Few years ago I cut our tall Dracaena (corn plant) into three parts and replanted them in potting soil. They grew quite well.  Later on, I gave one (the top cutting) to a friend. Yesterday she gave me back the plant because it was not growing very well. The leaves were wilted and the cane looked crinkle.

Dracaena - Wilted dehydrated - March 08-2018

Unhappy Dracaena, leaves are wilted.

Today, after I thoroughly watered the unhappy plant, I took it out of the pot to check the root system. I found that the roots were very dry and after being watered well, the soil mix was still dry. It seemed to me that the soil mix repelled water. Why this happened? Perhaps my friend left it dry quite a while. Very dry potting mix can become water repellent, in which the water cannot penetrate all the soil and just runs out of the pot holes. 

I decided to cut the plant into two parts. The top one with wilted leaves will be rooted by soaking it in water, while the bottom part with roots will be replanted in fresh potting soil. It is the beginning of autumn here in Melbourne, hopefully there will enough warm days  before winter arrives in June.

Dracaena - 2 cuttings

Bottom cutting:

Though they are dry, the roots have grown quite well since I replanted it from top cutting few years ago. I soaked the dry roots in water to re-hydrate and then it was planted in a pot by using fresh potting mix that has been mixed with a bit of cactus mix.

Top Cutting:

I trimmed the droopy leaves shorter to help this top cutting grow new roots quicker by reducing the energy on the leaves. This time I am trying to root this cutting in water. It is just an experiment to see if the method really work.

Dracaena - top cutting try to grow roots in water Mach 013-2018

Dracaena - end results to save the plant March 08-2018