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Indoor Gardening and Houseplants: Re-pot Dracenea fragrens

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Forum: Indoor Gardening and HouseplantsReplies: 5, Views: 47
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Jackson, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 13, 2012
1:57 PM

Post #9304097

I am in the middle of re-potting my Dracenea fragrens. I have had it since 2002. It has sentimental value so I don't want to lose it. It is healthy, but it is so top heavy it is falling over. So, I decided to re-pot it.

I put it in another, bigger pot with the soil level being the same as in its original pot. However, it falls over.

1. Can I plant it deeper? Covering up the bottom part of the canes? Or will it rot if I do this?

2. If I can't plant it deeper, any suggestions to keep it from falling over?


Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

October 13, 2012
6:25 PM

Post #9304296

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven"

It would have been better if you'd planned your repot around doing the work in early summer. It might even have been appropriate then to cut the plant back, so it's not so top-heavy. Often, the tendency for a plant to be unable to support its own weight ends up being a function of inadequate light, but if the root system is compromised, it would follow that anchorage would be affected. Did you actually repot, or did you simply pot up? There's quite a difference. Can you provide a picture of the plant? There are too many variables & not enough info for anyone to offer much in the way of anything meaningful, other than don't plant it deeper.

Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 14, 2012
10:51 AM

Post #9304795

Try putting some large rocks on top of the soil in the pot. You can say they are for decoration.
Hanceville, AL
(Zone 7a)

October 14, 2012
6:01 PM

Post #9305240

Take it back out of the pot and put heavy rocks in the bottom and then re-plant it. This has worked for me. Then put some rocks on top of the soil. Luciee {;^)
Jackson, MO
(Zone 6b)

October 22, 2012
6:37 AM

Post #9311997

Thanks for the suggestions.
I have left it on my deck where I re-potted it. This plant was in a black, nursery pot about six inches in diameter. I put it in a pot that's probably 14 inches in diameter.

I re-potted many of my houseplants this spring--just didn't get to this one. It was my last one to re-pot.

I certainly could put rocks on top of the plant, but I am not sure it will hold up the stems. I don't think putting the rocks on the bottom will help. The "pot" is quite sturdy, it's the plant in the pot that's not standing up.

I don't know the difference between re-potting and potting up. I took the plant out of its pot and planted it in a bigger pot.

The roots have been compromised. It's been in the black nursery pot too long. I keep the plant in front of a north window. It was making a lot of stem and leaves, but doesn't seem to have a lot of root. It seemed to be happy, so thought it was okay. My theory, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". It looked healthy, so I didn't re-pot it until the plant looked top heavy for the pot.

So, maybe I need to give it some "root stimulator"??

As of now, I have a wire mesh that's part way into the soil and circled on half of the plant and have tied the stems (2) to the wire mesh. The holes in the mesh are about inch. I have left it outside since I planted it. It is underneath the gazebo part of my deck which keeps more heat. It's getting filtered sunlight and morning and evening sunlight. The plant "looks" healthy. It's just the roots aren't what they should be. Hopefully, the plant will grow more roots and eventually stand on its own.

I have been sick with a head cold that turned into bronchitis thus, the late reply. Again, thank you for your suggestions.


Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

October 22, 2012
10:18 AM

Post #9312239

"Keep it from gitten broke" is going to get you a lot further than "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Right now, your plant is broke and its grower is foundering. There is not a shred of mean-spiritedness in that observation; it's just something I can easily see after so many years of helping people with their sick or troubled plants.

It's very unlikely you're going to make much progress unless you learn to cover the basics. The most important factor is making sure your plants are in a good soil that allows you to water correctly or that you understand how to minimize the negative effects of a soil that retains water to the point of excess. This is a point especially important to you because it sounds like your plant could be significantly over-potted. How extreme that issue is sort of depends on how much soil is in that 14" pot, but it's hard to see how it COULDN'T be over-potted with a move from 6" to 14". That needs to be resolved or you'll need to resign yourself to fighting this battle from the downhill side.

How to fertilize is easy, I can teach you that in 5 minutes. You need to be aware of the plant's light requirements and what temperatures it likes. Watering habits are a key issue when using water-retentive soils, but become a virtual nonissue as you move toward well-aerated and free-draining soils that hold little perched water, so you can see how much easier a good soil makes when it comes to what the growing experience gives back in exchange for your efforts.

There is a sticky thread at the top of the Beginner Houseplants forum. Here is the link:

It has a lot of good information that can help you avoid most of the common pitfalls that bring people here looking for help. I hope you take the time to read it, and that you DO find it helpful. Hopefully, you'll have some questions after looking it over.

I wish you well & a speedy recovery. Take care.


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