Question: Dracena


My Dracena is emptying into the trunk and losing the leaves. What can I do to not lose completely? It stands out in a temperature from 15 min to 22 min in half shade. I live in Puglia. I have already lost one in the same way and I would not lose this time. I hope you can help me. Sincerely, Debra

Answer: Dracena


Dear Debra,
the dragon trees are real saplings, widespread in nature in Africa and Asia; often the main reason for suffering for these plants, very well adaptable to extreme conditions, is the excess of watering, which favors the development of various types of rot, which can also lead to the death of the plant. Typically these plants are grown in fairly small pots, and can withstand even long periods of drought; if cultivated in a very cool climate, they should be watered only sporadically, following the rule that the temperature is lower and the watering should be lower. If your dracaena is kept outdoors, it will also have enjoyed some rain water, which in the spring of 2013 were decidedly abundant. If the soil has been soaked in water for a long time, with still and stagnant water, most likely the roots are "suffocating" and may have developed rottenness. To save your dracaena it is necessary to repot it with fresh soil and also changing the pot; if in extracting it from the jar in which it is found, you notice dark or ruined roots, cut them with a very sharp shear, and then place the plant in the new soil, which you will avoid watering for at least 4-5 days and then water only when it is very dry. When you buy a dracena, almost certainly the nurseryman who sells it tells you to water it regularly; a tip of this type follows a typical behavior: you go home and decide to water the plant every Thursday, with three liters of water (for example). But plants are living beings, and their needs for nourishment and hydration follow seasonal cycles; therefore, if a watering with three liters of water per week can be optimal in spring, it is not said that it is for the whole year. Usually the soil of the dragon trees must be able to dry between two waterings; this can mean weekly watering in spring, every two days in midsummer, every 8-9 days in autumn, and once a month (or even less) in winter. Clear that then it depends on where the plant is and the climate: the colder it is and the less water will be needed. So, outdoors and during a very rainy spring, your dragon may not need any watering. For good health of your potted plants, program also, every year or every other year; it is not necessary to always change the container, but it is essential to replace all the exhausted soil.