Dracaena marginata - is it sick? and how to get new branches?

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by plant killer, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. plant killer

    plant killer Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I have a dracaena marginated donated to my office from my mum. It was healthy and had 4 heads of leaves when I first received it, and now it's a little sad looking.

    Firstly, the leaves are pointing downwards, the new growth is less vigorous than before and there was one main trunk that was kinda soft. It felt like there was some air space between the bark and the internal stem bit.

    Here's some photos of the poor thing:

    Full plant in its pot
    Dead/shrivelled/soft stalks

    I plan to repot in Spring (it's autumn in Australia right now) coz I think it's pretty pot-bound. It gets watered when the top 2-3 inches of soil is dry, which is about once a week. I had been neglecting the fertilizer, but I've rectified this now. It's facing north-west and looks like there's enough light.

    So is it sick? What else can I do?

    Also, it's looking really bare in the lower stem, can I get it to give me a new branch without cutting the top off completely? I read somewhere that if you cut a small slice in the stem, a new shoot will grow. If anyone's got any info on how to achieve this I would greatly appreciate it!

    Cheers!
     
  2. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I can't see your photos.

    When the stems get really long you can "air-layer" (google it) the top off. If the tree is healthy then the base will sprout new leaves. Cut away any dead canes.

    M.
     
  3. plant killer

    plant killer Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I've cut the dead stalks off. I'm not even sure why they died on me in the first place :(

    I know I can air layer, but I don't want to cut off the top of stalks because I want to keep the height. I was hoping that something else could be done to get it to branch.
     
  4. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    You could try nipping out the growing point at the tip. Just a guess. Or do the air layer right under the current leaves. Then, once the new branches grow a little, you will be back to the same hight.
     
  5. Rima

    Rima Active Member

    Messages:
    992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Canada
    You haven't said how often you water or how much. Just remember that the more sun it gets the more often you can water, but if it's getting less light than it did at your mother's, then don't water as often, but do it well when you do it.
     
  6. plant killer

    plant killer Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I water about once a week at the moment. When I stick my finger deep into the soil it feels dry. I tried to water once every 2 weeks, but the soil started to shrink away from the pot (which is plastic) so I thought I was drying it out too much :\
     
  7. plant killer

    plant killer Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Ok, I think the problem was too much water and too little light. I repositioned the draceana and I'm using a water meter to determine when to water now. It seems a little less sad now.

    On the up side, I bought myself 4 new office plants :) 2 bamboo palms, a Sansevieria and a Spathiphyllum, now I have lovely lush greenery in the office to brighten up the place.
     

Share This Page