Everything you Need to Know About Dracaena Plants: Popular Types, Uses, Symbolism & How-To-Grow

Dracaena plants make a stunning addition to a host of living spaces. With design and time in mind, dracaena plant varieties offer some of the best options in houseplants. Some of the most popular varieties such as Dracaena warneckii, marginata, fragrans, and deremensis boast unusual, whimsical silhouettes adorned with lush foliage throughout. Plus, they range in size so you can add drama to an entire blank wall or simply update the edge of an end table. Here we’ve showcased 12 of our absolute favorite indoor Dracaena Plants and we’ve included expert care instructions and key considerations for each so you can find your perfect match. What’s more, you’ll find everything you need to know about Dracaena plants including their benefits, meanings, symbolism, and more. Enjoy!

Contents:


About Dracaena Plants

About Dracaena Plants

Dracaena plants have a complicated scientific family history. In the past, they’ve been classified and separated into various subfamilies, which are no longer recognized. Today, the Dracaena genus belongs to the Asparagaceae family, subfamily Nolinoideae.

The Dracaena genus includes about 120 species of different shrubs and trees. They vary in size, with the smallest growing a couple of feet tall and the largest towering several stories high. Despite their differences in size and shape, they all have lush, evergreen foliage.

The majority of dracaena plants are native to Africa, Southern Asia, and parts of Northern Australia. Two species call Central America home. However, dracaena plants have become popular houseplants and can be found growing in homes and offices around the world.


Uses and Benefits of Dracaena Plants

Uses and Benefits of Dracaena Plants

Improve Air Quality

Green plants replenish oxygen, and some even purify the air. Dracaena plants are some of the most beneficial for indoor air quality. According to NASA’s clean air study, dracaena plants can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and carbon dioxide from your indoor atmosphere.

Ornamental Use

Dracaena plants are loved for their ornamental use. They grow in so many surprising shapes and sizes and have striking evergreen foliage that they can be successfully deployed in just about any design scheme. Use a taller variety to add visual interest to an empty corner, a fuller cultivar to fill balance furniture, and compact dracaenas as accents on tables or desks.

Dyes and Varnish

Some dracaena varieties have a uniquely red-colored sap. For centuries, people have used the red sap as varnish and dye. In fact, it’s thought to be responsible for the red tint of Stradivarius violins.


Dracaena Plants: Meanings and Symbolism

Dracaena Plants meaning and symbolism

The name Dracaena comes from the Greek word for a female dragon, and the plants get this name from the red sap that seems to bleed from some cultivars (most notably, Dracaena draco and Dracaena cinnabari). In addition to creating dyes, this sap has been used in a variety of ways.

People throughout the Mediterranean believed the sap to have medicinal properties and used it to treat respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. Others believed it to be a sort of cure-all.

The red sap, called dragon’s blood, also has a long history of past and present use in rituals and spiritualism. It’s used as an incense to cleanse a space of negative energy or entities. It’s also been used in the inscription of talismans and magical seals. In neopaganism, it’s used in spells for love, sexuality, protection, and banishment.


Whether you believe in the spiritual symbolism of dragon’s blood or not, dracaena plants are a wonderful choice for your interior space. When choosing a dracaena plant for your home or office, you should pick one that you find attractive.

However, you should also consider your space and the plant’s needs. With more than 100 varieties, you can easily find a dracaena that will thrive in its new home. These are some of the most popular dracaena varieties.

1. Striped Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis warneckii ulyses)

Dracaena warneckii from Bloomscape
Credit: Dracaena warneckii from Bloomscape

We love the Dracaena warneckii for its ability to brighten empty corners with its long, sleek shape. Native to tropical Africa, this dracaena plant gets its common name from its beautifully striped leaves. With bursts of long, dark-green, and white-striped leaves growing atop sturdy stalks, this plant’s surprising silhouette adds a bit of whimsy to any interior.

