By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
You may already be growing a dracaena plant as part of your houseplant collection; in fact, you may have several of the easy-care houseplant dracaena. If so, you have probably learned that dracaena plant care is fairly simple. Colorful strap-like foliage appears on many dracaena houseplant varieties. Many cultivars are large, tree-like plants while others are smaller. The houseplant dracaena exhibits an upright form no matter the cultivar.
Growing a Dracaena Plant
Stems of the houseplant dracaena are called canes and can be pruned at any point to keep plants under control. Dracaena houseplant varieties D. fragrans and D. deremensis have cultivars that can reach from 6 to 10 feet (2-3 m.), so height control by pruning canes of older plants is useful when growing a dracaena plant. New foliage will sprout just below the cut in a few weeks. Propagate the removed cane for another plant.
Dracaena plant care involves keeping the soil of houseplant dracaena moist, but never soggy. Drooping or yellowing leaves indicate over-watering or poor drainage. Learning how to care for a dracaena includes finding well-draining soil in which to grow your houseplant dracaena.
Appropriate fertilization is also a part of how to care for a dracaena. Feed every two weeks in spring and summer with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Reduce fertilization to once a month during fall. When growing a dracaena plant, stop feeding during winter months, as the plant benefits from a period of dormancy.
When growing a dracaena plant, locate it in brightly filtered light, such as through a sheer curtain in front of a sunny window.
Room temperatures of 60-70 F. (15-21 C.) are best during the day, with night temperatures about 10 degrees cooler. However, the dracaena is forgiving of temperatures, as long as they are not too cold.
Now that you know the basics of dracaena plant care, why not grow one of the many dracaena houseplant varieties in your home today?
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Read more about Dracaena Plants
Dracaena Plant Care - Tips For Growing A Dracaena Plant Indoors - garden
How to Grow Dracaena House Plant - Care and Maintenance
Like many other house plants, Dracaena is grown for its attractive, decorative leaves. Dracaena is very popular in homes and offices, as it is slow growing, and easy to grow with just a little care.
There are over 40 species of Dracaena. The plant stems are called "Canes". The canes have corn or spear like leaves, which are green with variegated colors in cream, red, or white, depending upon species.
Other Names: Corn plant, for it's corn-like leaves
Ideal Room Temperature: 60 - 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plant Height: 1 to 20 feet
Propagating Dracaena Plants:
Plants can be propagated by removing a leaf and stem. Root the cutting in water. Cut the stem off where it meets the main trunk of the plant.
How to Grow Dracaena Plants:
The Dracaena plant is easy to grow and care for outdoors, or indoors as house plants.
Grown as house plants, they prefer cooler temperatures, especially at night. However, they do not like cold drafts.
Select a pot or container that fits your room decor, and allows room for the plants' root system to grow. Select a container that has holes in the bottom for good drainage. If the plant outgrows the container, it can be transplanted into a larger pot.
Use regular, loose potting soil.
The soil should be moist, not wet. Wet soils causes root rot, and can kill the plant. Allow the surface of the soil to dry a little between watering.
This plant grow best in indirect, filtered light. The plant will grow fine, placed near a northern facing window.
Fertilizing Plants: For indoor plants, use a house plant fertilizer every two to three weeks during the growing season. As fall arrives, cut back to once a month. In the winter months, withhold fertilizers, giving the pant a period of dormancy.
You can prune Dracaena. Prune away sick or dead leaves, cutting the stem where it reaches the main trunk. After a few weeks, new leaves will appear below the cut.
Mealy bugs, mites and scales can occasionally be a problem.
Keep plants out of cold drafts.
Root rot will occur in wet soils.
Droopy, yellow leaves often indicate wet soils. Bright sunlight can also cause yellowing leaves.
What are the Most Commonly Kept Varieties?
There is a lot of dracaena fragrans cultivars, but in my guide, I shall describe some of the most popular and interesting varieties.
Original Dracaena Fragrans
This is one of the most typical variants, with plain green leaves. It is very popular, mainly because it’s a low maintenance one, but not as much as the next dracaena fragrans type.
Dracaena Fragrans ‘Massangeana’
This variant is commonly known as just ‘Dracaena massangeana’, and its foliage is somewhat narrower and longer than in the other varieties.
It has dark green leaves, while the variegated parts are light green to yellow. The variegation is in the form of straight stripes that go through the central part of the leaf.
Dracaena Fragrans ‘Lindenii’
This one belongs to variegated members of the family, but those colorations are not the same as on other types. What differs this one from the rest of Dracaena “gang” are yellowish stripes along the edges of the leaf.
Dracaena Fragrans ‘Victoria’
A single glance at this one could make you feel as if you are observing dracaena fragrans massangeana, but this variety has smaller, yet wider leaves. It has whitish and cream stripes all over the leaves.This cultivar isn’t very common in flower shops, but it is extraordinarily beautiful.
Ideal Temperature For Your Dracaena Marginata
Again, the Dragon Tree is highly resilient when it comes to different temperature swings – though it’s a good idea to make sure that things don’t get any cooler than about 65° for too long a period of time if you want to keep your plant happy and healthy.
Temperatures between 68°F and 80°F or so are usually the ideal temperatures for these indoor trees.
Any hotter than 80°F and your plant is going to struggle to grow. As soon as you start to push 90°F or higher you start to threaten the actual health and vitality of that plant.
Below 68°F your plant is likely going to shut down and start to go dormant, though you have a little bit of time to rejuvenate and reawaken your Dragon Tree by heating things up a bit – so long as you catch the temperature swing in time.
Regular household humidity hits the sweet spot, too – though it’s not a bad idea to spritz the leaves of your plant every now and again during the winter if things are getting dry.
What kind of light does yucca plant need?
Yucca plant likes tons of bright light, so set it near a south-, east-, or west-facing window. It will even take some direct sun in northern climates. In the south, it’s best to pull it back a little from bright windows so it doesn’t get sunburned, says Hancock. It will tolerate medium light (make sure it’s casting a “soft” shadow to ensure there’s adequate light). But it won’t do well in low light, so use an LED grow light if you have very dark rooms.
Learn more about dracaena massangeana
Although some varieties look very similar to palm trees, dracaena massangeana isn’t a palm tree.
The similarity is confusing and the care it needs is often very close to that of a palm tree.
All in one aesthetic, resilient and very easy to grow, this is one of the most appreciated and often-purchased indoor plants.
Its foliage is particularly elegant and unique, and its shape and bearing brings a touch of exotic life to a living room, dining area, or any other room of the house that is well-lit.
- The lifespan of a dracaena massangeana can be long, provided it isn’t infected with the diseases that sometimes impact these trees.
D. fragrans ‘Massangeana’ is typically marked with leaves that are variegated, in this case darker green on the outside and lighter green on the inside.
Other Dracaena fragrans varieties don’t have this, like Dracaena fragrans ‘Hilo Girl’ shown above.