Dracaenas are hardy plants native to tropical regions of the world and members of the family Agavaceae. They grow well outdoors in the warm, tropical regions of our country in zones 9 and 10. They also do well growing as indoor plants, provided their needs are met. Depending on the variety of dracaena, they can reach a height of 15 feet with a width of 10 feet. Dracaenas are relatively easy to plant and they are tolerant to a wide range of conditions.
Planting Dracaena Outdoors
Select an area in your landscape that receives partial sun throughout the day. Plant the dracaena in a location where it will receive either filtered light or four hours of sunlight per day. Consider its potential size at maturity when selecting a location.
Plant the dracaena in soil that drains well, as it will not live in flooded conditions. Amending the soil with organic matter is not a requirement.
Dig a hole that is twice as large as the dracaena’s root ball. Loosen up the surrounding soil so that the root system will be able to easily spread out.
Remove the dracaena from its container and place into the planting hole. Hold the dracaena upright with one hand to keep it straight if planting a taller variety. Fill the hole halfway with soil and stomp down with your foot. Fill the hole with the remaining soil and stomp down again, firming it up against the base of the plant.
Water the dracaena well. Water the dracaena two to three times per week for the first three weeks. Cut back the watering to once per week once the dracaena has established itself. They are quite drought tolerant.
Planting Dracaena in Containers
Select a container that is 2 to 3 times larger than the plant’s root ball and has drain holes in it. Using a 3 to 5 gallon container should be large enough to house most dracaenas.
Fill the container halfway with a well-draining potting mix. Place the root ball into the container and press the soil down around it. Fill the remainder of the container with potting mix. Press the soil firmly around the dracaena's base.
Water the container until it runs out of the drain hole in the bottom. Continue watering the dracaena when the soil becomes dry. Stick your finger into the potting mix and if it feels dry, water the plant. Mist the plant several times per week with water, if grown indoors.
Situate the container in an area that is warm and receives indirect light. Place the container either outside on a porch or inside where direct sunlight will not hit it.
Things You Will Need
- Potting mix
- Bring the container inside if freezing temperatures are expected.
- Fertilize container-grown dracaenas with a water soluble 10-10-10 fertilizer once every other week. Fertilize outdoor plants with an all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer in early spring and summer.
- Pests are usually not a problem for dracaenas grown outdoors. If pests become a problem indoors, select an insecticide that is safe to use on dracaenas and is targeted towards the specific insect you are trying to control.
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