Some time ago while working on a Dracaena care project we made a request of our readers… asking…
“If you’ve been growing a Dracaena plant indoors for more then 3 years, please e-mail us and with answers to the following information:”
…and we listed some questions.
What did all these replies have in common? A few things but one that I want to focus on…
Generally most of these people have been enjoying their Dracaena(s) for 4-7 years. Their plants have become a “welcomed” member of the family.
Several people have had their plants for 15-25 years, longer then the kids have been in the house.
Most have started a few new plants and grown them on to enjoy themselves or past on to others. One person was teaching one of their kids how to care for the plant(s), another started one for their daughter to take to college. She is passing on a family heirloom.
A few people (about 6) hit on one theme that brought the “science” of growing and understanding plants right home to me.
Learning What Do Plants Need To Grow?
Trial and Error or Plant Experimentation – The Has Been
They didn’t run out and buy a bunch of plants, and pour all kinds of chemicals on them. They didn’t start cutting plants up to grow more. They took a plant “has been” from someone throwing a plant away, or a friend was moving and they could not take the plants with them.
Do you ever see any plants like that? Have you ever known someone that has given away their plants when they moved?
These new “adopted” plants were not in the best of health. But they slowly brought them back to be vibrant thriving indoor plants.
This didn’t happen over night. What did they do?
- Cut off leaves
- Cut off stems
- Slowly watered the plant and returned moisture to the dry soil
- Maybe repotted
- Gave the plant(s) good light
Not all of the plants survived. But some did and are currently decorating someone’s home and not the compost pile.
Basically they took the time to experiment at no cost, on plants they never purchased. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
What they did gain was a knowledge on – what makes plants grow. Knowledge of a particular type of plant that has allowed them to enjoy their plants for years and even decades. Knowledge that has permitted them to move to new homes (one person 6 times) and take their plants with them.
With the right care, most of the indoor houseplants you purchase today at garden centers and nurseries can be enjoyed in your home for years. This care comes only from experience, yours or getting it from someone else that has “been there – done that”.
Caring for plants is a simple cause and effect. Plants have problems indoors and outdoors because the laws of nature have been broken. You can’t change the laws but must know how to work within them.
Ground Rules For Experimental Plant Care
Here are a few ground rules to follow if you find an experimental plant.
- Keep it separate from your other plants. It may have some pest that could move on to better places to live.
- Under a tree in the back yard could work well.
- Ask – What is the best place to start reviving the plant.
- Examine the soil, leaves, and stems.
- Take things slowly
- Take action and observe what works and what doesn’t
So, the next time you see a plant that someone is getting rid of or throwing away…
Stop and think about doing some plant experimentation like some of our other faithful readers. Their experiments have turned them into excellent indoor dracaena growers.
Growing plants indoors is a game of figuring out the rules by a little experimenting.