How to Care for Dracaena House Plants


Some house plants are not only decorative but they can also help clean the air in your home. According to the Clean Air Study, performed in the 1980s by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, dracaena is one of the plants that can help remove formaldehyde from the air in your home. Dracaena can be either a tree or a shrub, depending upon the variety. With over 40 different species, no two look alike, and can range in height from 6 inches to 20 feet. Dracaena is an easy plant to grow indoors.

Step 1

Grow your dracaena in a warm, bright area of your home. The planting medium should be light and airy with lots of organic material and a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Some dracaena do well planted in lava rock.

Step 2

Allow the dracaena to dry out between waterings. Feel the soil; water when the top 2 inches are dry. Don't allow water to accumulate under the planter as this may cause root rot, and mist the plant occasionally to provide humidity.

Step 3

Fertilize your dracaena once a year, using a diluted liquid all-purpose houseplant food.

Step 4

Attack any mealy bugs or spider mites on your dracaena right away. Organic liquid insecticidal soaps, such as those containing neem oil, work well and are safer to use around the home than a chemical repellent.

Step 5

Prune the dracaena when the older leaves begin to die, using hand pruning shears. Dracaena can tolerate heavy pruning.

Things You'll Need

  • Light potting medium
  • All-purpose house plant fertilizer
  • Insecticidal soap
  • Hand pruning shears


  • University of Florida
  • NASA
  • University of California, Davis

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois
Keywords: dracaena, dracaena care, dracaena plant

About this Author

Bridget Kelly has been a writer since 2005. With a background in real-estate sales, she blogs professionally and provides articles to national and regional real-estate websites and publications. An apprentice master gardener, Kelly enjoys gardening and writing about gardening topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.