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To Cut or Not To Cut Overgrown Dracaena

Ask The Expert: To cut or not to cut I ask??!

My plant (do not know the name I think it’s in the palm tree family) is reaching my 10″ vaulted ceiling however, it’s bending and very weak. To help support it I used string and thumbtacks and tacked it to the wall. Should I cut the top off? If it is top heavy is it okay to cut? The bark if you would or trunks are thin. Is there a way to help thicken them up? While viewing the photos if you have any advice on this plant I will Thank You in advance.
Oversized Dracaena
Plant Expert Reply:


You have a very large Dracaena. Yes it is in need of a trim to keep it healthy inside your home.

I took the liberty of altering your photo to show where you can top your plant. If you look at the picture to the right you will see a red box highlighting part of the Dracaena stem. Any where along this stem you can cut the top off the plant. Be sure you cut the stem at a 45 degree angle. This will ensure that the plant will heal correctly with little to no dieback. I like to mist the cut area for a couple days to allow the cut to dry out slowly. Mist it with luke warm water once a day.

You can take the piece you cut off and start a new plant. To do this you will need some rooting hormone. When you cut the top off dip the cut end into the rooting hormone and then stick it into a pot with moist soil. In a few weeks the piece you cut off will form roots thus giving you a new plant.

The old plant most likely will form new growth on the side of the stem where you made the cut. Good Luck and let me know how it does.

“Janet Craig” Dracaena ID and Care Instructions

Ask the Expert: what type of plant is this?

I just purchased this plant and I would like to know what it is so I can keep it living. :) Please help, Angel.

Janet Craig Dracaena - Dracaean fragrans

[Read more…]

Help Identify These House Plants From A Dish Garden

Ask The Plant Expert:

Hi there.  I received a variety of plants in a funeral arrangement.  I re-potted them in the spring and now that it is getting colder at night, I need more help in determining how to care for them.  I had them outside on my porch, since I was not sure as to the toxicity of them, as I do have 3 cats and a dog.  Can you please identify.  I believe that one of them is a dwarf umbrella plant, but not sure on the other.  Thanks. – Jeanene

Wareneki Daceana House Plant Schefflera Houseplant

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:  
The first one is a Wareneki Draceana and the second one is a Schefflera. The first one should be okay for your pets  to be around. However, the schefflera can be a problem for dogs or cats who are prone to chewing on plants. If you read our article 10 House Plants Poisonous to Dogs, Cats or Children, it will help you decide which plants you should keep with your pets. You may also refer to the House Plant Care & Information Page.
Hope this information was helpful.
Please let me know if I can help with anything else.


Help! Why Is My Dracaena Just Now Blooming After 10 YEARS?!

Red Striped Dracaena (Dracaena Marginata)Ask The Plant Expert: My Dracaena flowered with very fragrant (like lilac) white flowers. What does that mean? I’ve had the plant over 10 years and this has never happened before.

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Sandy,

Dracaena often take several years to produce a bloom. Although 10 years seems like a really long time, it isn’t for a Dracaena. This should not cause a problem with the continuing health of the plant. When the blooms are past their prime, simply deadhead the plant and continue with the same care you have given the plant for the past 10 years. It may be another 10 years before it blooms again, or it could be a year. Dracaena blooming is hard to predict. Enjoy the blooms while you have them.

Also check out: Proper Care for Dracaena Houseplants

Hope this information was helpful.



Draceana is the Name of Your Houseplant

Ask the Expert: I was wondering what the name of this plant was.
I was just wanting to know the name so I can find out how to care for it. Thanks Samantha

See Attached Photos



Dracaena Up Close

Dracaena Up Close

Can I Save A Dracaena Destroyed By Hurricane Ike?

