I bought my first plant in January 2011. Dracaena Massangeana or Corn
I would like to know a few things about how to maintain it and about how
When I fist bought it, it looked like this :
'DRACAENA MASSANGEANA Potted plant - IKEA' (http://tinyurl.com/74ysbav )
and now it looks like this. (see picture attached)
- So the smallest trunk of the three had yellow leaves when I came back
from holidays and I cut the two sprouts that you can see on the picture.
Is this trunk completely dead or will it grow again? If yes, will it be
on the sprouts I cut or somewhere else on the trunk?
- The plant is getting bigger and bigger..Am I supposed to remove the
"older" lowering leaves and only keep the new upper ones on a sprout? If
yes, what's the best way to remove the leaves?
- I've never repoted a plant (never in my whole life actually) and the
pot seems a little bit low and narrow for this plant. Do you think I
should repot it into a bigger one? If so, how do you do it and what
compost are you supposed to use?
- I would like to grow a new plant from this one. How am I supposed to
do it? I've heard that you've got to cut a sprout (for example the big
ones on the picture) and replant it in a new pot. If that is true, how
can the sprout becomes a large trunk like the one it has now??
If yes, where are you supposed to cut the sprout? How many centimeters
from the trunk?
Well, that's all. I hope you will be able to enlighten me on this
mysterious plant as I cannot find many informations on internet and I
want it to be healthy!
Thank you very much
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Leave any sprouts. Cut back the trunk about 2 inches (5 cm) above the
highest sprout. This will renew the plant.
Remove dead leaves. Keep all the other leaves. When leaf-ends become
dry and brown, you can use a scissors to trim them without removing the
The pot is far too small. The plant will soon tip over. Get a much
larger pot with a drain hole in the bottom and a matching glazed saucer
in which the pot will sit. (Your existing saucer might not be large
Buy some potting soil but not the kind that contains fertilizers. Put a
piece of broken crockery arching over the drain hole. Fill the pot with
enough potting soil that, when you put the old pot into the new one, the
top of the old pot is about 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the top of the new
pot. Pack down the potting mix firmly in the new pot. Try the old pot
in the new pot again, adding more potting soil if the top of the old pot
is too low.
Take the old pot outdoors. Holding it upside-down, rap the edge of the
top (now the bottom) of the pot sharply on the edge of any horizontal
surface (e.g., a wall, the lid of a trash bin). Be sure your fingers
are spread out to hold the soil and root ball. This should dislodge the
plant from the pot. Turn everything back right-side-up -- with the
plant still in the old pot -- to carry back indoors.
At the base of the trunk, carefully lift the plant out of the old pot
and set it centered into the new pot. Add potting soil all around,
packing it down firmly. Slowly water the plant until a little water
runs out into the saucer. As the potting soil settles, you might have
to add more.
Pack your own rooting mix into a flower pot. The mix should consist of
half coarse sand and half peat moss, well blended. DO NOT use beach
sand, which contains salt. Moisten the mix with water, but do not make
it soggy. With a stick, screw driver, rod, or similar object, poke a
hole in the mix slightly wider than the diameter of the shoot. Do not
poke all the way to the bottom of the pot.
Buy some rooting hormone, either a powder or a solution. (Yes, there
are plant hormones.) Cut a sprout away from the trunk. Remove most of
the lower leaves of the sprout. Hold the cut end of the sprout under
water in a pail or sink. With a very sharp knife or pruning shears
(secateurs), cut another inch off the cut end of the sprout, holding it
under water for a count of 10. Then dip the cut end into the rooting
hormone; the rooting hormone should cover not only the cut end but also
the stalk almost to the lowest remaining leaf.
Place the cut end of the shoot into the hole in the rooting mix. Press
the mix down firmly. Water the pot slowly until a mere trickle comes
out the bottom of the pot. Invert a large jar over the shoot to create
a miniature green house. (I take a plastic liter (litre?) soft drink
bottle, cut off the very top, and pry off the hard plastic bottom. This
makes an unbreakable miniature green house.)
Wait about 6-8 weeks. Remove the jar. Invert the pot and tap out the
rooting mix. Do this very carefully so as not to break apart the mass
of the mix. If you do not see roots, carefully reassemble everything,
including the jar. Wait another 2 weeks. Repeat until you see roots.
Then, move to a slightly larger flower pot, adding a regular potting
mix. You no longer need the jar.
Wait about a month after repotting an existing Dracaena or potting a
rooted cutting. Then you can start using a very mild house plant
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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