Watering Compacta can be a challenge since it is most often potted in lava rock, and has incredibly slow productivity.
Lava rock is a difficult soil medium for checking moisture, when watered the water rushes through to the liner. If Lava rock is the soil medium it is often best to put your plant on a watering schedule. For a Compacta in moderate light conditions watering every other week, just to the point that water starts to trickle into the liner should be sufficient. In higher light increase the frequency, in lower light decrease the frequency and or amount.
The very slow productivity of this plant makes it very slow to show symptoms of over or under watering. For example when brown tips are produced the initial over watering damage that caused it may have occurred several weeks prior to the display of the symptoms. Paying attention, remembering any changes in environment, and keeping track of water application from week to week are most helpful to identifying issues and making sure to avoid over correction for a past issue that has recently shown its effects.
In general Compacta is a houseplant that can be described as doing best when kept on the dryer end of the water spectrum, however it does well with a consistent watering schedule. Feast or famine watering is not a great choice for Compacta. Use more of a regular distribution, limited portion control mentality when watering Compacta for best results.
Like most cane Dracaena the reactions of particular cane’s can be very telling in regard to watering anomalies. Different canes have roots at different levels and their reactions will indicate different watering issues in detail. Check the link to the right for more information about the internal potting structure of Dracaena Cane’s, and how to use the individual cane reactions to troubleshoot watering issues.
Remember to distribute water evenly across the soil surface when watering.