Re: Dragon Tree Plant not well

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Posted by Newt on January 23, 2003 at 18:30:48:

In Reply to: Re: Dragon Tree Plant not well posted by Brett on January 23, 2003 at 09:17:16:

: : : 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?

: : http://green.reinyday.com/housep/dracaenam.html

: : Here's another image.

: : http://www.paradisedesigns.com/images/plants/madagascar-dragon-tree.jpg

: : 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

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