Dracaenas are popular houseplants due to their low maintenance and unique silhouette that instantly catches your eye. Drought tolerant and low-light tolerant, it is great for beginners and for filling an empty corner of the room.
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Below is a general care guide for Dracaena plants which can slightly differ depending on variety.
Light & Temperature
Dracaenas will do well in any kind of indoor light condition, ranging from bright indirect to low light conditions. However, in general, the plant will thrive best in moderate indirect light.
This plant loves fairly warm conditions, sudden coldness will damage the leaves. Be sure to place your Dracaena away from cold drafts.
Watering, Humidity & Misting
Dracaenas have a reputation of not needing a lot of water, watering less frequently but thoroughly is a good rule of thumb for them. A good gauge is to water about once every 7-10 days, making sure the top half of the soil is fully dried out in between waterings.
Dracaenas thrive in regular household humidity, but can benefit from occasional misting especially during hot summer days. Misting twice a week can keep the tips of your Dracaena from browning.
Soil and Repotting
Use a fast-draining, well-aerated potting mix. Make sure drainage is good to avoid root rot.
Dracaenas are generally slow-grower, hence repotting into a larger pot is only required every 2-3 years. However, to keep your Dracaena healthy, refreshing any compacted soil with fresh soil can be done annually.
Propagating a Dracaena can be done through stem cuttings. It only takes about three weeks for the cutting to sprout roots, no rooting hormone required.
Use a balanced fertiliser formulated for houseplants. Follow directions on the label of plant food.
Dracaenas are toxic if ingested and should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. Certain varieties are especially toxic to pets.
Under the right care and conditions, your plant will grow happy and healthy. But here are some issues you may encounter while caring for a Dracaena:
Mealy bugs, scales, thrips and spider mites - When spotted, treat with insecticidal soap spray or neem oil. Cut away leaves that are badly infected. A good deterrent is keeping the humidity high.
Brown tips - This is a sign that the humidity is too low. Increase frequency of misting or use a pebble tray.
Leaf spots - This is caused by a fungal infection that is caused by overwatering. Treat with fungicide and adjust watering schedule.
Soft rot (with bad odour) - This is a sign that your Dieffenbachia is suffering from soft rot caused by overwatering. Discard the plant as there is not cure for soft rot.