Re: Dragon Tree Plant not well

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Posted by Newt on March 18, 2003 at 21:22:07:

In Reply to: Re: Dragon Tree Plant not well posted by Ru Jin on March 17, 2003 at 05:58:47:

: : : : : : : 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

: : : Hi! My Dragon tree is having the same problems. Think I overwatered it, so I left it to dry and the leaves on the two smaller plant just kept drying out and falling off, so the other day I tried to re pot it and add more compost in a bigger pot. While trying do that, my boyfriend broke some of its roots and now the tallest tree has started to have yellow leaves as well. The smallest one has lost all its leaves, the middle one is starting to suffer and the tallest one which was not affected at all has started to have yellow leaves. Have the broken roots affected the plant in some way?

:
: : Hi Ru Jin,

: : Gosh, your poor plant has certainly had a time of it. It may still survive, so don't give up hope.

: : To answer your question about the broken roots: If the root system is broken off then the remaining root system might not be large enough to maintain the remaining top growth. The roots that broke off may not be significant enough to kill the plant, so I would suggest waiting at least 4 to 6 weeks to see what the plant does. If it loses all it's leaves and just seems to be sitting there and doing nothing, I would leave it alone for a while and just keep watering when it's dry. It may just need time to grow new roots to support any new top growth. You could try giving it some milk. Yup, the stuff we put in coffee. Just add a tablespoon to a gallon watering can or fill your milk containter with water when the milk is used up. The milk will contain calcium and other minerals and help to form new roots. It's also great for blooming plants as well, so you can use it on any houseplants you have. African violets seem to just love the milk and mine bloom almost constantly.

: : Good luck,
: : Newt

: Hi Newt,
: I have watered my dragon tree with milk as suggested, the tips of the leaves of the tallest tree are still turning brown with a few new shoots sprouting. My other two trees have no signs of life and the tips look wrinkled and dried out. Am not sure what to do now.

: Ru jin

Hi Ru jin,

The plant may never recover, but don't lose hope. You can cut the wrinkled and dried out looking tips just under the area where it looks bad until you reach live growth. The cut stems should heal over and in time (several months) should put out new shoots just below the cuts.

It may continue to lose some leaves, but since you have new growth, it sounds hopeful. Afraid this will take some time and patience will be necessary. Don't give up hope yet! :)

Newt

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