Re: Dragon Tree Plant not well

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Posted by Newt on May 31, 2003 at 18:49:23:

In Reply to: Re: Dragon Tree Plant not well posted by Dawn on May 31, 2003 at 18:22:25:

: : : : : The tips of the leaves are dying, some of them have several inches of death. Is this a watering problem?
: : : : : It's been quite happy for about 8 months and has only recently shown these signs. Any ideas?

: : :
: : : : Hi Brett,

: : : : We need more info. What exactly is happening with the tips of the leaves? Are they turning brown? When you say dragon tree do you mean a dracena? The lower leaves will eventually turn brown or yellow and fall off as the plant grows, leaving a tall naked stem. Is this your tree?

: : : :

: : : : Here's another image.

: : : :

: : : : Newt
: : : Thanks Newt, It's a Dracanea Marginata and I have three stems in one pot, the smallest is looking the worst but the other two are also affected. The tips are turning brown and then spreading down the leaf. There is also some white mould on the surface of the soil. Any ideas? Brett.

: : Hi Brett,

: : This sounds like overwatering. You should be watering when the top inch of the soil is dry. Just stick your finger in to the first knuckle. If it comes out damp, don't water. Also don't let the plant sit in water for more than an hour after watering.

: : As for the white on top of the soil, I'm wondering if you are fertilizing and using something like Miracle Grow. Synthetic fertilizers contain residual salts that leach out in the soil. If you have your plant in a clay pot you will probably see white on the outside of the pot as well. I recommend using something like fish emulsion and only fertilizing once a month during spring and summer.

: : If this is a fungus and not due to fertilizing, I would suggest that you try and scrape off the soil and replace with fresh potting soil.

: : Hope this helps,
: : Newt

: Newt,
: My probleam with my Mass Cane Dracaena started out similarly to Brett's however it's spread quickly. I've lost one sprout completely- when I took it off it was hollow. I water it as you directed. Could it be a light issue or heat issue?
: Thanks,
: Dawn

Hi Dawn,
When you say a heat or light issue, I'm wondering what you mean. Is yours in direct sun? Is it sitting next to or under a heat register? Even with those conditions, it still sounds like either a fungus or overwatering.

You might want to take it out of the pot and look at the roots. They should be firm and whitish. If they are dark brown and mushy, then there has been too much water and you'll need to cut that part off. Just remove as much of the dirt as possible and use a clean sharp knife or razor blade in a utility knife. Wash the pot in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water and rinse well. Repot with fresh soil.

Hope this helps.

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