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Dracaena Marginata

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by Ethan on October 12, 2004 04:35 PM
Hello,
I know nothing about plants, however, I bought a Dracaena Marginata for my cubical at work. The plant has a stalk that is 6 inches tall, so I guess that it is quite small. My problem is, the ends of the bottom leaves are browning a bit. I've read that this is caused by over watering? Is this correct? It seems to only be the bottom leaves. I also read that these types of plants need a spacific soil mixture? Is this true too? I want my plant to grow tall eventually... is there any other tricks to help this plant grow? I will the lighting in my cubical be too dim?

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--Ethan--
by A Dancing Nancy on October 13, 2004 05:52 AM
Hello! I'm not a plant expert by far and am here learning myself, but thought I'd throw some advice your way. I've learned that most plants will brown at the tips when they're not receiving enought moisture. Not watering, but humidity in the air. Try misting the leaves every other day for a couple weeks and see how they do. Also, trim off the brown tips. If the bottom leaves turn yellow (most of the leaf) and wilt, then you're overwatering. Look for some more advice here and let me know how it goes!
Greetings from Atlanta~Amy

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A Dancing Nancy
by loz on October 13, 2004 07:01 AM
I have a few of them, and from what I've researched they like to kind of dry just a little between waterings.......Mine are doing great watering them like this....one of them was rescued from my sisters house and as soon as I brought it here and stopped watering it so much it perked right back up....my mom couldn't believe the difference in it.....The lower leaves will shed/die eventually--it's normal....I just pull them off every once in a while when I notice that they look bad.....for what you lose from the bottom you make up for with the new growth coming from the top. This is one plant I have to turn religiously or it will awkwardly bend towards the light......they are pretty easy maintainence though.......how often are you watering????
by Ethan on October 13, 2004 09:29 PM
This is a very new plant for me actually, I bought it from home depot about a week ago now. I watered the plant after I got it, made sure not to use too much water. I was planning on watering it again this friday (about a week after the last wattering), which seems okay I felt because the top of the soil was starting to look tried up and I hope by friday it will be dry deeper down.

Off the topic of watering, will flourescent lighting be sufficent for the plant to grow well?

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--Ethan--
by loz on October 13, 2004 10:42 PM
Well Ethan, I have mine in front of a pretty bright window.....but I did a little research and they are listed as being medium light plants that can be trained to tolerate low light....I'm no expert on this plant yet but I'd say that it may have a chance to survive.....Office lighting can sometimes make it hard for the plant to really do well.....If you are uncertain on placing it in your office you could get a pothos or a cast iron plant, they do well in low light situations....
by Jiffymouse on October 14, 2004 05:28 AM
flourescent lights are just fine for them. i grew a trio up to almost 4 ft tall with only flourescent lights for 10 hours a days a week. they were great! (actually, still are, they are in my bathroom now since i don't have that job anymore) - oh, and only about 1/2 the stalk actually has leaves at any given time.
by Ethan on October 14, 2004 04:58 PM
Thanks a lot everyone for all your help

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--Ethan--
by Ethan on October 18, 2004 09:26 PM
The leaves tward the top are starting to yellow a bit. I will try to get a picture of this, I felt like I did not overwater it, The soil was pretty dry when I put some water in it on thursday.
It was said that there should only be leaves halfway up the stock, should I pluck off the bottom ones then, even if they are still green?

Thanks,
--Ethan--

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--Ethan--
by Jiffymouse on October 19, 2004 05:17 AM
when i said that not more that 1/2 would have leaves, i meant that usually they will fall off on theier own accord. any leaf that is green is feeding the plant and should be left on, unless it is damaged or you are "pruning" for looks. as for the yellowing ends... sometimes they need more humidity, try sitting the pot on some rocks (to keep it up out of the water) in a pan of water to increase the humidity around the plant. that will give a localized area of high humidity from the water evaporating without drowning the plant.
by glam70s on October 19, 2004 06:20 AM
heh.. I wonder if all of the home depots got them, I got a small one there this weekend too..

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Who would have thought it was possible to become addicted to plants?
by Ethan on October 19, 2004 04:25 PM
So you think that I should put a pot of water UNDER my plant's pot? Then fill that pot with rocks (to rest my plant's pot on) and water?

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--Ethan--
by Jiffymouse on October 20, 2004 05:03 AM
that's the ticket. works like a charm. and it won't cause root-rot as the plant isn't actually sitting in the water. but the evaporation will make the plants happy!

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