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Dracaena House Plant Care

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Dracaena House Plant Care

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Overview

The Dracaena genus contains 40 or more species of shrubs and trees that often resemble desert plants such as the yucca. Many Dracaenas are native to Africa and thrive in arid climates. Six species are popular as houseplants, with the Dracaena sanderiana, also called lucky bamboo, among the most commonly grown. Dracaena fragrans, known as the corn plant, is another common houseplant in this genus. With a little knowledge and a minimal amount of care, your Dracaena will give you years of enjoyment.

Step 1

Plant your Dracaena in potting soil that is high in peat moss or loam. Be sure that the container you use has at least one drainage hole and that it is large enough for the Dracaena you have chosen.

Step 2

Provide your Dracaena with a temperature no less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. These plants prefer higher temperatures because they are tropical in origin, so if you can keep the room where your Dracaena lives 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, this is the best environment for it.

Step 3

Keep your Dracaena in an area that receives only filtered sunlight; these plants require lower light than some other tropical houseplants.

Step 4

Allow your Dracaena’s soil to dry out between waterings. Because these plants originate in arid environments, they can react unfavorably to wet soil. However, they do like a higher humidity, so if your home’s humidity is under 30 or 40 percent, mist the plant with a fine spray of water every day.

Step 5

Fertilize your Dracaena with a balanced plant food once each month during its active growing season from early spring through mid-summer. Follow label instructions for correct mixing and application.

Step 6

Treat insect pests such as scale, mealybugs and thrips with insecticidal soap. Mix and apply it according to label instructions. You might need to apply this spray several times before you notice a significant reduction in the insect population. If scale insects remain after several applications, add 1 tsp. canola oil to 1 qt. insecticidal soap and reapply until all insects are dead.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss or loamy potting soil
  • Large container
  • Balanced plant food
  • Insecticidal soap

References

  • Dracaena.com: Dracaena Varieties
  • Indoor Plant Care: Dracaena Marginata
  • Plant Care Guru: Dracaena Canes
  • Plant-Care.com: Dracaena Marginata
Keywords: Dracaena houseplant, Dracaena plant care, growing Dracaena

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.