Tall Dracaena Massangeana (Corn Plant) Needs Help

HomeGardenInVAFebruary 9, 2013

I've had my corn plant for nine years and it has grown to it's current height of approx 15 feet tall. It is a beautiful plant/tree and the first thing everyone notices when entering our home. Over the years, I've always had to remove brown leaves and cut browning tips, however, recently the amount of browning seems to have multiplied. I'm very concerned about this. In addition, when I water the plant some of the water seems to go directly to the pan and the soil is not holding much of the water. And finally, over time two of the three trunks started leaning in one direction and the shorter one leaning in another direction, so now it looks as though it may tip over very soon.

I'm not quite sure how to correct the problems so I'm looking for advice on the best solution to stop the browning and straighten the plant.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

probably not much MEDIA .. medium.. left in the pot after so many years ... as you note.. its lost its water holding abilities ...

i like to think of 'soil' as mother earth..

sooo.. and i have no clue how you will do this.. you need to repot it ... and.. good luck with that..

if cutting it is an option [since its ready to tip over anyway]... and probably your only option... you could cut one branch to 3 feet.. on to two feet and one to one foot .... and then repot it into a bigger pot ...

it should sprout.. from the cuts ... and with the new media .. you ought to be all set ...

ask if you need advice on what kind of potting media ...

INSURE OTHERS AGREE WITH THIS .. i dont want you hunting me down in my sleep... lol ...


ps: or you take cuttings from near the top.. root those.. throw out momma.. and reuse this pot with the smaller new pieces ...

pps: it aint gunna be pretty either way .. but its time.. IMHO .... i would personally hang on .. until this can all be done outdoors ... because its going to be a mess ...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hi & welcome to Gardenweb! What a beautiful, absolutely gorgeous tree! (Well, treeS, to be technical.)

Everything you've described indicates your plant needs to be repotted. There are pics and instructions here. It should fit back in the same pot if you prefer that. A bigger pot would be great, but not necessary since there's no doubt the roots should be trimmed after such a long time, explained more at the link. You might start looking for one you like for the next repot though.

Agree you should do it outside, in the shade, any day it's over about 55 deg. should be fine. You'll probably need some help, a 2nd set of hands. When putting back in the pot, I would tilt it to the left, looking at the pic, so the whole thing goes more straight up, the trunks are kind of leaning. That should help a lot with stability.

If it were my plant, I'd cut off the tallest part at the purple line. Then remove the tip at the red line. You can stick the tip in the pot with the repotted mama plant or in its' own pot. The remaining piece of leafless trunk may also grow new plants. If you feel adventurous, you can try it as one big piece, smaller pieces, or even pieces laying sideways on the surface. If you try them straight up, just remember to keep them in the same direction they were on the plant, the down end down, the up end up.

On the stump that is left from the purple cut, at least one, possibly more new growth tips should come from that trunk eventually. I chose the placement for the line so the cut would be mostly hidden by the leaves, yet low enough for the new tips to be able to grow for a long time before getting too tall for the room again. The shorter ones are so pretty and don't seem too big for the space, I would be hesitant to cut them yet. If you do one every few years, not all trunks at once, it won't look nearly as chopped.

If you rotate it halfway around once every week or two, that should help prevent it from leaning toward the light. Whatever else you've been doing, keep doing it, your tree is awesome!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i suggested cutting them all back.. because i dont know how you are going to drive a stake thru the floor.. to hold it upright.. with loose media ...

you can try her way.. and then when it flops over.. cut another.. try again..

and when it flops again.. [BTW.. do you have cats.. lol] ... cut the third and final ...

i guess i prefer to do it once.. and not have to worry..

its a matter of physics.. the shorter stems simply wont have as much gravitational pull pulling them sideways...


    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Ken and purpleinopp,

Thank you both for the recommendations. It is clear that I need to repot and propagate. purpleinopp, I read the repotting Corn Plant link and feel comfortable with repotting now.

Ken, I hear you on the gravitational pull. When I feel around the soil there’s a gap between the soil and the pot on the side opposite the heavy leaning trunks. I believe this happen over time and probably leaned more and more every time I watered the plant.

From what I’ve learned the best way to alleviate the problems will be to repot (in April) and cut the taller and leaning growths back. After I’ve removed the dirt and larger woody roots I’m counting on the root ball to be more flexible so I can repot with all three trunks in a upright position. I will cut the tallest one but I’ll still have some height and fullness with the other trunks.
Because I will have to do it outside, I’m planning to cut and repot in early April. Between now and then, I’ll see if I can find a larger pot. I would like a bigger pot but couldn’t find one that was heavy enough at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I bought this one about 2-3 years ago. My goal is to plant the original three trunks in a new larger pot, and take the offsprings and repot them in another pot.

