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Care of a Dracaena Plant

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Care of a Dracaena Plant

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Overview

With over 40 varieties and a reputation for being easy to care for, dracaena plants, sometimes called corn plants, are one of the most popular plants for indoor landscaping. Dracaena plants are available in a variety of shapes, leaf variations and sizes, from smaller, compact plants to large plants that can grow 10 or more feet high. There are a few tropical dracaena varieties that can be grown outdoors in USDA zones 10 and 11, in the most southern part of Florida, but most dracaena plants are strictly grown indoors as houseplants.

Step 1

Place your potted dracaena plant in a location that receives indirect sunlight. Dracaena plants do not like direct sunlight, but prefer filtered light, which is one reason they are often found in commercial buildings and offices. The temperature you grow you dracaena in should be in the 65 to 75 degree Fahrenheit range. Lower temperatures and light will slow your dracaena growth.

Step 2

Plant your dracaena in a pot that is only slightly larger than the plant root ball. Dracaena plants like to be a little bit root bound. The soil you plant your dracaena in needs to be a general, all purpose potting soil that drains well.

Step 3

Water your dracaena once a week with warm so that the soil is thoroughly soaked, but not soggy. Do not allow your dracaena pot to stand in water from the saucer for more that two hours. To increase the humidity, which your dracaena enjoys, you can elevate the pot from the water filled saucer by putting a layer of pebbles or glass marbles in the saucer for the pot to sit on. Mist your dracaena occasionally with a misting sprayer to increase the humidity level around your plant. This is particularly needed if your indoor humidity level is below 30 or 40 percent.

Step 4

Fertilize your dracaena, in the spring and summer, every two weeks with a general liquid or time-release, houseplant fertilizer. Your dracaena does not require fertilizing, or feeding during the late fall and winter.

Step 5

Use a spray type insecticide, formulated for houseplants, if you find spider mites or mealy bugs on your dracaena plant. These are the two most common pests to attack your dracaena plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Dracaena plants are sensitive to fluoride. Avoid fertilizers with superphosphate and potting soil with high levels of perilite; both contain high percentages of fluoride.

Things You'll Need

  • All purpose potting soil
  • Water
  • Pebbles or glass marbles
  • Mister
  • Liquid or time-released fertilizer
  • Insecticide

References

  • Indoor Plant Care: Dracaena
  • Bachman's: Dracaenas
  • Plant Ideas.com: Dracaena

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida: Growing Dracaena Reflexa in Landscaping
Keywords: directions for dracaena, indoor corn plant, growing dracaena

About this Author

At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and web content for several well known marketeers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and A Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.