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Help My Plant


I have this plant that has sentimental value to me and it is not looking to good. It came in a funeral plant basket. I have no idea what kind of plant it is I do not know if I am watering to much or not enough. Any help is appreciated.


Hardiness Zone: 6a

Debbi B from Brownstown, MI



The plant in the picture you posted looks like a Dracaena. There are a number of plants in this genus, but most have narrow arching leaves on unbranched stems, and have a vertical growth habit. They can be difficult or easy to grow. It all depends on the variety you have. Here are some symptoms of problems commonly seen in this group and what causes them:

Symptom: Leaves with brown tips & yellow edges.
Causes: Air is too dry, plant has been exposed to cold drafts, or the plant is under-watered.

Symptom: Leaves are soft and curled with brown edges.
Causes: Damage from cold temperatures. Keep Dracaena away from doors and widows during the winter.

Symptom: Leaves with brown spots.
Causes: Under-watering. Keep the root ball moist, but not wet.

Symptom: Lower leaves are yellowing.
Causes: This is actually natural. Dracaenas grow tall due to the limited lifespan of their leaves. Lower leaves turn yellow and die about every two years.


Symptom: Leaves with bleached or dry patches.
Causes: Too much sun. Move to a shadier location.

The most common cause for Dracaena collapse is due to OVER-watering or cold temperatures. An east or west window with bright, filtered sunlight is ideal for this plant with temperatures at a minimum of 55 degrees. Leave will appreciate regular misting to keep the air around the plant humid.

Good luck!

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at

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January 14, 20070 found this helpful

First, pull off the leaves with brown spots...then stick your finger down in the dirt....if it's dry, it needs to be watered! I'd do it at least weekly. You may need to re-pot it in fresh, new potting soil should thrive then.

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January 15, 20070 found this helpful

First, it looks a little like a corn plant. I'm betting that's what it is.

Second, most plants like this are tropical in nature need LOTS of light and will die in the light provided by Michigan winters (I also live in Michigan, I've killed a few plants this way). They need a special plant light left on them for 12 hours per day. Ok, you can buy a "plant light" or just buy 3 100 watt bulbs and put them together to shine on the plant. The 100 watters will provide light AND warmth.

Next, the soil will tend to dry out in the dry winter air so they need to be kept moist, not wet. In the cool winters mold will tend to grow, so here is the secret watering formula: mix 1 tsp hydrogen peroxide in 1 quart of water. Use this to water your plant. The peroxide will kill mold and fungus that wants to grow in your plant soil.


This is how I water my seedlings and it works wonders!

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 15, 20070 found this helpful

The best fool proof is to take to your local florist and have them repot and tell you how to take care of. You may even take your own pot ( little larger than the original) to repot in. They appreciate your care and future business. Most charge $10.00 or less

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 15, 20070 found this helpful

You have a CORN plant. They need lts of light, you can put it in a NOrth window, I have 2 small one started from the big one , if the leaves turn brown, this means they are not getting enough regular watering, water when the soil is dry about an inch from top of plant, use your finger as a "measure stick " . I also give mine a glass of tea once every 2 weeks, NO sugar and If you have any mulitpule vitamins ? stick one in the soil once a month, you can also use bith contoll pills. Just remember to use water, and light, you may have to repot it in a bigger pot, check to see if you can see anyof the roots hanging out of the bottom of the pot, if you can, repot it, If you are afraid to repot it, call a nursery in your area and they should do it for you for a small charge, and take your own pot and remember to get on with a good drainage on the bottom of the pot. The one I have was my moms and is at least 35 years old, and it even bloomed one time for me, and that was just a few years ago . The whole house smelled sooooooo good, a cross between lily of the valley and lilac kind of smell, I could not figure out where it was coming from,until I saw the plant blooming, had a very very long stem kind of thingie sticking out all over and the stem was full of little white blooms. Hope you can help you plant !! Please keep us posted on your plant. :-) P.S I live in michigan,zone 5 Rose

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 16, 20070 found this helpful

This looks exactly like the Corn Plant (Dracaena) that I rescued from the curb which is now growing well. I cut off all dead leaves, sprayed each leaf with Sea Kelp mixture (1/2 tsp liquid Kelp and 1/2 gallon water) top and bottom, then added a top dressing of my compost. It's all well, sitting inside with a large Western exposure to filtered sun 5 hr. /day. I believe this is what your plant is, too. Good luck and God bless you. : )

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 16, 20070 found this helpful

P.S. Do NOT overwater and turn the pot 1/4 of a circle each day. Give filtered bright light for best growth.

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