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meyermike_1micha

Does anyone know what a Dracaenas is and what is wrong?

meyermike_1micha
15 years ago

Hi,

My work gave me one of these plants and they are so nice, that is when their leaves stick straight up like points.

The long thin gree leaf ones with the reddish edge to the leaves. This one is a 3 tweaded one.

I also have had one for 3 years now, and it to never wants to grow straight out and up leaves, but they flop downwards too.

What I don't understand is why do they flop when I own one? One I use to have from a long time ago did the same.

What am I doing wrong?

I just got back from Home Depot and they had a ton of them and the leaves were sticking straight up. They are so nice looking.

What would make them flop or bend downwards like a spiderplant?

When I got it, the leaves were straight out up until a couple of weeks ago. Seems like the new growth starts to grow and then flops too...

I do not keep them in the sun, since the ones I see here at work are only in a window with light, usually the east windows in a coolish room. Mine is kept in a warm sunny humid room, and never overwatered. I let them dry out completely because it seems to me no one ever waters the ones here at work, bone dry, and they are doing so nice.

What can I do to get the leaves to grow firm and straight up...

Thankyou

Comments (29)

  • Mentha
    15 years ago

    If I remeber right someone said that Dracs droop when they don't get enough water.

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    But the ones in Home Depot and at my work are so bone dry, I would never let mine get to that point, and yet they look better than mine, much better....? HUM
    Could it be they like cool, just light in a northern exposure, and dry conditions? Who knows...

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  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Marginata is the name of the ones that I have. I just saw the above post, but nothing relating to my problem, unless I was blind..:-)

  • greattigerdane
    15 years ago

    The leaves were probably sticking up because of where it came from, a nice bright greenhouse with a "sky view" and other feel goods! Maybe a skylight would help the leaves to look upwards more???

    Billy Rae

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    It is not so much that the leaves bends towards light, the leaves themselves give slack. They droop. They are not rigid and strong so that they can't stay up.I suppose if it was from overwatering, I would be loosing leaves. But not so.
    They feel softer and look like spiderplant shaped leaves now. NOt that it is ugly, but I would love for them to jet out straight.
    It can't be thirsty. That thing was bone dry everyweek, I never saw the people from the plant company water it,and those leaves were so straight and jet out and up.Is this the key, let it get bone dry for days?
    I have had another for at least 4 years now, and I can never get the leaves to stick straight up and out, it too grows leaves like a spiderplant,curved and arching downward. Is there a secret to stopping this? Does anyone else have this problem?
    My Aunt has one doing the same thing. Can never get her plants to have straight leaves also.
    Is it possible to get them this way growing in a home?
    The one at work is in a window with no sun. The windows are tall though. The ones at Home Depot have no skylights, and I can't think of they would keep theirs straight, unless they just get them shipped in.

  • pirate_girl
    15 years ago

    Hey Mike,

    Could you perhaps try to speak to the people in your office who care for the plants? They might be able to give you some tips.

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Genius..Not how how to spell that..lol
    I will get the number and find out...Some brains happen to be sleepier than others I guess..:-)
    Thanks pirate girl...So simple to the point! Love ya
    Mike

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Not sure how how to spell genius....what the heck...I think I need brain pills or help for typing correct wording everytime I post, never mind my plants lol!!!

  • pirate_girl
    15 years ago

    You must be really sleepy! You spelled it right both times.

    This idea particularly came to mind to be 'cause I've spoken to the office plant people sometimes, but I had a special reminder this wk.

    Had a Plant Mtg Tues. (Indoor Gardening Society) where a friend & fellow member was the speaker; he did a program on soils & different soil amendments. I know him for a decade at least, but other folks in the Society might not kow what he does for a living (where he learned much of this stuff). He cares for the office plants & makes the rounds from office to office watering & caring for companies' plants.

    So he's seen all kinds of things & hidden office behaviors (things like an ailing plant where it turns out 10 different people are ALL watering the plants, thinking that they're each helping).

    Or they water it w/ soda, or add cigarette butts. From time to time when I've been asked to rehab an office plant or two, I've had to put signs on the plant asking everyone to PLS. KEEP THEIR HANDS OFF, so I could correctly assess the plant's conditions w/out everyone's "help".

