Hi Judy! I’m worried about a beloved plant

I have had this plant for quite some time and I can’t seem to make it really happy. At first I thought it was a variation of a corn plant, but it doesn’t have the stalk aspect so I am still unsure of what it likes. I changed the pot and soil awhile back which seemed to help a bit but it just looks sad and wilted again now. I give it water once a week or so and it sits by a western facing window so gets sunlight during the second half of the day. Any help in making this plant bright and happy would be so appreciated! I really love it and it brings so much to my place. Thanks again!

Hi Ellie,

Sorry to be so long in getting back to you, but I am a senior citizen and have been visiting my 11 grandkids.

Yes your plant is a dracaena and the problem is the plant is getting much too much light. Dracaenas do best in medium light and even low lightWhen you select “Low Light” a list of the most adaptive plants in our database appears. These plants can live in lighting conditions too low to support any other plants in our database, but will grow faster in medium and high light. Variegation (color) in the leaves is often lost in low light. A plant in low light needs less water and fertilizer than the same plant in better light. Place a low-light plant within 2-3 ft. of a window with a northern exposure, 3-5 ft. of a window with an eastern exposure, 4-10 ft. of a window with a western exposure, and 10-18ft. of a window with a southern exposure. A low light area has between 50-150 ft. candles of light. The best low light house plants are: Chinese Evergreen, Dracaena Janet Craig, Peace Lily, Heart leaf Philodendron.. It will not survive being in front of a western facing window. First thing is to move it to  a different spot. Then set it in a deep saucer of water for 15 minutes, refilling the water as it is absorbed through the drip holes in the bottom of the pot. Allow the plant to drain before putting it back in its decorative pot. I think the plant will start to do much better once you give it a good drink of water and move it to cooler less bright area.

I can’t tell what type of dracaena it is from this picture. Please email me a closeup of the front of an entire leaf and describe the size, color, and texture. Will be back in touch as soon as I get the new pictures and information.

Again I am sorry to have taken such a long time in getting back to you.

Best wishes,


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