NAME: Dracaena warneckii
DIFFICULTY:Perfect for beginners, striped dracaena is an easy, no-fuss houseplant.
SOIL:Pot with standard, well-draining houseplant potting soil.
LIGHT:This plant can adapt to a variety of light conditions. It prefers low to bright indirect light.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:This dracaena grows well in temperatures between 65°F to 80°F and prefers average humidity. In arid environments, mist the leaves regularly.
WATERING:Water when the top 1″ of soil is dry (once every 7 to 10 days), allow the water to drain completely, and avoid soggy soil by pouring out any excess water.
FEEDING:Fertilize in spring and summer with a water-soluble commercial fertilizer. Choose one with sodium, zinc, copper, iron, and manganese and a 3:1:2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
GROWTH:Choose a space with plenty of height. At maturity, this plant will reach 44 to 54-inches tall.
TOXICITY:Non-toxic to humans. Toxic to dogs and cats.

2. Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

The Dracaena marginata, commonly called the dragon tree, is a very popular houseplant. The plant features tall, skinny trunks that are topped with green sprouts of long, elegant, red-tipped leaves. With its tall, slender, and slightly abstract silhouette, use the dragon tree to add height to an arrangement of houseplants, decorate a space behind the sofa, or to draw the eye up by adding visual interest to a blank wall.

We have a full in-depth guide to Dracaena marginata plants here for more info!

NAME: Dracaena marginata
DIFFICULTY:The dragon tree is an easy, low-maintenance plant that thrives in a variety of conditions.
SOIL:Prefers slightly moist soil. Look for a commercial potting soil formulated for non-blooming houseplants.
LIGHT:Prefers moderate to bright indirect light, but can tolerate lower light levels as well.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Prefers temperatures between 65°F and 90°F. Will tolerate average indoor humidity, but this plant appreciates the occasional misting.
WATERING:Water when the soil feels dry to the touch (once every 7 to 10 days). Water until the soil is saturated, but allow all excess moisture to drain.
FEEDING:Slow-growing, this plant doesn’t require much fertilizer. Feed once a month in the spring and summer with a balanced commercial fertilizer at half the strength recommended on its packaging.
GROWTH:Dragon trees can grow up to about 7-feet tall.
TOXICITY:Non-toxic to humans. Toxic to cats and dogs.

3. Cornstalk (Dracaena fragrans)

dracaena fragrans plants

The Dracaena fragrans is a species of dracaena plants with several cultivars (some of which are mentioned later in this list). This multistemmed, flowering shrub is native to tropical Africa. Commonly called Cornstalk for its resemblance to the crop, it features thick stems draped with long, broad, and glossy green leaves. Occasionally, the cornstalk will bloom with sprays of small, white flowers.

NAME: Dracaena fragrans
DIFFICULTY:Relatively easy to grow and will tolerate a variety of conditions.
SOIL:Pot in loose, well-draining soil.
LIGHT:Prefers light shade or low to bright filtered sunlight.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Grow in temperatures between 60°F and 75°F. Dracaena fragrans prefers a humid environment. If the plant’s leaves develop brown spots, try misting the leaves with water once a week (more frequently in an arid environment).
WATERING:These prefer some moisture in the soil, but should not sit in standing water. Water when the top inch of soil dries out and allow excess to drain completely.
FEEDING:Fertilize once a month in spring and summer with a well-balanced, mild commercial fertilizer.
GROWTH:Compact cultivars grow to be about 3 to 6 feet tall. Wild varieties grow up to 50 feet tall.
TOXICITY:Non-toxic to humans. Toxic to dogs and cats.

4. Corn Plant (Dracaena deremensis)

Dracaena deremensis plants

Commonly called the corn plant, Dracaena deremensis is beloved for its lush clutches of deep-green leaves which tend to resemble those found on an actual corn stalk. Native to Africa, this plant can be found growing in homes all around the world.