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    SO TRUE!!!!!!!!
    I have pulled out several cigarettes and chewed gum from that plants soil. Maybe this is the answer..:-)
    Everyone wants to put there coffee in it to, and I tell them to stop...
    I won't even let anyone water my citrus at my other job!
    So, I am going to call the plant people, as soon as I know what they do to get theirs to spike up so good, I will share for sure.
    Do you think more poeple have theirs grow like mine,or are all my spkiey leaves bending downwards an uncommon thing?
    I won't tell you what I think it needs for more rigid and stiff leaves!!!
    Thanks again!!:-)
    Speling was beter than yurs' this time....lol

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Hi pirate girl and everyone else,
    Tommorrow I will be bringing this plant to the doctors. The lcao nursery. Not even the plant company here could explain. I am begining to believe Billy Rae, lol. She wants to have a look at it.
    In fact, I have one I have been growing over 4 years, and it still grows like a spiderplant. lol
    I will let you know ok.

  • jeannie7
    15 years ago

    Plants in stores and nurseries are ones that are given what might be suggested to be "ultimate" care...or, the plants you see have recently come in from the greenhouses, they come in, and go out with regularity, they don't get a chance to suffer at the hands of well-meaning, but amateur houseplant owners.

    Since water habits outnumber all other causes of plant problems, most what happens to plants in the home are due to this reason. We try to not let them go thirsty and kill them with kindness.

    You say you let the plant go COMPLETELY dry. No plant should be allowed to go so dry the soil begins to shrink.
    That often comes with air openings at the edges of the pot.
    When you water, the water goes straight down the edges and often do not make proper contact with the roots.
    The water appears at the saucer below, and you believe the plant has been well-watered when in fact, it hasn't received any where it counts....at the roots.
    Look at the soil and see if this might be the case.

    I suggest, in place of giving it a watering, you leach it...once.
    Take the plant into your laundry room or other sink.
    Fill to the level that the plant, placed in, the pot is immersed totally over the brim. Wait for all bubbles to stop. This confirms total soil penetration.
    Allow full drainge like any other watering.
    Do not let water drained to sit in the saucer longer than 10 or so minutes. Dump the excess.

    Let your plant dry down to the point that it is still moist...use your finger up to the second knuckle. If it feels dry, water....and water to drainage.

    Mist your plant. This can often let the plant go for another couple days until water is necessary.

    This person who travels between offices, caring for plants.
    I cant believe he knows of proper watering techniques if he makes a point of watering every plant he comes across.
    Plants, like people, are different. Different strokes for different blokes.
    What one plant requires today, another doesn't need for a week...or a month.
    Plants, like people, should be given sunlight. But not all sun is the same and ergo, plants require different sun at different times.
    It this wasn't so, we'd all still be driving the same car...with the same color.......black.
    Besides, offices are some of the worst places to put a houseplant. They pretty up the place for a limited time...and when given TLC, by everyone, they die pretty soon and no one knows why. The plant knows, but can only give signs before the Funeral March is sounded.

  • pirate_girl
    15 years ago

    Jeannie,

    You seem to have a need to be contrary wherever you go these days. I didn't mean literally that he waters all the plants each time he goes (of course I didn't say how often he goes). I think most people reading this would get that I mean watering, caring for, etc. for companies' plants. Besides, I know this man, my friend, is a THIRD GENERATION plantsman, so I know it's for me to learn from him.

    Could you pls. find something else to do that's less annoying than following me around the Forum taking exception to my posts?

    GRRRRRRRRRRRR

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    15 years ago

    Calm down, pirate girl, lol. Consider the source....she's the advocate of artificial plants, remember?

  • pirate_girl
    15 years ago

    No Rhizo, no humor in this anymore.

    Pls. check the other thread, where she gets on to contradict my guessed at ID which was then confirmed by Mr. Sub.

    She goes on to give lengthy care info, for the WRONG ID plant, enough already, she could find somewhere else to play where she needn't keep contradicting people.

    Can you tell I've had a bad day on top of this??

  • jeannie7
    15 years ago

    Pirate Girl.....take heart in this: "I don't know you from Adam ---and I could care less.
    If you wish to express a view then the administrators are the judge. I wish the same privilege.

