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dracaena marginata

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by Janet D on November 11, 2004 03:42 PM
I am interested in dracaena marginata and have read some previous posts. I have rescued a 4 ft tall one with foliage at the tops from a family member who has moved, and apparently one of three trunklike stems was damaged and cut off. I found it in my yard and repotted it in the same pot with the rest of the plant about 6 weeks ago. The leaves at the top seem healthy. I assume roots have developed to some degree, am I right? The cut-off portion of the rooted end is now sprouting 2 new stems. My question is, the water drains through very fast in the 12" wide pot and a local plants person suggests it may be rootbound as the soil seems quite organic and ok. Should I risk repotting it now or wait for a while to make sure re-inserted stem end has rooted? Some brown spotting of leaves but whole plant seems ok. Have read on WEB all about nurturing this species indoors (have dry winter house conditions bright but indoor shade in northerly location

Janet D
by glam70s on November 11, 2004 04:00 PM
I've heard that it takes three weeks for a cut cane to root itself. I don't remember where I heard that, but by those standards it should be very well rooted by now..

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by Janet D on November 11, 2004 05:52 PM
Thank you for the reply re the Dracaena marginata on Nov. 11/2004, re the probable 3-wk period for rooting of the re-inserted, broken-off stem.

I have read on the WEB that fluoride in the water may contribute to brown tips -- there are some. Remedies include using bottled water or boiled or water allowed to stand in open container, or adding a bit of lime to the potting soil to raise the alkalinity a bit. (I don't know much plant chemistry so this is pure regurgitation).
by Jiffymouse on November 13, 2004 03:46 AM
well, here's my two cent's worth. if it is draining too fast, and it is a "rescued" plant, try putting the whole pot in a tub of water and letting it sit for about an hour or so. then let it drain well, and then resume "normal" watering when it is dry when you stick your finger in the pot. you may find that the soil just became compacted from drying out too long.
by Will Creed on November 13, 2004 04:32 AM
Hi Janet,

There is a great deal of misinformation on the Internet.

Jiffy's suggestion is a good one, but only if the water is running straight through and little-to-none is being absorbed by the soil. If it is just a question of the soil drying out every three or four days, then it is not necessary to soak the soil as Jiffy suggested.

In any case, don't repot it.

Dry brown leaf tips on Marginatas are quite common becaue if conditions are less than perfect it shows up as tip browning. If the soil is allowed to get too dry even once, then you will get some brown tips that will stay brown forever or until you trim off the tips. That is probably what has happened with yours.

The damaging effects of fluoride and chlorine are greatly exaggerated. Using hard water is a much more common problem. If your local water is on the hard side, then switch to filtered, distilled or rainwater. Boiling and letting water stand will not help. Keeping soil in a pH range of 6.0 to 6.8 will help, but that is not usually a problem.

Marginatas do fine right in front of a north window, but they also do well in front of an east or west window. They can handle a few hours of direct sun each day.

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