Dracaena

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Bryan Reid, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. Bryan Reid

    Bryan Reid Member

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    I have five Dracaenas in large pots with good soil and drainage. They line my lawn out the back. They get direct sunlight for a few hours in the morning then strong indirect light for the rest of the day.

    I used rhodo fertilizer to try and get the leaves greener as they looked a little pale after the Winter. They are stored in my garage over the Winter.

    The tips dry up and I snip them off to make the plant look a little better. They say the tips go brown because of low humidity. Well this Spring seemed to be humid to me but lately it has been nice and warm here in Nelson B. C. Obvious I can't mist them outside so I am wondering. Has anyone got a way to keep the tips from going brown and what fertilizer, when and how much should I give them to darken the leaves. Also, how often should they be watered. We are watering maybe every other day.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Bryan
     
  2. Bryan Reid

    Bryan Reid Member

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    Photo

    Here is one of the plants.
     

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  3. Bryan Reid

    Bryan Reid Member

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    Dried Tips

    Here if you can see are the dried tips.
     

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  4. PlantExplorer

    PlantExplorer Active Member 10 Years

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    Cordyline australis

    What impresses me is how healthy you have kept these plants in your garage through the Nelson winters!

    What you have are most probably specimens of Cordyline australis, a relative of the Genus Dracaena, and a member of the family Agavaceae – the Agaves. Native to New Zealand, this species thrives in warm temperate to subtropical climates.

    The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening describes this species as having naturally light green leaves, which suggests that you needn’t worry about getting the leaves any darker. The Dictionary goes on to suggest that the best leaf colour is achieved when the plants are grown in dappled shade - Although in this case they are primarily referring to the variegated forms, I believe this also holds true for the plain green species. If the leaves show a general yellowing, then an application chelated iron may help to improve colour.

    As far as I can tell from what I’ve read, humidity may be an issue, since these plants do very well in regions with warm temperatures and relatively high humidity, but over-fertilization may also result tip browning. So try easing up on the fertilizer a bit, but otherwise keep up the great work – eventually these beauties will grow into handsome trees - assuming that you’re still able to fit them in your garage every winter!
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2003
  5. Cordyline australis

    No doubt this is a cordyline australis, or cabbage tree native of Aotearoa (NEW Zealand). The leaf browning is nothing to worry about. Cordylines do loose their leaves as the trees grow and a trunk start to appear. The leaf going brown may be several things: a bug sucking on the sap or the leaf simply dying (which is normal) and drying up. Eventually a taller cabbage tree will have a nice skirt of dead leaves wrapping around the trunk. You can also tear these off the trunk which will give a palm tree appearance to your tree.
    Cordylines thrives in all sorts of climates and conditions. They are very hardy and are often found in swamps around New Zealand. They like having wet feet and like most tropical and subtropical plants they have a long taproot. That's why they don't really like staying in pots for too long.
    They can also handle colder climates and even a bit of frost. I have around 25 cabbage trees in my garden. Some are around three and a half meters tall and they handle wind, rain, droughts even though they are still fairly young.
    They grow very quickly if you water them. A couple of my trees have grown over two meters in one year. Just incredible.
    Anyway good luck with your trees
    Fred
     
  6. Suzanne

    Suzanne Member

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    Native to my country

    I am a Kiwi and these cordylines are native to my country (New Zealand), here we call them 'the cabbage tree' as these leaves go yellow and dry up strip them away from the trunk at the bottom and they grow a bare trunk with a mop top.If the whole plant starts to yellow e.g new growth, a feed of iron or trace elements would be a big help. But the drying off is normal.
     
  7. kate_otto

    kate_otto Member

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    I also have brown tips on a Draceana/Cordyline

    I think I have a similar plant, with spiky leaves, and called it a Yucca at first, and now Dracaena. I have different plants that I call Cordylines, that have leaves 20-30cm long and 6-8cm wide, different varieties of green/yellow, and burgundy coloured leaves.

    I cut off the top of two stems, about 60 centimeters, as it was said on a TV gardening show that they can be propogated this way, and stood it in water for about two weeks, where little stars of roots appeared, then put it in a small pot. This was probably between January and March, the end half of the Australian summer into Autumn, and I decided to leave them in the pots for the winter, as it is very dry and rain is very rare in winter, and very low humidity, during which, they survived a couple of frosts, thank goodness. And one now has brown tips, the one that is in more shade, as they are at opposite ends of my patio, which has different amounts of shade cover from the garden beside it. The brown tips are all over the plant, randomly, but not every leaf tip. Not just on the bottom leaves which I would expect the brown tips to appear on if it were just ageing leaves.

    I put this down to the fact that I had kept them in the pot for too long, and I had forgotten to water them sometimes over the winter, but wasnt too worried as plant activity is lower in the winter. I will see how they recover once I plant them in the ground this spring.

    Is there any other particular fertilizer apart from rhododendron fertilizer? Or will an all purpose garden fertilizer do?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2004
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    In addition, Cordyline australis (syn. Dracaena indivisa*, D. 'Spikes') is apt to develop a "virus" that causes the leaves to be heavily spotted with yellow. So, it might be best to settle for a good overall appearance with this plant, and not worry about what it looks like up close.

    *Also sold as C. indivisa, which is actually another, much less frequently cultivated species with broad leaves.
     

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