Dracaena in a tall planter?

Short Hills, NJ

Hi - I think I made a really amatuer-ish move and planted a tall Dracaena in a tall planter and then poured in a lot of soil (to the top). Now, the leaves are browning, because I think the water cant get to the bottom of the root? (maybe). What can I do to fix this problem? I dont want to get another planter. Do you think if I replaced the top 3/4 of the soil with filler (like dried moss) and then put in a metal pipe into the soil and watered the plant that way, the Dracaena would get enough water? This tall planter doesnt have a dish underneath to let the water out, so there is so much soil that it would take gallons to keep the soil moist. Man, what a mistake I made...

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

clau012
Would help if you had a picture of WHICH Dracena you planted?
Which Dracena did you buy? There are 100's of plants in the Dracena family.
Was it already in a pot? How big a pot? 6"? 10"??
It probably did not need to be transplanted AT ALL. Newly purchased plants are just fine in the pots they come in for quite a long while.

Right off the bat--your first statement is the biggest mistake.

You say you put it in a tall planter and then poured soil to the top. NOOO!!!
NEVER EVER add extra soil on top of a plant that has already been growing in a pot.
When you transplant it--the soil level MUST stay the same! This is why your leaves
are turning brown! They are dying for the lack of oxygen and too much moisture.
The soil surface has roots in it--and if you dump extra soil on top--you are depriving the roots from air and Oxygen. This = slow death.

Second mistake is to that when you transplant a plant to a bigger container--the pot should only be one size bigger. Like--if your plant was in a 6" pot--put it in an 8" pot.
In a 10" pot--you put it in a 12" pot. Always! keep the soil level the same!!!
Sounds like your container was not only huge, but also very deep. How much soil did you dump in there? You are talking about gallons of water???
The reason is that too much soil also holds too much water. The plant roots can only absorb so much moisture--the soils stays water-logged and then the roots start to rot. Also =slow death.
Plants need to be in an appropriate size container. Usually, the one you bought it in
is fine for a long time. There is NO need to transplant a newly purchased plant!!!.
If you do not like the pot it came in, put the pot itself in a nicer pot--WITH drainage!
This is not transplanting--this is just for visual.

Third mistake is that your new container seems to not have any drainage holes.
You said "This tall planter doesn't have a dish underneath to let the water out"
Also--the fact that you say that " there is so much soil that it would take gallons to keep the soil moist. Man, what a mistake I made" WOW!!! Really?
This confirms that your pot is WAYYY too big for the plant. Gallons???? ...
A picture would help--but here is what you need to do to try to fix this mistake you made.
*****************************************************************
1--Remove the plant from the big, tall container. Shake off any soil you added.
Get rid of this tall container. If you love it so--put some dried branches or fill it with something decorative. NOT a live plant!
Buy new potting MIX as well. (not soil). There is a big difference. Do not use the
the potting soil you had in the big pot. It may already be rancid.

2--Plant it back in the container it came in--OR just one size bigger, making sure
the fresh potting MIX is level with the soil surface as it was in the original container.
--Make sure your new container has drainage holes! Nothing ever thrives in a pot with no drainage holes. The water has nowhere to go--so it becomes stagnant, smelly and the roots slowly rot.

3--Check the roots as you remove the plant to see if they have turned soft or mushy. That means they are already rotting. Trim them back to healthy, white roots and hope for the best.
Also--Trim away the browning leaves--they will NOT turn green again.
This is "plant surgery" . Treat the plant gently after all his until it recovers.

4--Be careful that you do not over water this newly potted back plant. Just moist is good.
Dracenas can go on the dry side without any damage for quite a while. 10 days- 2weeks, depending on what plant you bought. Was it, maybe, a Dracena Marginata?
The one with the long, skinny, pointy leaves?

In the future--water well when you water--and then let the plant become dry to the touch before you water again. Many people think that if they just water their plants every few day--they will be healthy. Biggest, and most common mistake in inexperienced gardeners. Over watering plants.
Roots need Oxygen. Wet. soggy soil has no Oxygen--it needs to be porous and well draining. NEVER plant a plant in heavy SOIL--always use a potting MIX. It is light
and fluffy and drains well.
Hope you can fix this--if not, get a new plant and learn from all I have written here.
Good luck! Gita









Short Hills, NJ

Wow. Just read this...a year later..I forgot to 'watch' this thread. I have since moved on from this plant and have learned a lot since my big mistake. Thanks for all your info.

Opp, AL

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