What kind of soil would you both recommend? Usually, I just use Mircle Gro potting soil. Also, do you know what the black or green liquid stuff is that’s put on the exposed cut trunk? I’m guessing that it stops the trunk from growing from the center. Not sure.

Laying sideways, I looked for a picture but couldn’t find one. How do the plants look if the trunk grows sideways?

BTW, I did have a cat when the tree was about half it’s size today. And yes, my cat (Keke) tried to climb the tree. lol.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

this is how i think of it..

soil is mother earth... she is wonderful.. outside ...

in pots we use media ... some say medium ...

the reason your plant wobbles.. is that your media has worn out.. and that is why we suggest repotting every few years.. as it ages.. it also losses its ability to drain and maintain water.. in a predictable manner ...

i dont know what this things needs as far as media ..... but i would NOT use a media that comes with fertilizer in it.. i am sure others will have suggestions.. i would rather.. be in control of adding water soluble fert.. when i want it..

wet your media.. thoroughly in advance.. so it is not a dusty.. water repellant mess.. just open the bags.. and pour water in the top.. and punch a couple little holes at the bottom ... for excess to drain out.. do this way in advance ... i have also used a wheelbarrow.. to dampen large amounts.. you can not pot it dry.. and hope the media wets properly ...

pack in some media in the bottom.. work your plant back in.. and really pack it around the sides.. trying to wedge your monster back into the pot so it will stand upright.... and just get the job done..

these types of plants.. are predisposed to cutting the cane.. and letting it air dry.. you are not GOD.. and you will not think up better things with paints.. nor elixirs .. etc ... just make the cut.. and let it dry clean ...

i was suggesting the cat will want to go digging in the new media.. good luck with that ...

i wouldnt be surprised if you cant find some youtubes on repotting large house plants ...

good luck


This post was edited by ken_adrian on Sun, Feb 17, 13 at 9:43

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I would encourage you to use something much more chunky, porous, airy than traditional bagged potting soil. I don't use any peat at all, I think it's awful stuff because it holds too much moisture forever until it's suddenly so dry it won't accept moisture, hydrophobic. There are a ton of discussion about "potting soil" on the house plant forum. Some people add stuff like bark chips or perlite to potting soil, or mix something entirely "from scratch." Your goal is to have something that water flows out of as fast as you can pour it on, doesn't move around when you water it, and doesn't retain excess moisture.

Under these conditions, the roots will be a healthy as possible. Packing the soil tightly into the pot can defeat the purpose of having a more porous soil if you force all of the particles so close together that there are no tiny air pockets left. Roots need air as well as moisture and have a harder time cruising through a pot packed too tightly.

The placement of the rootball in the pot so the top part is sticking straight up should alleviate the leaning. If it needs some support at first, I try to use rocks around the trunk instead of packing the soil too tight. If you're putting the plant outside, rocks can give the bottom more weight so it doesn't blow over, and keep the wind from pulling the plant out of its' pot.

I wouldn't worry about putting anything over the cut end left on the mama plant, but there's no harm in covering it with wax if it would make you feel better, more proactive. The new growth won't come straight out of the top of the cut trunk, it will be somewhere on the side, impossible to say if it will be near the cut (more likely) or closer to the roots (less likely.) The removed top just needs to be stuck deeply enough in soil so it stays upright, probably 3-4", so allow for that when you cut. I think you'll need a saw.

Hey I think Ken's right about the cat being attracted to the new, loose soil. The rocks can help with that too. I'm talking about larger, preferably flat rocks, like chunks of flagstone, not a mulch of small rocks. If you don't like the rock idea and the plant is holding itself up, you can use plastic forks stuck in the pot, with the tines just at the surface to discourage kitty from being interested. Use enough so it's about impossible for kitty to step in there w/o getting poked... but won't help if kitty jumps onto the upper part.

