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Houseplant advice. Dracaena overwatered ? Repotting to save?

My first attempts at growing houseplants this year are showing mixed results! Dracaena Marginata arrived at Christmas and has steadily declined into the sorry state it is in now. 


These three pictures taken today on the 25th February.

Am I right in thinking that the three points of growth leaving the pot are three separate plants? If that's right then why would the middle plant look so sorry for itself and the other two look relatively healthy? They have all received the same light, aspect and watering.

The middle section is now very soft and I would imagine needs taking out and away from the other two healthier stems. Is it possible to unpot the whole lot, bin the soggy stem and repot the smallest and largest section together again? What have I done wrong? it seems very odd that the middle section seems to be much worse than its neighbours.

Can anything be saved? Any help or advice really appreciated.


  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,909
    Yes, you can gently take it out of the pot and have a look at the compost and roots. Gently tease away any soggy compost. Any rotting roots (brown and soft) you should cut off. If the really bad stem doesn't have any good roots, get rid of it. Post a pic of the roots if you're not sure. Repot using fresh compost (ordinary multipurpose is fine). You can use the same pot if it has drainage holes but if there's any root rot I would give it a wash first. Make sure that when you water it in future, the surplus can drain through and be tipped out of the outer pot. Let it get fairly dry between waterings - it doesn't need to be constantly wet.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Thanks very much for the help @JennyJ It has taken me awhile to follow this advice and I finally repotted it today! The Compost could be described as dry and the middle stem broke away from the soil level without any effort at all. The roots had disappeared and were not even visible!? I'm assuming they had rotted away. I broke away a lot of the old compost and repotted to a larger 7.5 litre pot using multi purpose compost.

    I still don't understand why one of the three plants struggled like it did and the other two are okay. But I'm glad that the other two have survived at least. Fingers crossed I can keep these alive now.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,909
    They (and other things like yuccas) are grown from cane cuttings - basically each trunk/cane will have been one cutting, and it's possible that the one that failed wasn't very well-rooted to begin with. The others look fine, so hopefully they'll do well.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
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