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How To Care For A Dracaena Houseplant

Dracaena is one of the most popular houseplants that can grow both outdoors as well as indoors. It is a tall plant, but did you know that it can reach up to three feet indoors? With a bushy tree look and glossy leaves, the plant looks amazing.

Did you know that Dracaena consists of almost 40 species? It has a secondary thickening meristem too. The meristem enables the plant to grow wise and thick with succulent roots. With the dramatic foliage and lovely patterns on the leaves, Dracaena makes for centre of attraction for any room. An amazing thing about Dracaena is that it not only looks good but also improves the quality of air around you! Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth for the free exchange of air.

However, just like any other plant, Dracaena also needs some care. If you are a proud owner of this gorgeous plant or wish to adorn your house with Dracaena, here’s a look at some easy maintenance tips:

  • Light

Dracaena needs filtered, and indoor light as direct sunlight is too harsh for the plant. The sun’s rays will burn its foliage! However, you can place it near a window with a sheer curtain. This semi-shade location is suitable for the plant.

  • Water

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It is quite interesting that Dracaena needs lesser water as compared to other indoor plants! Keep misting the leaves for proper hydration of the plant. Keep the soil also slightly misted with good drainage. However, make sure that the topsoil dries before watering again. You also need to prevent overwatering as it can rot the roots.

Drooping leaves are a sign of over-watering or poor drainage! The bottom leaves might turn yellow and fall. But it is normal for the plant to shed leaves for growing new ones. The leaves are sensitive to fluoride found in tap water. Leaves with dead areas and dark brown colour are a sign of fluoride toxicity.

  • Temperature

Dracaena prefers temperatures that range from 65-78 degrees F during the day. However, during the night-time, it can be about ten degrees cooler. You need to make sure that you place the plant away from your heating and cooling devices. Even natural humidity is fine with Dracaena! However, higher humidity is preferable as it belongs to the rainforest habitat. Invest in a commercial humidifier if needed. As an alternative, place the plant on top of pebbles and allow water to reach just below the pebble tops.

  • Toxicity

The plant is toxic in nature for pets and dogs! Keep it away from your pets. If consumed, cats can experience dilated pupils. Both cats and dogs can experience symptoms like vomiting, excessive saliva, and loss of appetite. Make sure you choose plants accordingly if you have pets at home! If you do buy, keep them away from the reach of pets.

  • Pests and problems

Though Dracaena is usually free from insect or diseases, you should keep an eye. Check for mealybugs, spider mites, and scale. Treat these bugs and insects with the help of insecticides containing pyrethrin.

  • Humidity

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As mentioned above, Dracaena benefits from higher humidity. Summers are a preferable climate for them! Forced air environments are also suitable for them.

  • Fertilizer

Though it is not required to fertilize your Dracaena, you can benefit by feeding it once a month. Feed the plant during the growing season with 1/4th diluted liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion. You can also top-dress your Dracaena at the beginning of the growing season with rich compost.

Additional Tips

  • Always use filtered water! These plants are sensitive to chemicals and salts present in tap water.
  • If your Dracaena isn’t growing well, try to move it to a different spot with more light.
  • If you want to reduce the size of the plants, cut off the top. New foliage will grow back over time, giving a fuller look.

Dracaena is an easy-to-care-for plant! It does great both indoors and outdoors with partial shade. Following the above-mentioned plant care tip will help in enjoying healthy and growing Dracaena. There are different types of Dracaena plants, and the caring tips might differ a bit based on the type you choose.