Related question: Are these roots healthy or bad?

My Dracaena Reflexa Pleomele started having tiny yellow spots for some weeks. As a result, I was asked to take the rootball and inspect it. I took out the rootball, and here it is(since I don't know much about roots and plants):

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You see the fat root in the third pic? I broke it, The root was hard, but not stiff. When I squeezed it, water came out bubbling. The root smelled like peanut, so I think the root is healthy.

However, the small ones just dropped when I gave a nice light rubbing. They are hollow and dried out. The small roots are dead? Here is the pic: enter image description here

Should I let the plant rest in the soil it has been resting? If not, what should I do? just get rid of the soil and plant it in another soil? If yes, is this soil suitable for this plant?

enter image description here

  • 5
    Those pix could serve as a definition for the term rootbound. Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 13:33
  • @WayfaringStranger Are the roots healthy?
    – 4-K
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 13:35
  • 3
    Look it. Just too many of them. I'd answer, but have never up-potted a Dracena. The process probably involves root spreading and such, but am not sure. Someone more knowledgeable will likely be along soon. Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 13:38
  • Is there any soil in there at all ? I would wait for proper advice, but suspect a root prune and repotting with good soil may be in the answer somewhere. How long has it been in the current pot?
    – JonathanC
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 17:53
  • good luck muscling the roots apart to replant IN THE GROUND!!!!!!! Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


This plant is pot bound but that should not be the cause of the spotting. Nonetheless repotting is a good idea:

  • get a sharp knife and some interior plant potting soil. Something with extra drainage factors like perlite or vermiculite. Do not use soil from the garden which will not drain as readily in a pot.

  • remove the plant from the pot. Check that the drainage hole is not plugged

  • using the knife remove one quarter to one third from the bottom of the root ball in a flat slice
  • make several vertical slashes approximately one inch deep around the circumference of the pot. Remove the ends of roots that have been cut
  • add new potting soil to the bottom
  • return the plant to the pot, pack some more soil in, water thoroughly

There are a lot of dead roots including the hollow ones in the pictures. That is why repotting is a good idea. The picture of the soil you show is not suitable for indoor plants. Consider adding perlite or vermiculite to improve drainage.

  • So what is the cause of the spotting? And the roots are normal or bad? I mean the hollow ones.
    – 4-K
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 5:04

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