Dracaena marginata

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Arky, Jan 6, 2021.

  1. Arky

    Arky New Member

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    I bought this palm about 10 days ago. It was healthy. It’s about 2ft tall. Lucious green. Now it’s dying. I left for the holidays about 5 days and came back and it was dying. It was watered before hand. No extra water given. I live in Alaska. It was in the cold when transported from the store to the car. When I got it. I have other plants that are doing great. But this one is looking Ill. I can’t lose it. I need help. Leaves have fallen off. Some leave ends are dark and withered. Most turning yellow and spotty with white. Soil is a good damp. Should I repot it?
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Arky good morning and welcome to the forum. Your palm is IMO suffering from shock from the move and possibly over watering. As you were going away for a few days I expect you gave it a lot to drink thinking it would need it even though you say no extra was given. Yellowing of the leaves is often a sign of over watering.
    The first thing to do is check the soil to see how wet it is and also check at the base to see if it is sitting in water or very soggy soil. You do say the soil is good damp, but how damp after several days away !!?
    I think I see a new pot on the floor, so you are already considering repotting. My thoughts are to wait until it is less stressed before doing this.
    When you do repot I would consider the two pot method, for example placing the pot that the palm is in inside another larger pot. You can then ensure good drainage by making more holes to allow for free flow of the water and stopping it from sitting in water.
    The larger pot can have anything in it at the bottom that lifts the first pot off the bottom. Some use crocks others use pieces of Styrofoam packing material. It is up to you.
    Lastly palms do not like going from cold to centrally heated houses, they will react badly to this. So many forums have questions about plants dying at this time of the year and often the answer is very dry and hot houses as the cause.
     
  3. Arky

    Arky New Member

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    What about the white on the leaves? Thank you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2021
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Is the white part of the leaf colour, or is it something on the leaves? Can you wipe it off?
     
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    A common cause is mealy bugs, but I think it is the start of mildew.
    This can be treated with a non chemicle control.
    Water the plants well from under the foliage, then apply a spray of 1 tablespoon (5 mL.) baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon (3 mL.) liquid soap and 1 gallon (4 L.) of water. You may also add 1 tablespoon (5 mL.) of horticultural oil to help the mixture adhere to the fungus. Apply to the top and bottom of the foliage to get all the fungal areas. Using this powdery mildew control indoors is safe and non-toxic and effective.
     
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  6. Arky

    Arky New Member

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    It’s on the leaves. I can wipe it off. But it’s not part of the leaf
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Maybe with a closer sharp photo we would be able to tell if it's mealy bugs or mildew.
     
  8. Arky

    Arky New Member

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    This is what’s on all the leaves.
     

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  9. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The white substance appears to be remnants of fertilizer or pesticide, unrelated to the decline of the plant which may be due to exposure to cold during its transport to your home. At this point care should be taken to not over-water, particularly with the loss of leaves, and water only as necessary.
     
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  10. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I agree with @Junglekeeper. I've often seen marks like that on Dracena and other plant leaves and simply wipe them off.

    You have every reason to expect your plant to get over the shock of being moved from ideal growing conditions in a nursery to a store and then to your home. Follow the guidelines laid out on many websites about where to place it and how to care for it. Don't worry if it loses many of those damaged leaves so long as it is producing new ones at the top.

    Definitely hold back on watering until the top inch or so of soil feels dry and make sure there is no water left sitting in the tray beneath. I water mine only about once a month. As it adjusts to its new environment, I would suggest putting it in a slightly larger pot.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    As of today, I notice my small, local grocery store has a number of Dracena marginata strategically placed around the produce department. They are multi-stemmed, 4-5 feet tall, beautiful, healthy specimens for only $90 each! I hope no-one thinks they're for culinary use.
     
  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Yes I agree with Junglekeeper this is remnants of probably overhead feeding at the nursery. Something I see a lot of in my area from the very hard water also.
    In my post #2 I have mentioned that shock from the move to your home is quite possibly the cause of the decline as is so often the case. Not your fault it happens all too often. But don't try and give it more water. This is often termed as killing it with kindness and a great many people fall into this trap.
     
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  12. Arky

    Arky New Member

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    My plant is doing better. I’ve been misting it. Giving it more humidity and sunlight. Should I trim the dead leaves off? Or trim the brown tips off?
     
  13. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    You can cut the dead leaves and brown tips off. And it's fine to cut the others back, but I think it will look better to keep the yellow ones long until you have an area of entirely new green leaves, and then you can remove the yellow ones. Or pull them off when they get really droopy.
     
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  14. Arky

    Arky New Member

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    I wasn’t sure if it was going to hurt the plant if I were to trim up the dead leaves. I wait for them to fall off But for the brown tips I think I’ll just trim off.
     

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  15. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    The dead leaves can come off for sure.
     
  16. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning, exactly as Wendy says.
     
  17. Arky

    Arky New Member

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    Six months later and here is my plant now. Happy and thriving.
     

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  18. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks for coming back to show us, Arky. That's great new.
     

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