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House Plants/Need help identifying a plant


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Hi there,

My boyfriend has a houseplant given to him by realtor almost 14 years ago. It was almost dead when I came into the picture about 5 years ago. After regular watering, it seems to be well on its way to recovering. Now I've realized that the plant is incredibly root bound. I'd like to repot it but am not sure about the best way to do this. I haven't been able to identify it through image research on the Internet. Can you possibly tell me what it is? I would also like to know regular maintenance for it, can it be trimmed back? Wasn't sure if it's the type of plant that can have a snapped off branch replanted to grow another. So many questions but I'd really like to know how to get it to its healthiest state & maintain that.

Thank you in advance,
Shae Little


I believe that your boyfriend's plant is a dracaena deremensis. This is  a good time of year to repot it. Most houseplants should be repotted in April or May when the roots are beginning to actively grow. Pick a warm day and remove it from the pot then slash down the root ball with a sharp knife to loosen the roots in about 6 places around the root ball. Then put it in a slightly larger pot and put fresh soil under it and all the way around it. Yes you can prune it and you can root the cuttings easily in a fresh pot of soil then the bases of the old plants should also grow new tops. It appears that you have been maintaining it quite well as it looks very healthy. It likes bright light but does not need sun. Water it once a week and let it dry out in between waterings. When you take cuttings to cut it back you can dip them in rooting hormone available at any garden center such as Lowes or Home Depot then insert the cutting in a pot of fresh soil and press the soil firmly around the cuttings. After that treat it as a separate plant that is already rooted. It will root quickly. If you have more questions feel free to write again. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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