NAME: Dracaena deremensis
DIFFICULTY:Low-maintenance and easy to grow.
SOIL:Well-draining, loose potting mix.
LIGHT:Corn plants can adapt to survive in low light, but they’ll thrive in a location with medium to bright indirect sunlight.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:These plants thrive in temperatures from the mid-70s to the low-80s and prefer a fairly humid environment. In arid locations, mist the leaves once a week with water.
WATERING:Water thoroughly when the soil feels dry, allow excess moisture to drain completely, and do not allow the plant to sit in standing water.
FEEDING:During the growing season, feed once a month with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer at half-strength.
GROWTH:This slow-growing plant can reach 3 to 50 feet, depending on the cultivar.
TOXICITY:Non-toxic to humans. Toxic to cats and dogs.

5. Song of India (Dracaena reflexa)

Dracaena Reflexa Song of India for Sale at Bloomscape
Credit: Dracaena reflexa from Bloomscape

Native to Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, and other islands in the Indian Ocean, the Dracaena reflexa is commonly called the Song of India. A type of tree, this species of dracaena has thick stems topped with striking evergreen leaves featuring sweeps of light and dark green stripes.

NAME: Dracaena reflexa
DIFFICULTY:Easy to grow and low-maintenance.
SOIL:Choose a well-draining potting mix for non-blooming houseplants.
LIGHT:This plant thrives in medium to full indirect or filtered sunlight.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Fares best in indoor temperatures between 65°F and 85°F. Does best in average humidity. Leaves can be misted weekly in arid environments.
WATERING:Do not allow the soil to dry completely. Water thoroughly when the top inch is dry and allow excess water to drain completely.
FEEDING:Fertilize monthly during spring and summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer at half-strength.
GROWTH:At maturity, this slow-growing plant will reach between 12 and 18 feet tall though is easy to maintain a more manageable size indoors.
TOXICITY:Non-toxic to humans. Toxic to cats and dogs.

6. Gold Dust (Dracaena surculosa)

Dracaena surculosa plants

Native to the tropical rainforests of Africa, the Dracaena surculosa is more leaf than stem (compared to other dracaena plants). The gold dust dracaena sprouts yellow or white-speckled deep-green leaves that look as if they’ve been dusted with gold – hence the plant’s common name.

NAME: Dracaena surculosa
DIFFICULTY:Low-maintenance and easy to grow.
SOIL:Pot in a well-draining potting soil formulated for houseplants.
LIGHT:Prefers medium to bright filtered sunlight.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Thrives in moderate humidity at temperatures no lower than 60°F. Keep away from cold drafts and vents.
WATERING:A rainforest plant, the gold dust dracaena requires more frequent watering than other dracaena varieties. Water once or twice a week, allowing excess moisture to drain, and never allowing the soil to dry out completely.
FEEDING:During the growing season, fertilize once a month with a balanced, half-strength fertilizer.
GROWTH:Mature houseplants grow to be between 18 to 30-inches tall.
TOXICITY:Toxic to cats and dogs. Non-toxic to humans.

7. Canary Islands Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco)

Dracaena draco plants

The Dracaena draco is commonly called the dragon tree for its red sap that bleeds like a dragon’s blood. It’s native to the Canary Islands and features an unusual silhouette whether grown inside in a container or outdoors in the wild.

NAME: Dracaena draco
DIFFICULTY:This is one of the easiest of all dracaena plants to grow.
SOIL:Dragon trees can grow well in just about any potting soil. Just be sure to choose a well-draining mix.
LIGHT:Dragon trees prefer medium to full sunlight.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Dragon trees tolerate drought and cooler temperatures better than other dracaenas. They can even survive brief bouts below 50°F. As a result, they thrive in most indoor environments.
WATERING:Allow your plant to dry almost completely before watering thoroughly. Never allow a dragon tree to sit in standing water.
FEEDING:These slow-growing plants don’t require much food. Fertilize bi-annually with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer.
GROWTH:Grown indoors, dragon trees reach 3 to 6 feet in height.
TOXICITY:Toxic to dogs and cats. Non-toxic to humans.