You're right, I can't find pics of logs planted sideways either, except . Used to be all the rage in the 70's. I would use a little bigger piece than pictured. Not guaranteed to work, but you have plenty of material to work with if interested. I've never thought any of my trunks were fat enough to try sideways. Anyway, it's possible that it would make multiple tops.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ken and Purple, can you guys come re-pot all my stuff? (Including my Corn Plant?) Cuz there is NO way I'm going to be able to figure out, and buy, what's right and wrong for all my plants. LOL!
Ken, look away for a minute...
Purple, I use dirt from the embankment of our canal. Not even "soil." What can I add to make it compact less? (Don't say to buy media, please? I will buy or find something to add, but not completely replace.)
Ok, Ken. You can look now. How ya' been? Good? Good. If you peeked, then you may address my specific question... not suggest I be drawn and quartered for planting in dirt. Or go ahead and suggest it, but make sure I can tell it's meant to also be humorous.

This post was edited by shear_stupidity on Tue, Feb 19, 13 at 8:31

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Shear, I'd LOVE to come and repot your lovely plants (and take a dip in the pool!) but I'm sure you can do it just fine!

Ken, look away again!

I use mostly compost from my pile and finely shredded hardwood mulch, with some yard dirt. Not saying that's the best thing to do, but it works for me and it's inexpensive. Obviously not sterilized, not for the squeamish about bugs crowd, breaks down fairly quickly, and has to be replaced a little more often, but I would repot yearly anyway. I'm not spending an arm and a leg to do it.

IME, it's not about what the ingredients are, but about the texture, as long as it's really chunky, no peat or sand added (but of course there's sand everywhere anyway.) I also don't like perlite because of its' unnatural appearance, and when I repot, the "old dirt" gets thrown in flower/veggie beds, so would still be looking at those white things in the ground which really bothers me. I don't know why. Probably not the answer you were looking for, but is what it is.

This year I'm going to put a lot of my "house plants" in the ground instead of tending so many pots all summer. (Yeah, I know, the pots will probably end up full of something anyway...) The ones I don't feel like digging back up, well, I'll find out which ones I really like.

OK Ken, it's safe to look back now.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

:) Thanks! My pots are full of mostly sand. LOL! I'll work on modifying it a bit.
Every time I decide not to plant in the ground so I don't have to tend so many pots, I end up refilling the pots again, too. LOL!
I don't have house plants. The orchids are vacationing in the kitchen, but that's just until late March. Between the dog, the grandkids, and all the pots in the yard, I don't have time for indoor plants. They'd be neglected. They would just look at me all accusingly and I wouldn't be able to enjoy "Wine and Tv Hour." LOLOL! (But it's true!)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

LOL! Anything more chunky you can add to the sand should help. Like I said, there's a LOT of sand in my pots and I don't put it there. Sand is just everywhere, and way more so where you are even. There are other mulches, but a generic finely shredded hardwood usually goes for about $1.50 for a 40 lb. bag, and at that price, you know it hasn't been painted or any of that ridiculousness.

Sand + mulch would make me a little nervous w/o the compost. If that's a route you'd like to investigate, you might want to ask the soil/mulch forum people about it. You may need to be ready with a high nitrogen fertilizer if your plants begin to look yellow from the "nitrogen robbing" of the decomposing mulch (assuming I'm remembering and relaying the info correctly to begin with.) Mixing time-release fert into the mix might be a solution, or adding a large volume of freshly cut grass when mixing it. Sometimes I mix up something that's not quite right and see some of this. Covering the surface with freshly cut grass can help also but kind of messy on a deck or patio, and doesn't have an instant effect.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What I've been doing is just adding stuff to each planter (on top of the dirt, under the mulch) as I collect it. For example, used coffee grounds, banana peels, wet dried oak leaves, leftover removed green leaves from anything I'm propagating elsewhere, flower heads from pinching back (geraniums, for example), small sticks, etc. I've even been known to bury dead frogs/toads in the dirt in the pots. (I don't kill them, they kill themselves! The toads drown, the frogs have fallen to their deaths on the patio or pool deck) I imagine that if I'd mix all this stuff IN instead of laying it on top, it would be more helpful But some of these pots are huge and HEAVY!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

No, that sounds fine, a form of sheet composting. Being outside, you'll get microbes, fruit flies, worms various decomposers. If it fell naturally, that stuff would be at the surface. I don't mix anything into an existing planter, just when mixing the soil initially. I remember you said it would be a PITA to have a compost pile there, and bins are even more ugly, IMO, and don't hold enough for a yard the size of yours to bother. You don't want to waste the natural resources of your yard though.

