I have many dracaena marginata plants in my house, a few of which are
very tall (around 8 ft. tall) and which reside in large pots (I guess
over 2 ft. tall and 2 ft. in diameter). I THINK they get a decent
amount of ambient light. I am sometimes concerned that they get
overwatered -- I never water them until the top few inches of soil
(finger depth) feel bone dry, but when I stick my "mositure-tester"
wand more deeply into the soil of my largest pot, it records that the
soil is quite wet (though I never can feel it myself as being too
wet). Then again, I have another large pot which the wand typically
records as bone dry, even though I water it as regularly as the other
pot! And the ill health apparent in the "wet" pot appears to be
identical to the ill health apparent in the "dry" pot.
I think my trouble with establishing a decent moisture balance has to
do with (1) the size of the pots, and (2) the fact that sometimes my
plants are planted in the kind of prepared potting soil one gets at
nurseries for indoor plants (wet pot), and sometimes I amend that
potting soil with the regular clay-ish dirt that is native to my area
But, getting to the point of this post: I have several dracena
marginata whose new growth looks tired and feeble. I have been unable
to fix them by alterring light and water conditions, so now I just
want to cut off the long stalks (with a handful of perfunctory fronds
at the ends) at some point and see if new shoots appear at the cut.
Where should I cut these stalks? Around the middle? Near the base?
How should I encourage new growth at the cut points? I don't really
care too much about propagating the sickly halves that get cut off,
but if do decide to propogate those, how should I go about it?
Also, are there any particular fertilization policies one can
recommend for dracaena marginata?
Thanks very much for any help! These plants provide an important
decorative element for our home, and had been doing fine for about the
last five years that we have lived here, and it is really frustrating
to see them go into this decline.