Salvaging houseplants, again

I've said it before: I'm not that good with houseplants. I've finally determined that it's not my fault though, it's my house. There's just not enough light coming through the windows for much of the day.

A perfect example of the problem is this dracaena. It has diminished quite a bit in the last year or so. looking very feeble.


It's brother though, growing in the same pot... doing very well:

The difference is that the good one has been in front of the window, while the suffering one has not had its turn for quite a while. (They both can't fit in the window at the same time because their pot would cover the air vent.)

I recently moved the plant from the living room to in front of the kitchen door (since we're not using it much until warmer weather arrives), where I've noticed something significant:

The stem is rotting and shriveling!

So this morning I decided that it was time to act.

I grabbed the pruners and removed the bad section of the stem:

Leaving me with a nice little cutting...

...and a couple of stem sections that might root for me:

(The "love" ribbon will give them a bit of encouragement I think)

Unfortunately this leaves me with an ugly "stump" in the pot:

Hopefully this will soon sprout new growth, similar to the way that my other dracaena produced new growth a few months ago:

I'm hoping that the stem cuttings grow too -- that worked quite well with my earlier dracaena pruning efforts...

...where one plant turned into ten.

So hopefully I've salvaged this plant. Now I just need to figure out how to get more light in here so I can stop making excuses about my indoor plants...


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outlawgardener  – (February 4, 2015 at 9:39 AM)  

Indoor plants are difficult! I stick with mostly with sansevierias and other succulents that won't die no matter how poorly they're treated. Come on dracaenas, grow! The love ribbon will surely do the trick!

Hoover Boo  – (February 4, 2015 at 10:05 AM)  

So happy to see I am not the only one! My indoor plants are truly pathetic, but I don't have the excuse of not enough sun.

I have however discovered Tillandsias and Bromilliads--they seem to need almost nothing--so far...

Jenn H –   – (February 4, 2015 at 10:28 AM)  

Hi Alan,
I have used mirrors to solve this problem in the past, and they worked quite well. Get a large one, such as a full length or mantle mirror and place it at an angle on a wall opposite the window. You may have to fiddle with the position a bit, but it really helps to light up those dark corners. Hope this helps, and godspeed little Dracs!

Mark and Gaz  – (February 4, 2015 at 2:52 PM)  

Indoor plants can be difficult. We've killed a few ourselves due to severe neglect especially in the summer when houseplants tend to get fully ignored. Good luck with cuttings, hope they take :)

Alan  – (February 5, 2015 at 10:55 AM)  

Peter: I know the ribbon will work. :)

Gail: if I could garden outdoors year-round like you, I don't think I'd have a single plant indoors!

Jenn: Good idea! A mirror won't work in this case though, as it would have to be in the middle of the room or in front of the TV. :)

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