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what kind of plant is this?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by russ antrim on September 15, 2006 01:24 PM
i have this plant that was at my girlfriend's old apartment and it was dying, it was never watered. 3 of the 5 stalks in the pot had died, so i took it and watered it and got a bigger pot. it looks great now, but i have no idea what kind of plant it is! i would like to also grow more from this one, but i have no idea how it reproduces. please let me know, i am sure it is a pretty common house plant, and i know it doesnt like direct sunlight. it looks like a palm tree. if you can help me let me know, i can send you a picture.

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by Patty S on September 15, 2006 03:42 PM
Russ, does it (or might it someday) look like this?


I'm just taking a wild guess here, going by a few of the characteristics you described... & it sounds like the plant you rescued was nearly dead, so it might not be as full as the one in the photo.

Anyway, this is a Dracaena marginata AKA: Red-edge Dracaena or Madagascar dragon tree. If it's the same one you have, you're right... it doesn't care for direct sunlight, but mine does real well in a bright, sun-lit room. There's no point going into its care requirements & how get more plants from it, until you confirm my guess. (I will say, though, that if this is the plant you've got, you can do more harm than good to it & it'll drop leaves all over the place, if it's over-watered or if its roots stay too wet.)

Now... I'd like to welcome you to the forum!  - I must say that I'm pretty impressed that you rescued that plant! [clappy] Most of the guys I know, wouldn't even care! I just love it when men show an interest in plants... (& I love it even better when they're not afraid of the kitchen, because I HATE cooking!) [lala]

You'll find that we're a bunch of real friendly people, eager to help each other with house plant & gardening issues (& most of us are looking for help with ours too, so don't be shy... if you see something else you can rescue, jump right in!)

Do stop into the New Member forum, have a look around, & introduce yourself. We're like 1 big family here, & look forward to getting to know you better!

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by Patty S on September 16, 2006 04:12 PM
I'm back! [wavey]

I see that you posted a picture over in one of the other forums here, Russ! [clappy] (That was quick! Thanks!)
Posted by russ antrim in Mystery Plants:  -
You're right... it DOES look great, even considering what it had been through! (Good save!)  -

Shortly after joining the forum, just a year ago, I had questions about this same plant, & my new friends offered up a lot of interesting information about it. (I found that old thread after digging around in the Mystery Plants archive, so I'm passing it along to you.)

The only thing that's not covered there is the type of potting soil & specific water requirements. Here's what I've learned, & what is working for me...
Dracaenas require a light plant media (such as peat-based potting soil) with gravel/rocks at the bottom, to ensure good drainage. They're not happy when they're over-watered or when their roots stay wet. (Ideally, the soil should be allowed to get quite dry between waterings.) Too much water will cause their leaves to discolor & start dropping.

Since the (lower) leaves dry & fall off as a normal part of their growing process, that can be deceptive... & fool a person into thinking they need more water!
Watering should be the second concern, as good drainage is PRIMARY.

Best of luck with your happy looking plant, Russ!

By the way, my photo was taken a year ago, & that Dracaena is quite a bit taller now. I never have started new ones, but I think I'm brave enough to try it now! [Smile]

Do you have any other house plants? ...and do you have anything growing in your yard? [dunno] (I sure hope you're putting that green thumb of yours to work!)

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by Pburgh on September 26, 2006 02:36 AM
I have gotten very, very brave with one of mine and cut a little slice out of the trunk or just run your fingernail about 1/4" into trunk. I've had several new shoots appear!!!! [grin] [Smile]

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