and they like indirect sunlight. Lots of posts about fertilizing, too.

    I'm not sure if you should be using the fertilizer spikes or any fertilizer at this time. Hopefully, someone else will come along and help about fertilizing a Drac when it is getting stress.

    This is a webpage that really helped me, too. http://www.plantcare.com/encyclopedia/corn-plant-428.aspx

    I will certainly be returning to this thread to see how your Drac(s) is doing. Wouldn't it be nice if you do end up with 2 of them? :) I hope you post pics again! Good luck, Katprice!
     
  10. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    If it's ok for a while as is, see how you do with the red pot. If that works and you like the way it's working, you can do the same thing in the yellow pot. I find I get better-looking plants by starting new ones from the growing tip than by trying to do something with the long bare canes.
     
  11. katprice

    katprice Member

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    OK, here's what I have done. I took 6" off the two growing tips and planted those side by side in a blue pot.

    Next, I cut the main cane below the lowest leaves where they join the cane and put the butt end of that in a tangerine colored pot to root. I cut the green leaves way back.

    The bottom part of the main cane, I put back in the dark orange/red pot and I'll keep my fingers crossed that it takes root.

    The cane and roots of the original plant are still in the big yellow pot. It has no new shoots yet (since the cut). I fertilized it with Jobes spikes about 2 weeks ago.

    Thanks to Barbara, Wendy and thanrose for your thoughts and advice. I have grown up with this plant and I want to do my best to keep it going.
     
  12. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Good luck, katprice. Let us know how they turn out.
     
  13. katprice

    katprice Member

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    Oh, heavens. OK. Here's an update...

    The two growing tips in the blue pot: one didn't make it and the other began failing a few days ago. Please take a look at the attached pic and let me know how I can save this. I moved it back into a more sunny area when I noticed it was failing.

    The piece in the tangerine pot doesn't look like it made it, either. It's just a stick, same as the one in the dark orange/red pot. It never took root.

    On the bright side, the main part of the plant in the big yellow pot sprouted twice and is flourishing! I've attached a pic of that one as well.

    Thanks (yet again) in advance for any tips and advice.


     

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  14. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    That's too bad about the cuttings. They're not 100%, but I'd have expected them to do better than that. If they were in the shade, could they have been kept too wet? Sun shouldn't be helpful if they're ailing. They look like they've had it, so it's fortunate you have the sprout from the original one. With any luck, you'll be able to try this all again when that gets to be a few feet tall.

    The one that's just a stick but hasn't rotted - you could try cutting an inch off the top to see if that encourages it to do something. I have some spiral ginger stems that looked totally dried out and hollow, but sprouted when I cut an inch off the top after several months of inactivity.
     

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