I would be doing the same thing, and often put stuff directly in places instead of composting first even though I have multiple "compost piles." Like banana peels. They are for under the roses. Watermelon rinds are basically just water with little else to offer, so I put them at the base of elephant ears or thirsty cannas. I get bags of peanut shells from a chicken farm sometimes and just spread those around beds to implement the "mulch." I try to follow a spread-it-around policy for large quantities uncomposted single materials so I don't accidentally radically alter the PH anywhere or create some other issue I don't even know about.

Oak leaves I would stick to putting around established ground plants, not planters since they take so long to break down. Putting the coffee grounds (or any greens) on/fluffed into the oak leaves would speed the decomposition of both and have a more balanced end result.

Burying dead critters is the most sanitary thing to do with them. Thank goodness that's not under my job description anymore!

Sorry we've taken your discussion off on a tangent, HomeGarden. I guess at this point you're either fascinated, grossed out, bored, or some combination of these. When there's an update to be had regarding your tree, I hope you'll share!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

not suggest I be drawn and quartered for planting in dirt.


listen to me ... WORDS MEAN THINGS ...

DIRT is what all over you.. your clothes.. your house... your hair.. etc.. after you play in SOIL ...

SOIL is mother earth .... UN-amended.. she does not move water properly.. in a pot ...

pots use potting MEDIA... or medium ... which is built or engineered to move water in a consistent PREDICTABLE manner ...

stuff in pots wears out.. AFFECTING WATER retention/shedding ...

you can manipulate SOIL .. mother earth .... thru amending such ... and create a homemade media ... and all the power to you ...

but it will never be DIRT ... of course.. i dont know how much dirt you can shake out of your hair ... lol ... to put in a pot ...

the reason you usually buy.. or make a LARGE amount.. is so that all your pots.. have the same consistency ... in holding water.. drying.. etc ... it becomes really hard to take care of many pots.. when each pot has its own media personality .... so once you gain some consistency ... you gain predictability ..... and over time .... perhaps learn.. that you need only water every 3rd or 4th day.. w/o fear that one weirdo pot will die .... [its also a reason.. on a large scale .. that you have pots that are all the same size ... again.. predictability] ....

i appreciate your humor.. and your insistence to walk your own path ... but you have repeatedly referred to how many things you have killed.. but when i tell you one of the prime foundations of growing things in pots.. you stand up and beat your chest and say.. i am doing it my way ... AND I RESPECT THAT ...

but it could be so much easier...

regardless.. you are always having fun with all this.. so keep at it ... when theory meets reality.. SS walks her own path ... [we really dont know where she is going.. but she is skipping and whistling down the path.. and looks awful happy]


ps: never forget.. we answer for others to learn ...

pps: speaking of skipping ... i once challenged my daughter.. around 10 at the time.. to skip 'angry' ... she tried.. and couldnt do it ... i said.. make a mad face.. and curse while skipping.. it was hilarious.. she almost killed herself falling down.. laughing so hard ... if you ever see some kid skipping.. just look at their face.. ebullient joy personified ...

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok, not dirt. Mother earth. I was asking how to amend or add to mother earth to create my own media. (Because what I truly object to is buying it when I probably have what I need in my yard and canal). You even said I can. You even said "more power to you." That's what I'm asking for is info on HOW, not WHETHER to. And remember, I invited you and Purple to come "fix" this pot media issue! LOL!

I have to admit, I hadn't thought about all pots having the same media so I could have some consistency, predictability, and ultimately a break from all the checking and watering SOME pots every day. As for all pots being the same size, I wish I'd known that a few years ago when I went on a pot-buying rampage and ended up with every size and shape imaginable. That's good advice that I can't use right there. I'll keep it in mind as pots need replacing.

And for the record... the stuff I've only ever killed stuff that's in the ground, never stuff in pots. And I don't actively kill it, I let the frost do that. LOL!

So, to re-ask my question: Can you tell me how to amend mother earth to use it in pots? Like, is there a general formula/ratio? Perhaps I don't even need mother earth in my home-made potting mix? Even store-bought potting mix compacts down into a brick pretty quickly. I do want to make things easier, just really don't know how.
Probably should have started a new thread, but I thought how perfect it was that you both were here and the subject at the time was already "potting media."


Ps. You can learn stuff AND have fun with it at the same time, which is my preferred method.
PPs. "If you don't want people to get your goat, don't let them know where you keep it tied up." Just a favorite little quote of mine. :)

*Skipping and stomping away while huffing and whistling*

This post was edited by shear_stupidity on Tue, Feb 19, 13 at 14:07

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Any gardener has killed a lot of plants, yourself included I'm sure, Ken. So have I. Now that I quit using "potting soil" and peat and yes, use some actual dirt right off of the ground, plants hardly ever die. Not sure you read the whole discussion. The amount of "media" I can mix in a baby pool sometimes doesn't last through a whole afternoon of repotting. Every batch is a unique creation.