8. Dracaena Tree (Dracaena arborea)

Dracaena arborea plants

The Dracaena arborea or dracaena tree resembles a small palm tree with sword-shaped green leaves and sclerified “bark” running up its trunk. This miniature tree offers a warm burst of tropical-looking foliage to any indoor plant-scape.

NAME: Dracaena arborea
DIFFICULTY:Low-maintenance and easy to grow.
SOIL:Pot in a well-draining potting mix for houseplants.
LIGHT:Prefers bright indirect sunlight.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:This plant fares well in most indoor environments with moderate humidity. However, it will not tolerate cold or hot air drafts. Keep it away from vents and drafty doors or windows.
WATERING:Depending on the season and indoor climate, your dragon tree will need to be watered once every week or two. Water thoroughly, allow excess moisture to drain, and wait for the soil to dry almost completely before watering again.
FEEDING:Feed a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer at half-strength once a month during the growing season.
GROWTH:Grows to about 7 to 8-feet tall.
TOXICITY:Non-toxic to humans. Toxic to dogs and cats.

9. Mass Cane (Dracaena fragrans massangeana)

Dracaena fragrans Massangeana

Another variation of the corn plant, the Dracaena fragrans massangeana (commonly called the mass cane), features cane-liked branches that shoot from its trunk and sprout green-and-yellow-striped leaves. Like other Dracaena fragrans plants, the massangeana is also native to Africa.

NAME: Dracaena fragrans massangeana.
DIFFICULTY:This low-maintenance and easy to care for plant is perfect for beginners.
SOIL:This plant will thrive in most types of soil as long it offers good drainage.
LIGHT:Avoid direct sunlight. Bright, indirect light is best for this plant, but it can tolerate low and moderate light conditions, too.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Mass cane is most comfortable in moderate humidity between 60ºF and 75°F.
WATERING:When it comes to watering a mass cane, avoid extremes. It won’t fare well with too much moisture in the soil or when the soil dries completely. Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry and allow excess water to drain completely.
FEEDING:Mass cane plants don’t require much food. However, you can provide yours with a balanced half-strength fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
GROWTH:In the right container and home, a mass cane could reach up to 15 feet. However, most grow to heights of about 2 to 4 feet.
TOXICITY:Toxic to cats and dogs. Non-toxic to humans.

10. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

Dracaena sanderiana

Surprise! Lucky bamboo isn’t bamboo at all. The common name is actually just a clever way to market this unusual-looking type of dracaena plant that’s native to Africa. With its bamboo-like stalks and sparse leaves, Dracaena sanderiana grows in vases of water and looks great on display.

NAME: Dracaena sanderiana
DIFFICULTY:Low-maintenance and easy to grow, these make great gifts and office decorations.
SOIL:Lucky bamboo doesn’t require any soil to grow. If you have a potted version, choose a well-draining potting mix.
LIGHT:Light moderation is key for lucky bamboo care. Display yours in a spot that receives moderate to bright indirect light.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Lucky bamboo enjoys temperatures between 60°F and 75°F and moderate indoor humidity (around 40%).
WATERING:If growing in water, change the water every couple of weeks. Use filtered tap water, bottled mineral water, or rainwater to avoid chemical damage. If growing in soil, water thoroughly when the top inch of soil dries. Allow excess water to drain.
FEEDING:Growing in water, there’s no need for fertilizer. Potted lucky bamboo can be fertilized once in the spring and once in the summer with a balanced, half-strength fertilizer.
GROWTH:Lucky bamboo grows slowly. The size it reaches varies greatly depending on its care and container. Generally, the lucky bamboo you purchase will double in size with proper care.
TOXICITY:Non-toxic to humans. Toxic to cats and dogs.

11. Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata)

Dracaena-trifasciata-for-sale-at-Bloomscape
Credit: Snake Plants from Bloomscape

Most commonly called the snake plant, Dracaena trifasciata has many common names including mother-in-law’s tongue, Saint George’s sword, viper’s bowstring, golden birds nest, and the good luck plant to name a few. This plant features rosettes of stiff, pointed green leaves that are sometimes dappled with yellow or light-green markings.

NAME: Dracaena trifasciata
DIFFICULTY:Low-maintenance and easy to grow.
SOIL:These dracaena plants prefer coarse, well-draining potting soil.
LIGHT:Avoid extremely low light or bright, direct light. Snake plants prefer bright, filtered light but will tolerate just about any type of indoor light.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Snake plants enjoy temperatures between 65°F and 80°F and moderate indoor humidity (around 40%).
WATERING:Snake plants tolerate drought better than all other dracaenas, but be careful not to overwater yours. Water only when the soil has dried completely and allow all excess moisture to drain.
FEEDING:These slow-growers don’t need much feeding. Use a well-balanced fertilizer diluted to half-strength to feed yours once a year at the beginning of the growing season.
GROWTH:Properly cared for, snake plants will grow to between 2 to 6 feet tall.
TOXICITY:Toxic to dogs and cats. Slightly toxic to humans.

12. Curly or Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena braunii)

Dracaena braunii plants

Another variety of Dracaena plant that masquerades as bamboo is the Dracaena braunii. Like Dracaena sanderiana, the Dracaena braunii is native to Africa and can grow in either water or soil. It features sparsely-leaved stalks that resemble bamboo.

NAME: Dracaena braunii
DIFFICULTY:Low-maintenance and easy to grow.
SOIL:Can grow in water alone or a coarse, well-draining potting mix.
LIGHT:Prefers bright, filtered sunlight.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:This plant grows in average indoor humidity in temperatures ranging from 65°F to 90°F.
WATERING:A water-growing curly bamboo should have its water changed twice a week. Avoid chemical damage by using bottled mineral water, filtered tap water, or collected rainwater. In soil, water when the top inch is dry and allow to drain completely.
FEEDING:Curly bamboo growing in water doesn’t require feeding. If potted in soil, fertilize two times per growing season with a balanced, half-strength fertilizer.
GROWTH:Reaches 3 feet at its maximum height.
TOXICITY:Toxic to cats and dogs. Non-toxic to humans.

How to Grow Dracaena Plants at Home

How to Grow Dracaena Plants at Home

These low-maintenance plants are as beautiful as they are easy-to-care-for. As a result, they’re a favorite for indoor growing at home and the office. Before you choose a plant and begin growing, consider the following:

  • Where will you display the plant? Find a location that receives the medium to bright filtered sunlight and isn’t in the path of any hot or cold air drafts. Then be sure there’ll be enough room for your plant to grow. Remember that some dracaena plants grow to be quite tall.
  • What do you need for potting the plant? Gather all the supplies you’ll need. Choose an appropriately-sized container (2 or 3 inches larger than the root ball) with plenty of drainage holes. Depending on the size of the plant, dracaenas are best displayed on the floor or a tabletop surface. So, you’ll need a saucer and other supports to protect the display surface. Then find some pebbles for the bottom of the pot and well-draining soil.

How to Plant a Dracaena

  1. First, line the bottom of your pot with pebbles to enhance drainage and prevent root rot.
  2. Add a layer of potting soil and place the dracaena on top. The top of the plant’s roots should be about three inches below the container’s rim.
  3. Next, fill in around the root ball until completely covered with soil. About 1 to 2 inches should remain between the top of the soil and the container’s rim.
  4. Gently pat down the soil.
  5. Water thoroughly so the soil settles completely and allow the excess moisture to drain.
  6. Top off with additional potting soil, if needed.
  7. Place a plant saucer beneath your pot and display it in the desired location.