Ask The Expert:
i dont have a phone that works rite now. i live in the area, scottsburg, in, where we had the after effects from hurricane ike. and i had a very tall and leggy draceana plant. two stalks and a small baby growing about 1\’ tall. but during storm the plant was blown over and broke off the tops of the tall trunks. they were at least 5\’ tall. can i save them? and what should do with the part that is left? should cut off shorter. the tops that broke off were beautiful and healthy and i hate to throw away if i can save. can u help? my email is only way of contact. Andrea



First take the baby and separate it from the parent plant and pot it.  Then  Take the broken tops and remove leaves so that you have a bout 2″ of clear stem.  Now take a knife and re-cut the stem off at a 45 degree angle (cut about a 1/4″ off the bottom).  Now if you have some rooting hormone dip the cut stem in to the powder and then immediately place in moist soil.  (you can get rooting hormone at your local garden center and nursery — I use one by Greenlight called roottone —  always pour a little into a saucer so that the rest of the roottone doesn’e become contaminated).  Then turn to you stalks cut them at a 45degree angle. Twenty four hours later start misting the air around the plant.  In about two weeks you should start to see growth come on the side of the cut stalks.     Hope this helps.  I hhope that this is the only damage you received from Hurricane Ike.

Interesting Tropical Plants or Unidentified Weeds

Ask the Expert: can someone identify these?

i need to find information on these plants no one at the park could tell me so i thought you guys could! ive seen them around but people just identify them as tropicals Jess

Unidentifiable Plant number 1 Unidentified Plant Number 2

Unidentified Plant Number 3 Unidentified Plant Number 4


Just off the top of my head I would say:

plant 1 is some kind of Dieffenbachia

plant 2 is some kind of Dracaena

plant 3 is some kind of Rhapis – miniature fan plam

plant 4 is some kind of spathipyllum

Are these plants in an atrium setting – they don’t seem to be in a natural planting which is making the identification a little difficult.  Depending on the situation, my identification of each plant could change.

Low light level variegated plants – Dracaena, Pothos, Aglaonmea, Schefflera

Ask the Expert:

Which dracaena can take low light(opposite of south east window approximatly 14 feet). I would like something varigated. Please advize as to which dracaena or any other varigated plant.

Thanks, Susi Stein Omaha

There are few plants that you can use in this situation. You could use a type of variegated Schefflera arboricola. If you want a variegated Dracaena that works well use my favorite the Warneckii goldstar. Another great low light plant that is easy to grow is the Golden pothos seen here . Pothos is also a great trailing plant for baskets. The Aglaonema ‘Silver Bay’ is a fairly easy to grow low light plant that has broad leaves and a silvery variegation. Any one of the above plants should work for you.

Warneckii Goldstar - from the Dracaena Family Dracaena – Warneckii Goldstar

Golden Pothos (Picture provided by Bernecker's Nursery) Golden Pohtos

Aglaonmea Silver Bay (Photo from Bernecker's Nursery) Aglaonema ‘Silver Bay’

Thanks to Bernecker’s Nursery for the Photos.


Why is my Dracaena Turning Brown?

ask the expert


I have this plant that my daughter sent to me two years ago. It had been doing OK but is now losing lots of leaves which are turning brown at the tips then the whole leaf turns and falls off. I recently replanted it and separated the roots in hopes that it would grow taller. Could it be in shock? I am not sure if I am over watering. Also I had inside for the winter then put it out in the spring (and it was doing well) Now I have had it both inside and outside. I live in Phoenix where the temp is now getting hot (112 degrees) Can you tell me what it is and where I should have it (inside or outside) as well as how much to water and what type of sunlight it needs.

Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Jeanette Brooks
jeannette.JPG jeanette1.JPG

Can Lucky Bamboo Be Planted In Soil?

Brite asks:

Can you put Good Luck bamboo in soil?

Jamie’s Reply:

There are two view points to this question. One side says it should be in water only; the other side says it should be in soil. Lucky bamboo is a member of the Dracaena family (Dracaena sanderiana). I have only grown it in water, as a result I tend to lean toward growing it in water. With that said, Dracaenas are grown in soil — so it seems to reason that lucky bamboo should be able to grow in soil. My suggestion would be to experiment. If you have more than one stem — try one in a loose soil that drains well. Because of fungal issues, when in soil don’t keep it too wet. Flower Shop Network has a newsletter about Lucky Bamboo if you are interested. Go to Flower Shop Network Newsletter Lucky Bamboo for that information. Hope this helps.