    If, as you seem to think, I follow you around, making disparaging remarks about your messages.......if they need contradicting and I believe such message should be countered with an opposite view, then I'll be happy to oblige.
    I feel any number of different views should be expressed.
    Yours included. I get the feeling you think your view of things shold be the end all and no one else's should see the light. Sorry--I'm not, that's not my way.

    As far as Rhizo is concerned.....she dones't like any opposite view to be given air time. Perhaps she is a clone....put on Earth just to find fault with anybody and everything.
    For her, I offer to homeoowners looking for a way to personalize a room, artificial plants have their say...and anybody who wishes to disagree can offer all readers their comments on it.

    As far as messages I offer, its up to the reader to say whether it has value or not. But I do offer up a different view to anything anybody wishes to express.
    By the way, I'll continue to offer what I feel I can add to any conversation regarding plants.

  • pirate_girl
    15 years ago

    I guess it's time to go back to Dracena talk -- I don't grow them, nor do I know them, except to say there's abt a 1/2 dozen of them at least right? Only one of which has a red outer margin?

    Rhizo, I'd always imagined you were male -- is that wrong? Not that it matters, just curious. Oops - Just looked at your profile, name sounds female -- so very sorry!

    I was born 12 days after you !!!!!!!

    OK, I'll try to get back my sense of humor, or at least to lighten up.

    Wish I knew the typing equivalent of a raspberry!!!!!!!!!

    Hoping my tomorrow is better than my today!

  • jeannie7
    15 years ago

    Twelve days.....maybe, but it could have been also the time it takes to register on this journal.
    Which one came first...the chicken or the egg, is a question you can put to one another.

    ffffffffttttt

  • kioni
    15 years ago

    Hi meyermike. I was in a box store today, looking over their plant collections, when I thought of this thread, so I checked out their little dracaenas (4 inch pots). All the solid greens with a slim line of red along the leaf edges were 'drooped' (like a spider plant), all the other tri variegated ones (cream, green, and maybe another shade of one of those two colors?) had leaves that poked straight up from the trunk. All appeared healthy (they just arrived last week - give it time....) just thought I'd share.

    Jeannie7 = Dianekaryl? Your style of written dialogue is very similiar to me.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Dark spot on dracaena trunk when it's too wet

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Thanks!!:-)

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    15 years ago

    I'm wondering if the plant might be a Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor', or similiar cultivar. Mike, this plant would be a good candidate for repotting into your gritty mix. Then you would be able to water it more frequently without fear.

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Rhizzo,

    I was thinking about what you just said. Not that I am not noticing all the other fine help being offered here.

    I was thinking about doing it in spring rhizo. The funny thing is that, I have one I have had for years in regular soil, tranplanted into the gritty mix in the summer, thinking this would make a difference, and the leaves still don't grow the way they are suppose to. They are healthy leaves,in fact beautifully healthier, but bent like spiderplants leaves still growing. I figure if they are not falling off, and look healthy, it can't be from overwatering or lack of..very mysified.

    Something strange though was told to me by my local greenhouse caretaker, after bringing one of them to show her yesterday.

    She said to let the soil dry out, then leave it dry for a couple of days beyond. She said not to water it as soon as the soil feels dry. She said the leaves need to harden off as they grow from a lack of water, to grow out firm and straight again. What does anyone think? She even liked the gritty soil. She wanted to know where to buy it..lol

    Is this strange advice, coming from a women who herself has one with perfect straight porcupine leaves?

    Who knows. I would assume that letting this plant dry out that long, the leaves would wilt anyways from thirst,or turn yellow and fall off right?

    Maybe I don't have the watering practice right on this one.
    Sorry to be such a pest! There's is already enough pest talk all over the forum..:-(

    I will keep trying to figure out. Thanks

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    15 years ago

    Another cause for the limp leaves could be insufficient light. Cellular structure changes when a plant is moved from optimal light conditions to a less bright location.

    Think that might be a possibility?

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    I never gave this a thought, because they are growing within 3 to 4 feet from all my citrus facing south windows with lots of sun light coming in and under growlights.

    The morning sun and late afternoon sun hits them both. This is the brightest room in my home. They do not get direct miday sun, but to the left and right of my sunny windows.
    Is there such a thing as too much sun light?