How to Care for Dracaena Plants – General Growing Preferences

How to Care for Dracaena Plants at Home

These easy-to-grow plants are perfect for beginners because most varieties of dracaenas can tolerate a broad range of growing conditions. However, they’ll fare best, thrive, and look their prettiest when the growing conditions are just right.

How to Water Dracaena Plants

While some varieties of dracaena tolerate drought quite well, none of them are immune to root rot. As a result, it’s important not to overwater a dracaena plant or let them sit in standing water. For best results, aim for moderation in moisture. Don’t allow your plant to dry out completely, but don’t water it too soon.

A good rule of thumb is to water when the top inch of soil feels dry. For most plants, this means watering thoroughly once every 7 to 10 days.

Watering frequency varies based on the season (more frequently in spring and summer/less frequently in fall and winter) and climate (more frequently in hot, dry conditions/less frequently in cool, humid conditions). Placement in your home also affects watering frequency. Plants that receive more sunlight will need more water.

To avoid chemical damage from chlorine or fluoride, water with filtered tap water or bottled mineral water.

Light Preferences

Dracaena Light Preferences

Most dracaenas tolerate low light conditions well, but they do best with moderate to bright filtered sunlight. Direct sunlight will scorch their leaves.

Feeding and Fertilizing Dracaena Plants

Dracaena plants grow slowly, so they don’t require frequent feeding. To avoid salt burns, fertilize dracaena with a balanced, water-soluble, commercial fertilizer diluted to half-strength. Feed as often as up to once a month during the growing season only.

Pruning Dracaena Plants

While dracaena plants don’t require much maintenance, dead or dying leaves and stems should be removed from the plant. Cut these away at the base of the stalks. If any canes must be removed, cut them at an angle to keep disease at bay.

It’s best to prune a dracaena during the growing season. Avoid pruning, if possible, when the plant is dormant (fall and winter). To prune, you’ll need a set of sharp, sterile pruning shears to ensure clean, disease-free cuts.

Propagating Dracaena Plants

For the most success, only propagate plants during the growing season (spring and summer). Several simple methods for propagating dracaena plants exist. The one you choose will depend on your plant and the type of cutting you wish to take.

  • Top Cutting – Count a few nodes or inches down from the bottom of the plant’s top leaf line and cut the stem. Although this sounds alarming, growth on the original plant will resume shortly. Pot the cutting directly in soil or keep it in a vase of water until roots sprout.
  • Stem Cutting – Follow the same method as with top cutting, but include several inches of stem in your cutting. You can then separate the stem into 8-inch sections (being mindful of which end is the top and which is the bottom). Plant these in soil or keep them in water until roots sprout.
  • Rhizome Cutting – Dracaenas that naturally spread via underground rhizomes, like snake plants, can be easily propagated by separating new plants that sprout from the rhizomes. Simply identify an individual rosette, break it off at the root, and keep it in water until new roots sprout.

For quicker results, dip the root-side of your cuttings in root growth hormone which can be found at any gardening supply center.

Repotting Dracaena Plants

Dracaenas grow slowly and don’t require frequent repotting. You might need to repot a dracaena once every two or three years. If your plant’s roots have grown above the soil or sprouted from the pot’s drainage holes, then it’s time for a bigger home. For best results, repot plants during the growing season.

  • To start, find a new pot that’s about 2 or 3 inches larger than your plant’s current container.
  • Grab the plant at the base of its stalk or trunk and gently work it out of the pot.
  • Tease its roots loose to remove some of the old potting soil.
  • Next, line your new pot with pebbles and a layer of soil.
  • Place the plant on top of the soil and fill in around its sides until the top of the roots are covered.
  • Allow about an inch between the top of the soil and the pot’s rim.
  • Water thoroughly and allow excess moisture to drain.

Indoor Dracaena Plants: Common Problems, Pests, and Diseases

Common Dracaena problems, pest and diseases and how to deal with them

Pests and Diseases

Outdoor dracaenas are susceptible to a variety of fungi and diseases, but scale insects and spider mites are the two most common problems that indoor dracaenas face.

