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Dracaena looks sick

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Dracaena looks sick

Postby brown thumb » Nov 15, 2009 12:51 pm

Hi. I have 2 Dracaena Marginatas and they looked great when I got them. When they looked sad I did everything from watering less to adding fertilizer in the winter months, to running water over them for a few minutes to drain them of build up, to giving them more light, to changing to softer water. NOW my dog has shown an interest in soil and one night ate a load of soil and now the lower trunk and stems and roots are exposed and the plant looks really sad and may die. How do I save it and how do I get the plant o look happier. The leaves are really dull and falling out. HELP!!!!! :o
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Re: Dracaena looks sick

Postby Eeyore » Nov 15, 2009 11:44 pm

I'm afraid to say that I think they may be done for. Remove them from the pots and have a look at the roots. If the roots look brown and mushy there is no hope for them. If they are still white and healthy looking then pot them up in new soil and don't over water. They don't need fertilizer in the winter as that is the time when they are "resting". Once new growth starts in the spring start watering more frequently and fertilizing.
Lyn
AB, Zone 3A
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“Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” ` James Arthur Baldwin"
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Re: Dracaena looks sick

Postby Jeannie » Dec 05, 2009 5:19 pm

Couple things you mentioned: You used "softer" water.....that implies you resorted to doing something to the water that made it "softer". That could also imply you are using water from a tap on a softening system. That's a no-no for doing plants....any plant.
I'm sure too you are aware that dracaena in particular cannot stand long when given water that causes salt built-up. Hence I think why you used the leaching method, immersing the plant totally letting the water fill all crannies to drive our such salts. That is often done for this purpose and can help a plant rid itself of salts that build up from water that has it, to fertilizers that don't get used by the plant. One reason to use clay pots, it shows such build up on the sides--interior and exterior.

You should try to never feed a plant in winter....its not growing, ergo, its not needing the food and as you have already done something to rid itself of excess salts, you would be starting that process all over.

More light. At this time of season, the sun's intensity is going down ---every day until round about mid February when light levels pick up. The dracaena likes bright light so however you can increase the light will do it good. Raising it can help increase light levels, put it on a pedestal, a table or hang it up. Southern, western or at the least eastern morning sun is recommended, certainly not a northern exposure.
NO MORE fertilizing until it begins to grow again in Februiary/March. Try to also not feed it fertilizer that has high ratio of phosphates.
The potting soil should be without high amounts of perlite.















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