Are you searching for a beginner-friendly houseplant, then look no further as Dracaena is another winner. Known as Dracaena or dragon tree, they are easy plants. Dracaena is an attractive stiff leaved plant with edged red leaves. They vary in shape, size, and color but the main characteristic is their long leaves that grow up and outward from the central stalk.
Native to subtropical climates, the plant is a member of an asparagus family. The canes of the plant are sturdy, lending an unexpected architectural element to the whimsical foliage. There are many types of Dracaena out there, but two of the most popular types are Dracaena Reflexa and Dracaena Marginata. Well, different Dracaena may not look the same, but they are very similar to care for.
Dracaena- A popular ornamental houseplant:
Dracaena is a popular decorative houseplant that grows both indoor and outdoor in subtropical climates. With a bushy tree type look, it reaches a height of about three feet indoor. There are over 120 species of Dracaena trees, and many are used as houseplants due to the fact they grow easily and tolerate low light.
According to research conducted by NASA, Dracaena has the capability of cleaning the carbon dioxide, benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde from indoor air. It is necessary to mention here that these plants are toxic to animals, so if you have any pets in the house, keep the plant out of their reach.
How to grow Dracaena?
Dracaenas are forgiving plants, and they can thrive at room temperature. They grow tall but can be easily controlled as they respond so well to pruning. If you want to grow them indoors, make sure you give them good quality potting soil. Put the pot at the place where it can get enough indirect light. Bear in mind that these plants do not require direct sunlight as it can burn the leaves.
How to care for a dracaena plant?
To take proper care of Dracaena, you need to know how to water them and what temperature they need to grow. So, take a look at the following points to take care of Dracaena:
Plants need light to grow, but direct sunlight can damage the Dracaena leaves. Some Dracaena, such as D. Massangeana and D. Fragrans, can grow in low light. But most dracaena varieties need bright indirect light to grow.
We all know that all plants need water. But Dracaenas are known for not needing a lot of water. It does not mean that you can underwater them. Pay attention whenever you see any signs of thirst in them. If you have planted them in a six-inch pot, then water them when the soil is dry 4-inches below the top. Since Dracaena minerals or salt use distilled, rain, or filtered water.
These plants benefit from higher humidity levels in summer or when they are in a heated environment.
Dracaenas are fairly forgiving, but the ideal temperature for them is above 650 F. keep them away from windows and doors as they don’t grow in the cold; in fact, sudden cold can damage the leaves.
Dracaena houseplant has a relatively low need for fertilizers, but it is good to feed it once a month during the growing season. You can use ¼ diluted complete liquid fertilizers. Do not fertilize in the winter.
Potting and repotting:
Dragon trees grow slowly, which means there is no need to repot the plant. Check the soil once a year and make sure it is loose enough for the plant to grow properly. You can add some new soil, too, if necessary. As far as repotting is concerned, you can put them in a bigger pot every two to three years.
A few pro tips:
Following are a few tips for additional care and maintenance of Dracaenas:
- If you do not want them to grow tall, then simply cut off the top.
- In case you notice that your plant is not thriving, put it in the spot where it gets enough indirect light.
- The dragon plants are sensitive to chemicals and minerals found in the water tap so use filtered water.
- If the dracaena tree is too dry for too long, it is susceptible to mealy bugs, so mist your plant every once in a while.