Dracaena marginata leaves curling and shrivelling - parrot damage

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Tasmin, Jan 10, 2021.

  1. Tasmin

    Tasmin New Member

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    So I have the same issue with my plant, but my plant was damaged from the stem, as my parrot chewed off the bark. Ever since then the leaves have curled up, brown tip and yellow leaves. However, a new problem has occurred where the cane of my dracaenia marginata has shrivelled up, I have noticed that nearly all of the canes are shrivelled including the stem of the whole plant. I think the damage may have affected how the plant is taking up water.
    I don't know if I can save the plant, is it a good idea to have a pebble tray
     

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  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    Does this photo show the damage the parrot did to your Dracena? If so, it does look significant. Any part of the plant above that point will suffer from lack of water and nutrients moving up from the roots. Are you perhaps watering more in an effort to compensate? That would only compound the problem I think.

    If this were my plant, I'd seriously consider cutting off all 3 of the stems above the damaged portion and put them in another pot with appropriate soil and thereby start fresh. You could still keep the original plant and wait to see if it can sort itself out. Water only when the soil feels dry.

    There are so many websites that tell how to propagate Dracena marginata but here is one that seems good to me -
    https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/dracaena/how-is-dracaena-propagated.htm


    upload_2021-1-10_21-33-41.png
     
  3. Tasmin

    Tasmin New Member

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    Would you recommend that I use rooting hormone when planting the cutting into new pots.
     
  4. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    From all accounts, Dracena roots easily but you could use rooting hormone you want. All 3 stems could go in one pot, evenly spaced. You often see them with multiple plants growing together but of course, it's up to you.
     
  5. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I would also keep the original plant around, cut off below the damage, as it might sprout new growth too. Give it a month or two.
     
  6. Tasmin

    Tasmin New Member

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    When I do the cuttings what soil do I use, and would I need to water the soil just once, then put a plastic bag over both.
    How long do you think it will be until the plant start to grow new shoots
     
  7. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    First buy a good potting mix and put it loosely in a pot that is about 6 inches across the top (if you're putting all 3 cuttings in the same pot; smaller if you're planting them individually). Choose a pot or pots with holes in the bottom. Water the soil from the top and add more soil if the level drops too much. After it has drained thoroughly, make 1 to 3 holes where you want to place the cuttings.

    Cut the canes with strong, clean scissors or cutters, dip in rooting hormone if you wish, and push the canes to about 2-inches deep . . . deep enough that they can support themselves without wobbling. Gently firm the soil around them. You may want to cut away a few leaves if they get in the way of each other.

    Place the pot in bright, indirect light. A plastic bag over should not be necessary because the cuttings should root within a couple of weeks. Keep the soil moist but be careful not to water too much or too often.

    You won't necessarily see new shoots but rather, leaves will continue to emerge from the top where they are growing now. It is interesting though that Dracenas can be propagated from sections of cane with no leaves on them at all and, in that case, new shoots will grow from nodes along the length. (If you ever want to try this, be sure to make note of which is the bottom of the cutting and which is the top.)
     
  8. Tasmin

    Tasmin New Member

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    I have now planted the canes into separate pots, I watered them, and am keeping them in indirect sunlight. Do I need to keep watering the plants as usual
     

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  9. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    I guess that depends on what you mean by 'as usual'. The goal is to keep the soil moist (not wet) until new roots begin to form. When the top of the soil looks dry, poke your finger down an inch or so and, if it is still dryish, you should water. Always water thoroughly and, at the same time, allow the water to drain quickly. Do not even let the pot sit in a saucer with water in it.

    If you are curious after a week or two, you could very gently release a cutting from the soil by lifting it with a tool from underneath - do not just pull it up. I use a dinner knife inserted down the edge of the pot to lift the cutting from below where I might expect the roots to be.
     
  10. Tasmin

    Tasmin New Member

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    The main plant that I cut the canes from looks like it is growing fungus, I mixed the same soil with new soil, could that be why?
    When watering my plants does the water need to reach the dish underneath, and then I get rid of the excess water
     

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  11. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    When you squeeze the white bits between your fingers, do they feel hard or soft? If hard, I think what you seeing are bits of perlite surfacing from the soil mix . . . but if soft, I have no idea what they may be.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021

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