Totally agree with you about consistency though, which is about texture. I don't wonder which pots are dry, I just water them all every-other day while outside, with some exceptions such as thirsty Coleus watered daily, and succulents upon request only. If the drainage and texture is good, there is no risk of overwatering (but doesn't mean one should more often water plants that still want to stay dry regardless of drainage.)

From the collection of pics I've seen from Shear, she's got quite the "green thumb" and has done a great job editing her personal landscape to suit her tastes and climate. People have been gardening in pots for a LONG time before they could go to the store and buy "media" to fill the pots. I'd prefer a pile of leaves and grass that has sat over winter over a bag of potting soil, and use that very thing in the wash tub planters at the base of trees. Four-ft. tall Coleus can't be wrong.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Note to self: Mix in baby pool. (See? Learning while smiling!)
Ty, Purple. I like to think of my thumb as green-ish, too.
I will say that my Coleus got 4-foot tall, too! And I do still have three Geraniums I've managed to keep alive for 3-going-on-four years straight. (Starting to look like a mini-bush).
I'm just not used to plants being so tender. They're a bunch of sissies here. I'm just not going to cover plants when it gets cold. I like to think of it as "culling the herd." Only the strong survive, making that part of gardening life a little easier. No more zone denial for me, and no more dancing on the 9B/10A line, either.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Agreed. I dumped potted duplicate cane Begonias in the bed by the front door to recycle the "soil" and they're still alive. It's unreasonable to expect that to happen every year, but I'm not going to coddle it next year except to make sure there's a comfortable quantity potted inside. It's fun to play with microclimates but like you said, banking on it can lead to unnecessary disappointment. When it's time to dig up house plants from the ground this fall, we'll see which ones I'm really attached to, and which seem like they would best serve as hardiness experiments. Ha!

Now that's funny. You're complaining about zone denial. I have fantasies of moving closer to where you are, if not more south, to aid my own zone denial. The grass is always greener, the sand is always sandier... (but the bugs are buggier and the weeds are weedier, the gators are gatorier... no place is w/o its' burdens to bear.) Somebody's gonna conk our heads together like Moe for having the temerity to complain at all.

'Tis the season to collect a free baby pool. They get damaged over winter, kid gets bigger, just don't want to clean it, curbside it goes. Needs holes for mixing "soil" anyway unless you have somewhere under cover to put it. Also an excellent tool for dragging leaves, a big rock, or other yard waste. No matter how heavy you pack it, (right up until you really break it) it will slide very easily across grass or sand. Much easier to drive than a wheelbarrow. Hope they make some green ones sometime though. Nothing really helps the giant round blue thing look less jarring in the yard. I'm lucky with a very un-visible spot to park one. I guess the less lazy might actually finish tasks once started and put it away at times...

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Forgot to say, if what you're mixing up isn't chunky enough for a pitchfork to do the job, it's got too high percentage of fine particles for my taste. Not a hayfork with usually 4 thin, much more curved tines, but a smallish 5-tine pitchfork, the tines are probably cast iron, just slightly curved.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have fantasies about zones 9 and 10, while I'd be happy in a zone 15. Is there one? Funny story: When I lived in GA, there was an Excessive Heat Warning because it was 106 degrees outside. I didn't know that until a police car pulled up and told me to go inside. I was out there slathering myself with suntan oil!
Kiddie pool, definitely gonna get one. And I can park it under my Arborvitae. It's also where I keep empty pots. The terra-cotta gets really cool patina from being under there, and it's sorta hidden since the Arby's are so tall, and yet so low to the ground. (Can't really compost there, though. They're on the side of the house, and closer to my neighbor's pool than my actual house.)
Note to self: Buy a pitchfork-y thing to test the particley-ness of my potting soil mixtures.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

So, to re-ask my question: Can you tell me how to amend mother earth to use it in pots?

==>>> NO!!! ... because no sane person does it ... you want a multitude of expert opinions.. when apparently purp is the only other person who does it ... [though your own post with the appropriate title.. might actually get other to respond.. who expects this discussion in some poor persons corn plant post????]

and the definition of a TRUE 'green thumb' GARDENER ... is that you have killed every plant at least 3 times.. before your thumb turns green ... so of course we have all killed plants.. and you are a liar is you said you never did ...

the poor person who started this post is probably not really interested in all this .. but hopefully entertained ...


