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Interiorscape Forum / Scaper Talk Discussion Forum / Plants / Dracaena Janet Craig iron deficiency
Posted:  01 Nov 2012 02:14  
We have quite a few Janet Craigs with what appears to be iron deficiency. Can anyone suggest a successful way of dealing with this?

Thanks in advance, Ben:(
Posted:  01 Nov 2012 14:25  
We use Ironite, which is often sold for lawns (granular).  Remember to check your pH first.  If that is not correct, it doesn't matter how much Ironite you apply, it won't correct the iron deficiency, since the plant won't take it up.

Posted:  08 Dec 2012 12:59  
"The most obvious symptom of iron deficiency in plants is commonly called leaf chlorosis. This is where the leaves of the plant turn yellow, but the veins of the leaves stay green. Typically, leaf chlorosis will start at the tips of new growth in the plant and will eventually work its way to older leaves on the plant as the deficiency gets worse."
   Source: http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problem ...
I myself have never observed iron deficiency on an indoor plant. What I have seen on the 'Janet Craig' is a 'blotching'; which (I am told) has been associated with older plants and irrigating with tap water (chloride/fluoride).
If I had to correct the deficiency indoors, I'd use a liquid concentrate and dilute it to half the labeled strength. I'd use this solution to irrigate the plant every fourth watering until the symptoms clear out.
Posted:  05 Jan 2013 06:09  
We usually treated all dracaenas with an annual helping of iron sequestrine, and an application of dolomitic limestone, plus a top dressing of fresh soil, but no other fertilizer.
Posted:  05 Jan 2013 19:35  
Something as simple as media compaction may be the key here.  When a dracaena has been growing in the same growing medium for a long time, as many do in the interiorscape because we don't up-size them for various reasons, compaction occurs and drainage/aeration suffer.  Root tips and root hairs die off, leaving the plants functionally unable to process nutrients in the mix. 

Unpot, examine the medium and roots and get back to us.
Posted:  08 Mar 2014 22:01  
What method do you use to check the ph.
Posted:  08 Mar 2014 23:16  
Most tropicals arrive in a medium that is of the correct pH for their near-term well-being.  However, the pH of the water used to irrigate them once installed in an interiorscape setting will vary and can affect the pH of the medium.  Since the plants are growing in various locations using various irrigation sources, you might want to monitor pH at each account if you're seeing symptoms of nutrient deficiencies that are linked to pH.

You can buy an electronic ph/soluble salts meter that works for both water and soils (about $80-$100 online) and test for yourself, or you can send out water and/or media samples to your local cooperative extension office in your county for analysis, or use one of the better hort labs such as A&L Southern Ag Labs in Florida.  They will tell you all sorts of things about your sample, and if you include info about the types of plants you're growing and the fact that you're growing them in an interiorscape environment, they can also suggest strategies to solve any apparent deficiencies/toxicities to better suit the plants' requirements.

If you're familiar with the symptoms of pH and/or nutrient issues on the types of tropical plants you're maintaining or growing, you can pretty much self-diagnose online using any of the industry sites (U of Florida, North Carolina State U, etc.) that provide links to literature about tropical plant production, maintenance and problems.

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