  • Scale insects appear in the form of velvety, white spots on leaves that will eventually lose their color.
  • Mites produce brown spots on your plant’s leaves (similar to what you might see in an arid environment).

Both require treatment with special insecticides. Consult your local garden center to select the right formula.

Problems

  1. Withering or Falling Leaves – This usually occurs due to excess water or too little light.
  2. Losing Leaves – Your plant might be too cold or suffering from root rot. Put your plant in a well-draining pot. Make sure it’s in a warm, sunny location and not getting blasted by cold air drafts.
  3. Yellowing Leaves – A few yellow leaves are part of the natural growth cycle. Several, however, can indicate overwatering.
  4. Brown Spots on Leaves – Too little humidity can lead to brown spots on the leaves. Add a pebble tray with water to the bottom of your plant or mist weekly with water.

Essential Tools for Growing Dracaena Plants

Essential House Plant Tools

Low-maintenance plants like dracaenas still require some maintenance. The following tools should help you cultivate healthy houseplants.

  • Sharp pruning shears (dull or rusty ones leave plants susceptible to disease)
  • Soil probe or moisture meter (for perfectly timed watering)
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Watering can
  • Spray bottle or mister

Wrap Up

Dracaena plants require minimal care and offer maximum impact. Whether you spring for a dramatic dragon tree, a bunch of lucky bamboo, a petite corn plant, or decide to try to collect them all, you’ll love filling your home and office space with the evergreen warmth of all varieties of dracaena plants.


Dracaena Plants FAQ:

A good rule of thumb is to water when the top inch of soil feels dry. To avoid chemical damage from chlorine or fluoride, water with filtered tap water or bottled mineral water. Dracaena plants grow slowly, so they don’t require frequent feeding. To avoid salt burns, fertilize dracaena with a balanced, water-soluble, commercial fertilizer diluted to half-strength. Feed as often as up to once a month during the growing season only.

For most Dracaena plants, you should aim to water thoroughly once every 7 to 10 days during spring and summer and every 14 to 21 days during late fall and winter months. 

Most dracaenas tolerate low light conditions well, but they do best with moderate to bright filtered sunlight. Direct sunlight will scorch their leaves.

The best soil mix for dracaena plants is a coarse, well draining soil all-purpose houseplant mix. 

According to NASA’s clean air study, dracaena plants can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and carbon dioxide from your indoor atmosphere.

Brown tips on dracaena leaves typically occur due to insufficient light or underwatering. Too little humidity can also lead to brown spots on the leaves. Add a pebble tray with water to the bottom of your plant or mist weekly with water.

For the most success, only propagate plants during the growing season (spring and summer). The 3 most common methods include: 

  • Top Cutting – Count a few nodes or inches down from the bottom of the plant’s top leaf line and cut the stem. Pot the cutting directly in soil or keep it in a vase of water until roots sprout.
  • Stem Cutting – Follow the same method as with top cutting, but include several inches of stem in your cutting. Plant these in soil or keep them in water until roots sprout.
  • Rhizome Cutting – Dracaenas that naturally spread via underground rhizomes, like snake plants, can be easily propagated by separating new plants that sprout from the rhizomes. Simply identify an individual rosette, break it off at the root, and keep it in water until new roots sprout.

The most common reason your dracaena plant might be flagging is due to overwatering or lack of light. Check the soil base for moisture (with a probe or your fingers) and allow it to dry completely if it appears saturated. Move the plant to a brighter spot in your home and make sure it’s not exposed to any cold drafts.

Author

I’ve long been fascinated with the world of flowers, plants, and floral design. I come from a family of horticulturists and growers and spent much of my childhood in amongst the fields of flowering blooms and greenhouses filled with tropical plants, cacti, and succulents from all over the world. Today, my passion has led me to further explore the world of horticulture, botany, and floristry and I'm always excited to meet and collaborate with fellow enthusiasts and professionals from across the globe.

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