Friday, January 25, 2008

Help with Drooping Houseplants

All my corn plants look like Quasimodo! How do I straighten them out?

Actually, they might not be corn plants. There is another one that looks very similar which is called a spineless yucca (Yucca elephantipes). Whereas corn plants and other kinds of Dracaena can deal with low light, spineless yucca benefit from bright light with plenty of direct sun. I am going to guess that the reason they have all flopped over is because of water, either an extreme of having too much or having too little. The soil should be kept moist throughout the summer and allowed to only dry out only a little in winter. The one thing, unfortunately, that growers and florists don’t always tell you is that inconsistent watering can lead to these plants drooping pretty seriously pretty quickly. I had one client once who was so attached to hers, as it was her only outdoor plant that survived 9/11, and it devastated me to have to tell her that she needed to start over because the plant had flopped to such a point that I knew it would not stand up on it’s own again. For your situation, apply small quantities of water with regularity; let’s say once a week. Some folks I have talked to also mist their yucca, but that is often more necessary in the summer during warmer weather. Try and find something like a bamboo stake or two and some twine so that you can stake up the flopped portions of your plants. If staking is a new or intimidating endeavor, let me know and I will advise you further.

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