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Dracaena deremensis 'Warneckei'

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by Raenkatz on May 06, 2004 02:26 AM
Hellllllllp! I've inherited a very sickly looking Warneckei. It's got three stalks in a 10" pot and it tips over if you barely touch it - pretty top heavy.

It started dropping its lower leaves (very dry and crunchy and brown)as soon as it was brought into the house (a friend of mine works in a grocery store and the plant guy decided it had done it's stint as a store plant and just gave it away). The remaining leaves look somewhat healthy but most of them have a few damaged spots, again brown crunchy dried out edges, tips, and sometimes streaked through.

The soil around the base of the stalks has sunken in in the middle and has a pretty thick layer of flakey soil material that can just be scooped up - almost like bark flakes.

Anyway, I have it in a corner so it can lean agains the wall on two sides. It's near a western facing patio sliding door, not directly in front but just to the south of the door, so it gets bright sun and some direct light if it filters through the blinds. I haven't repotted it since it's sickly looking. Two of the three stalks have been cut off with the new growth coming from the cut spots. The third stalk still looks like the original but only has vegetation at the very top of the stalk.

Is the browning going to continue until all the leaves are gone? I'd love to salvage this plant...I was actually thinking of cutting it down again and cutting the stalks short to get it so it's not so top heavy, but I don't know if that's a good idea or not. harumph!!
by Will Creed on May 06, 2004 04:10 AM
Yes, cutting it down is the best idea. The weak stems and discolored leaves are a result of inadequate light and poor watering at the store. So it is best to great rid of all that by cutting all of the stems to a height of 12- 18 inches. Healthy new leaf and stem growth will emerge from just below the cut points.

Warneckeis prefer very bright indirect sun with a few hours of direct sun. However, you may get even thicker new growth if it is placed in front of an uncovered window where it gets lots of direct sun.

Water when the top inch or so of soil feels dry. Avoid using hard water if you want to avoid leaf spots.

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