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How to care for your cane plants
Cane plants are highly versatile and undemanding plants that are generally easy to look after. Cane plants, although ideal in bright to moderate lighting, will tolerate low lighting, as well as temperature changes. They also get by if watering is occasionally missed. While they are easy to look after, Cane plants still need a minimal amount of care and attention. Here are some tips to help keep your cane plants looking great, as well as some common care pitfalls.
3 Top Tips for keeping your cane plants healthy
- Light – cane plants do exceptionally well in moderate lighting. Brown leaf tips and spots can indicate that the plant is getting too much light. The plant is not getting enough light when leaves turn pale.
- Watering – Water the plant when the soil is dry. Allow soil to dry out before watering (at least the top third). When watering DO NOT let the plant sit in a puddle of water that can accumulate in the bottom of the container. This extra water will encourage rotting. Always let water drain through when watering and then immediately empty any that sits in the saucer at the bottom.
- Wipe the leaves with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust. Wipe the undersides of the leaves as well as the upper surfaces. Removing dust opens the pores so the plant can exchange air freely, and it may help prevent spider mites. Don't use commercial leaf shine products.
3 Common mistakes made looking after cane plants
- Overwatering is the number one common mistake made in the care of cane plants. Letting them sit in moist soil, and/or a saucer filled with water is a sure way to damage your cane plant by rotting the roots. Brown tips on plants are simply telling you the roots have some problems, usually from overwatering. Conversely, whole brown or yellow leaves may indicate the plant needs watering.
- Re-potting your cane plant is tempting when it seems to be ailing, but the plant may just have been overwatered, and the problem won’t be fixed by putting it into a bigger pot. Most indoor plants don’t need to be re-potted. Excess soil will only put more moisture around the roots.
Repot dracaena plants every other year into a pot 1 inch or so larger than the current pot. Remove as much of the old potting soil as possible without damaging the roots. Make sure the plant sits at the same level as in the old pot.
- Using plant fertiliser to revive an ailing plant is another common mistake. Fertiliser, while useful for healthy plant maintenance at appropriate times, won’t help a plant in poor condition. Excess salts in fertilisers only burn unhealthy roots.
For healthy plants, plant food should be used bi-weekly in the Spring and Summer according to instructions, and monthly during Autumn and Winter.