You may already have some of the low-maintenance dracaena houseplants flourishing in your home as part of your collection.
The care of dracaena plants is quite straightforward. Many dracaena houseplant types have strap-like leaves that can be quite colorful.
While some cultivars grow to be enormous, tree-like plants, others are more compact in stature.
In any case, the dracaena’s upright shape is consistent regardless of the cultivar it is grown in
Growing a Dracaena Plant
The canes of the dracaena houseplant can be clipped at any time to keep the plant in check.
Pruning canes from older plants can help restrict the height of a dracaena houseplant, as some types can grow up to 10 feet (three meters) in height.
When the wound is healed in a few weeks, new growth will appear just below it. Remove the cane and replant it in another location.
It’s important to keep the soil of dracaena houseplants moist, but not soggy.
There is a sign of over-watering or poor drainage if the leaves are drooping or yellowing.
Finding soil that drains effectively is an important part of learning how to properly care for a dracaena.
Care for a dracaena is not complete without proper fertilization. During the spring and summer, fertilize your houseplants every two weeks using a balanced houseplant fertilizer.
During the fall, only fertilize once a month at most. You should not feed your dracaena plant throughout the winter months since it needs a period of dormancy.
Plant a dracaena in brightly filtered light, such as in front of a window with a sheer curtain.
During the day, rooms should be kept between 60-70 degrees F (15-21 degrees C), with the temperature dropping by 10 degrees at night. When it’s not too chilly, however, the dracaena is more forgiving.
Dracaena Pests and Diseases
Insect-free Dracaenas are common. Planting in soil that contains compost or bark can lead to the development of fungus gnats, so choose potting or planting soil that does not contain these ingredients.
Pests such as scale, aphids, thrips, and mealybugs feed on the sap of dracaena leaves, weakening or even killing the plants as a result.
Look for these insects under the leaves, along the trunk, and at the base of the plant.
- Mealybugs look like white, fuzzy, or cottony masses. Try blasting them off with a strong spray of water from the sprayer at your kitchen sink, or, if your plants are outside, from the garden hose. You can also use a cotton ball or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe them off. Rinse your plant with clean water when you are finished.
- Aphids can be green or black in color, with round, translucent bodies. They cause leaves to yellow and often leave a sticky secretion on your plants. Wash them off with a cloth dipped in soapy water or apply insecticidal soap.
- Scale is small tan, dark brown, or white pests with waxy coverings. Natural predators like ladybugs and parasitic wasps can help control them on outdoor plants. For indoor plants, use an old toothbrush dipped in soapy water to scrape them off. If the scale persists, apply horticultural oil or insecticidal spray, following the product’s directions.
- Spider mites are too small to see without a magnifying glass but suspect they are present if you notice a lot of small brown or yellow spots on your dracaena’s leaves, especially during warm weather. You may see their eggs underneath the foliage. Try spraying spider mites off with water. If that doesn’t control them, apply a miticide, following the label directions.
- Thrips, small, winged insects, can also damage dracaenas. They can also be washed away with a stream of water, and badly infested leaves should be cut off. Avoid feeding your plant with a fertilizer high in nitrogen, which often results in a lot of tenders, and new growth that attracts these pests.
Soft rot and fusarium leaf spot are two diseases that can affect Dracaenas, but they’re not as common as they used to be.
Water dracaenas from the bottom up to keep them free of fungal illnesses.
A fungicide can be used to treat leaf spots on dracaenas, but if the plant has soft rot, it’s time to get rid of it. Soft rot can’t be fought off.
Give your dracaenas the required quantities of light, water, and plant food to keep them healthy and hardy.
Buying new plants? Make sure they’re free of pests by inspecting them thoroughly or quarantining them for at least a few days.
Before bringing outdoor plants indoors, make sure they are free of pests.
How to Prune Dracaenas
Although dracaenas can reach considerable heights, they can easily be trimmed back if necessary.
During the spring or summer, when the plant is actively growing, use a sharp, clean knife or pruners for optimal results.
Before making any cuts, it’s a good idea to disinfect the blade by soaking it in a solution of bleach and water.
Cut the dracaena canes at an angle as you prune them. Also, remove any canes that have been damaged or are dying.
Insert the cut cane into a moist sand pot or a glass of water in a well-lit window to begin a new dracaena plant.
A container of potting soil should be used once the cane’s roots have grown out of the water.
We hope this guide has helped you understand how to care for your dracaena plants, so why not bring one of the numerous types into your own home?