trackinsand wrote:Cordyline fruticosa or Dracaena elegans or Yucca guatamalensis.
Doesn't look like Cordyline or Yucca and I'm not sure if Dracaena elegans is a valid species. It may however be a dwarf/compact cultivar of Dracaena fragrans.
As for why it's unhappy... some of the older leaves look burned. Was the plant been exposed to bright, direct light or sun and then moved to a shadier location? Another possibility is watering... was the plant either dried out or overwatered in the past? Yet another possibility is fertilizer... too much can burn the foliage. Just a guess.
Thanks, the Dracaena variants look to be the closet guess. Definitely not a Yucca although the way the leaves grow off the stem is reminiscent of one. Yes, it was in direct sun for about a week+ and when I saw the leaf burn I brought it in. It now gets light in the morning through a dual pane window. It gets about a half a liter every other day and I have not been giving it any fertilizer. Thinking it may need fertilizer I wanted to ID it before I put anything on it that may not be helpful.
I'd probably check on your watering--half a liter every other day sounds like it could be too much. Before the next time you water, stick your finger down a few inches into the soil and see how it feels--the top of the soil can look dry but down a few inches can still be quite wet and if that's the case then you need to hold off on watering.
I'd go with a dracaena, but can't tell which one from the picture. If you do a Google Image search for dracaena you should be able to identify which one.
Just pull or cut off the dying leaves, perhaps stake it up, and it should definitely recover from the sunburn and come back nicely if the watering is correct. A light dose of fertilizer would be helpful too, just be sure it's not dry when applied. I've found that watering dracaenas every two weeks, sometimes every three depending on whether they're inside or out, is usually plenty unless you're in a dry climate.
I was having trouble with some of my houseplants in 5 gallon or larger size pots and got one of the cheap $10 water meter sticks. Found out they were dry in the top few inches but still wet, some even soggy, down in the bottom half so I cut way back on my watering and they are doing much better. Now I use the meter to check since the weather and the amount of foliage a plant has also effects how often they need water.
Thanks for all the great info. Dracaena fragrans has some lighter color in the center of the leaf and the stalks look thicker on the picture that Google provided but it may have been a more mature plant.. I will note the exposure and pick up a water meter stick. I live in AZ and the house is under AC much of the year so it's pretty dry. Yes there are a couple of smaller plants that I need to move to another pot. It was an arrangement that I brought home and am sorting it out.