How to Care for a Dracaena House Plant


Dracaena are a group of tropical foliage plants that are often grown as house plants. They range in height from 2 feet to 10 feet, according to information published by Clemson University, and are desirable for their striped, colorful or variegated leaves and overall ease of care. In addition to being attractive, dracaenas have the ability to rid the air of toxins, including formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, according to a study done by NASA and published on the Colorado State University website. All of these factors make dracaenas the perfect choice as an indoor plant for homes and offices.

Step 1

Grow your dracaena in any commercial potting mix. Just make sure the soil is not overly wet. In fact, information published by Clemson University suggests that you should not water dracaenas until the surface of the soil is dry to the touch.

Step 2

Place your dracaena in a location where it will be exposed to bright but indirect light. Some cultivars, such as the corn plant, will grow in lower light conditions. Overall, however, dracaenas have larger, thicker leaves when exposed to bright light for at least part of the day.

Step 3

Fertilize your dracaena plant with a water-soluble food made for foliage plants. Apply the fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring through summer). Follow the directions on the label for the size of your plant.

Step 4

Keep the house temperatures consistently warm (between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit), with a drop of around 10 degrees at night. Do not place the plant near any cold or hot drafts. Mist the plant occasionally with a spray bottle if the humidity in your home is low.

Step 5

Cut off the stems to keep the plant at your desired height, or to keep your dracaena from becoming too "leggy." Leaves will soon grow on the cut-off stems, creating a bushier, more attractive profile, according to information published by Clemson University.

Things You'll Need

  • Commercial potting mix
  • Watering tool
  • Water-soluble fertilizer for foliage plants
  • Spray bottle
  • Pruning tools


  • Colorado State University: Plants "Clean" Air Inside Our Homes
  • Clemson Univesity Extension: Dracaena
Keywords: growing dracaenas, Dracaena house plants, Dracaena plant care

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.