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How to Care for a Ribbon Plant

Ribbon plant, or Dracaena sanderana, is grown as a houseplant in homes and offices. This small, 5-inch tall plant has green ribbon-like leaves with a white strips along the edges. Ribbon plants only require a moderate amount of light, so they thrive in indoor areas where other plants wilt. These small plants are sometimes grown alone in single pots or added to larger dish gardens with other plants for a larger arrangement. Properly caring for your ribbon plant will ensure that it continues to thrive for many years.

Place the ribbon plant in a brightly lit room, but not in direct sunlight. A room with a south-, east- or west-facing window is usually sufficient. Direct sunlight may damage the plant or cause the leaves to lose their variegated coloring.

Water the ribbon plant once a week or when the soil begins to feel dry. Water from the top of the pot until the excess water drains from the bottom. Empty the drip tray after the soil is done draining, usually within two hours of watering.

Fertilize ribbon plants throughout the spring and summer growing season with a liquid houseplant food. Fertilize once monthly at the rate recommended on the fertilizer package.

Inspect the undersides of leaves for spider mites or the grayish-brown discoloration that indicates fungus once monthly, as ribbon plants are susceptible to both. Treat mites with a miticide, following package instructions. Dry leaves after watering and ensure the plant is in brightly-lit room to eliminate fungal problems.


Ribbon plants are small enough to thrive in terrariums. While they tolerate dry air, they prefer the humid conditions of a terrarium.

If ribbon plants leaves become dusty, wipe them clean with a damp cloth.


Too much light or direct sun causes leaves to not just lose their patterns, but they also may develop brown spots and begin dying off.

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