    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Whoa, broah, I don't appreciate being labeled, and don't enjoy reading the label you put on Shear. And I wonder what you think people did before there was stuff in bags for sale at stores for filling the pots of potted plants? But if there are further insults, don't expect me to read the whole thing, should you feel motivated to ruminate.

Not everything done differently from your way is wrong. I don't appreciate your complete and insulting dismissal of something I've been working on for decades. You're not even discussing similar attempts that failed, you just have some idea that it won't work and have never tried. Your input has had zero practical value in this micro-discussion.

True'dat a separate post, likely on the soil/mulch forum, would attract other input.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 4:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Purple, I put the new thread here in this forum, but will post elsewhere, too. I like to cast a wide net for information, then run it through a filter of what I've already tried or experienced through other fellow (local) gardeners.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 4:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Homegarden....let's go back to making cuttings, shall we? One of the easiest and most successful method of propagation of a caned plant is by nestling cane segments into a porous potting mix.....sideways.

Cut the mother plant cane back as far as you want. Then, cut that cane into segments that include three or four nodes. The nodes on a cane are those very obvious white rings around the stem. The genetic information needed to make new shoots and roots are located only in those nodes.

Laying the canes sideways gives you more area for contact with the soil. You may get new shoots from three nodes from the same cutting! Those will soon develop into brand new plants.

Initially, simply snuggle the cane pieces into premoistened potting medium, leaving upper surface exposed so that photosynthesis can carry on. Once the new shoots and roots have developed, you can bury those cane segments completely.

Ths is still a favored method of commercial propagation as it is a far more efficient use of good stock.

If you google -propagation of dracaena - ( IMAGES) you will be able to see many examples. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask here or email me directly.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 7:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Thanks, Rhizo! It's always better when someone with a ton of experience explains something.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks everybody! I've been looking for a larger pot but it's not easy to find. So, since I will be cutting the plant back I may just replant in the same pot. My watering problems and the browning of leaves continue so I'm going to try to get this done on the first available Saturday. I've set April 13th aside as my big day. I will be sure to post the media I use. It feels like I'm putting a recipe together for my special media.

I posted this picture to show how close the three trunks are and that two are leaning in one direction and the shorter one leaning in another direction. To correct this I will have to separate the trunks at the root ball and I'm sure they are tightly entangled (they were two years ago the last time I replanted). It may require cutting roots which I would rather avoid but I know it will probably be necessary. Any suggestions on how to separate the the trunks?


This post was edited by HomeGardenInVA on Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 12:54

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I would cut the tallest part, then reposition the root ball so the whole thing is standing straight up. The lean starts at the soil level. Don't worry about trimming the circling, or really long roots. Then try to remove as much of the old soil as possible.

To separate the trunks, you'd have to saw a lot of old, large roots very close to both trunks... I don't think that's necessary if all you want to do is correct the lean, though both trees would probably be fine. It would be much harder to get everything to stay in the correct position until the roots have grown enough to hold all "pieces" securely in place.

This post was edited by purpleinopp on Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 16:28

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 4:27PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Grafting Black Walnut
Has anyone done this? I'm going to try this spring,...
Moisture retaining but inert media for layering?
Hi all, Been poking around the garden forums reading...
Rooting hormone
Hormex is what we always had in the house, but I don't...
Coleus Propagation/Pinching
Hi, Here are my new, first time growing from seeds,...
Cathy Cokley
Can Budwood be too small, or thin?
When grafting should I try to obtain close to pencil...
figbear (8b coastal carolina)
Sponsored Products
Justice Design Group GLA-8705 - Aero 1 Light Wall Sconce (No Arms) - Square with
$230.00 | Hayneedle
Nantucket Tall Patio Planter
Signature Hardware
Crosby Natural Thermal Insulated 48-by-63 inch Pinch Pleated Foamback Curtains
$55.95 | Bellacor
Floating Medallions Runner 2' 6" x 8' - BEIGE
$239.00 | Horchow
Illumine Posts 6 Light Post Lantern Como Black w/ Gold Finish Tuscan Glass
Home Depot
Coffee On Demand Single-Serve Brewing System
$79.99 | zulily
Bover | Amphora 03 Floor Lamp
Calhoun Armless U-Sofa Sectional - Key Largo Ruby Red
Joybird Furniture
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™