    The one I brought home from work was in a north facing window in the cool showroom, in absolutely way over dry soil, which I thought the plant people were ignoring. No one sees them come in but once a month. Maybe they don't have to since these plants are in a cool area with just light.

    If anything,it is getting more light than it was before, or should I say sunlight and in a much warmer and humid enviroment.

    The two other out there now, are so perfect in shape, and only getting north facing light in a cool area. Therefor, mystified.

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Just a thought rhizzo,

    Maybe I will put one of them in a cool room that faces the north side where only light comes in, and water a lot less, and see what happens as an experiment.I have no plants in there anyway.

    I always thought nothing could grow in that room. Maybe I finally have a plant that might do well in there. Maybe not everything has to be in the same warm sunny plant room. Maybe I can finally beutify this plain looking cool room... We'll see.

    Thanks again!!

  • watergal
    15 years ago

    Hi there, I am one of those professional plant people, and I deal with dracaenas a lot. I had a long chat with the wholesale greenhouse lady where I buy my plants about dracaena marginatas recently.

    She told me that when they are grown in Florida, they grow them under very high light with lots of fertilizer, so that they grow fast. Time is money, the faster they get the plant to full size, the sooner they can sell it and use the space to grow another one.

    With all of this light and water, their leaves are very firm, to the point that they can give you an extremely painful poke in the eye, like being poked with a stick (don't ask me how I know this...)

    A plant will keep these stiff leaves for several months after being put into its office location. If the light is very bright, the leaves will stay stiff. If the light is dim, they will gradually start to droop over time. Once they droop, I don't think they can get stiff again, at least not those particular leaves.

    The droopy plants that you see the plant company caring for probably only need water every two to four weeks, especially if it is dark and/or cold.

    I do not recommend moving marginatas into cold. They do not like cold at all, and it will lead to the lower leaves turning a mushy yellow, along with all sort of possibilities for root and stem rot.

    Marginatas do like to be kept dry, especially if they are in a dim location. Not as dry as a cactus, but pretty darn dry. When in doubt, err on the side of not watering.

    The ones you see the plant company take care of with the stiff leaves? It is quite possible that they remove them and replace them with new ones periodically, and that is why the leaves appear to stay stiff.

    Hope that helped!

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    In fact, it did!
    Thanks alots watergal, and everyone. If I can't give them the best conditions to get the leaves to poke me in the eye, lol, then at least I am doing good with keeping them healthy. At least they are not ugly, even if the leaves do droop.

    At least I fell better knowing that I am not failing them up here in the cold low light area.

    I havn't lost any bottom leaves due to overwatering or too dry,or I would of lost bottom leaves due to yellowing. At least I am watering properly. What a great way of explaining this.

    In fact, you're probably right with the plant company, the only time they do come in is probably to trade them out for healthy ones. I have yet to catch them watering or for that matter see them at all...

    Thankyou

  • watergal
    15 years ago

    If they get too dry, you will lose a bottom leaf or two and it will be crispy brown. No big deal. If they are too wet, the lower leaves will be a dull yellow - an occasional one is also no big deal, but if you get them a lot, your roots are in danger of rotting.

    I have a funny story about margs with droopy leaves. When I took over an account at a retirement community, there was a droopy, sad marg in a corner. After I started watering it properly, it was still droopy, but it stopped throwing yellow leaves and actually looked pretty good. One of the residents decided she wanted to buy one like it, so I special ordered it for her. I made a big deal about warning her that a new one would have stiff leaves and even showed her a picture.

    Of course, once I brought the plant to her, she was all in a tizzy because it wasn't gracefully drooping. So I ended up with an extra marg I didn't need. But it worked out great, because one of the salespeople there wanted a plant in her office, and the marg was perfect, so I sold it to the company for her office instead. It's been there since August or September, in really good light - and the leaves are still very, very STIFF!

  • meyermike_1micha
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    What an interesting story.....
    Awsome how it all worked out!!
    Thanks for sharing watergal, and for the difference in to dry and too wet and what to watch for.
    Think I will feel more comfortable with loosing leaves to being to dry as compared to to wet.
    Thankyou..:-)

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