How To Care For Dracaena

Have you ever wanted to raise plants but don’t have enough time? With a busy daily life, caring for plants adds to the mix and can sometimes become a hassle. Keeping up with a steady watering, trimming, and care routine tends to be a time-consuming task. However, they’re plants that don’t entirely require all that hard work! Sure, they still need attention and care but only to a smaller extent. For instance, dracaenas!

Dracaenas are beautiful trees that are very low-maintenance. They’re practically meant for those who are too busy to garden! Dracaenas are the types of plants that can thrive off of occasional neglect – if they’re receiving proper care, that is. Which may be leading you to question, how do you care for such an independent plant? How often should I water my dracaena?

And possibly much more. Good news! This article will introduce you to how to properly care for a dracaena plant and answer some commonly asked questions that other fellow dracaena owners have wondered. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to take care of a dracaena plant, read on – hopefully, this read will help!

Popular Dracaena Types

Dracaena succulents split off into a mix of about forty different (yet similar) varieties. Due to this, there are quite a few known Dracaena types that can qualify as popular ones; however, some of the more well-known ones are:

  • Dracaena Sanderiana
  • Dracaena Reflexa
  • Dracaena Marginata
  • Dracaena Draco
  • Dracaena Deremensis
  • Dracaena Massangeana
  • Dracaena Cinnabari
person holding potted dracaena plant
Photo by Nurefşan KOŞAR via Pexels

Dracaena Care Guide

Just from that introduction, you can tell that dracaenas are a straightforward plant to care for. However, these unique plants still have a few specifications regarding conducting their care routine. With that being said, lack of necessary care will make this plant weaker, resulting in saving it being a much harder task. To ensure that doesn’t happen, I’ve pieced together an easy-to-understand guide to providing your dracaena with the care it needs.

Soil

Before learning to care for a dracaena, it’s essential to understand what soil should be used for the plant. Regardless of the plant you’re raising, the soil should always be natural and be filled with the necessary nutrients. Dracaenas aren’t too high-maintenance for soil either. However, it is highly recommended to use compost-based soil or any kind of well-draining soil.

Choose the Correct Plant Pot

Dracaenas are known to be able to reach a height of anywhere from two feet to ten feet tall. This means the pot you use for your dracaena should be tall enough and wide enough for the plant to spread out, especially with how much the roots will expand. In addition, the pots used should always have draining holes in the bottom – this is essential to prevent overwatering within the soil and indicate when you’ve poured too much water.

Watering Routine

It’s recommended that dracaena owners only used freshwater when watering this species. Although you’re using well-draining soil to promote proper drainage, the soil can often take a while to dry – you don’t want to re-water your dracaena until the soil has dried at least halfway. A quick tip for determining when too much water is to stick your finger into the soil about 3-4 inches in – is that portion wet or dry? If it’s wet, the plant won’t need water for a bit longer, whereas it should be watered if it’s dry. In addition, your dracaena may only need to be watered once every two-three weeks during hotter months and once every four or so weeks during the cooler months.

sour dracaena leaves
Photo by Teona Swift via Pexels

Sunlight – Direct or indirect?

Dracaenas need exposure to bright yet indirect sunlight regardless of whether they’re planted indoor or outdoor. Depending on your yard, avoiding direct sunlight outdoors may be tricky – if you can help it, plant the dracaenas in a shaded area, where they’ll still receive the necessary light. This could mean planting them near more enormous, fuller trees, in sheer greenhouses, etc. If you’re planting your dracaena indoors, it’s recommended to place it right in front of a sunlight-exposed window, but with a sheer curtain in front of it. The curtain will help block out the direct sunlight while providing enough light for your plant to survive.

Safe Temperatures

Since direct sunlight is unsafe for dracaenas, assuming they should not be located in hot temperatures is safe. The highest temperature around a dracaena is about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, while the lowest temperature is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above or below those two indicators can become harmful to the dracaena after a certain amount of time. That said, dracaenas planted outdoors are better off being transferred to a pot and taken indoors during cooler months when temperatures are below 65 degrees.

To fertilize or not to fertilize?

It’s the owner’s choice! Dracaenas are not the type of plants that require fertilization at all. However, if your plant seems weaker or is growing slower than usual, it can be beneficial to provide some fertilizer to encourage healthier growth. With that being said, the amount of fertilizer used and the time to use it all depends on the season and the type of fertilizer you purchase. Some fertilizers will only recommend being introduced to the dracaena at least once every few months to up to once a year, while some may indicate using the fertilizer once every few weeks. A quick tip: regardless of the fertilizer you use, you’ll want to use less during the cooler months or maybe even stop fertilizer usage during winter.

Pests & Diseases

Dracaena succulents attract many pests, most coming from the overwatered plant. The most common pests on a Dracaena are mealybugs, thrips, scales, fungus gnats, shore flies, and spider mites. As for the possible diseases in Dracaena’s, root rot led by overwatering and pest infestations is the most commonly seen disease. When root rot is present, that makes for a greater chance of various fungi and phytophthora to develop on the succulent.

Aslo read:

Dracaena Care FAQ

When to water dracaena? – How often should I Water my dracaena?

Dracaenas are a common species to experience overwatering, so it’s essential to pay attention to the amount and timing you’re watering the plant. Dracaenas can go up to four weeks without being re-watered, with about two weeks being the least time. It depends on how much water is absorbed by the soil and how quickly it is happening. In addition, you should never water your dracaena until the soil (about 1/4 of the way in) is dried. If your dracaena seems to be drying faster, consider spraying the leaves with some water every few days.

Why are my dracaenas leaves turning brown and yellow?

Overall, there are many reasons why a dracaena experiences leaf discoloration. However, the cause is usually relatively easy to decipher depending on the plant’s appearance and state of health. The most known reason dracaena leaves turn brown is a lack of watering. As I mentioned, if you’re worried about overwatering, simply check the soil’s moisture and/or lightly moisten the leaves. Oppositely, the most-known reason for the leaves turning yellow is overwatering. This could easily signify that your dracaena is experiencing (or will experience) root rot.

ALSO READ:

brown and yellow dracaena leaves
Photo by Jeremy Horvatin via Unsplash

Are discolored Dracaena leaves fixable? – Ways to fix leaf discoloration

Yes! Leaf discoloration can be mended unless root rot or weakening of the plant’s stems has already occurred. There are several ways you could potentially fix these brown and yellow spots.

  • Check/unclog the pots draining holes.
  • Reduce and/or increase watering routine (depending on overwatering or underwatering).
  • Repot the dracaena with better draining soil.
  • Prune and/or propagate the Dracaena.

Are Dracaenas indoor or outdoor plants?

Both! Dracaenas can survive indoors and outdoors as long as they’re cared for properly.

Are Dracaenas safe to be around children and pets?

Yes and no – Dracaenas are safe unless humans or pets ingest them. However, if they’re kept high out of reach, they will be safe around children and pets!

How much light does a Dracaena need?

Dracaenas should get several hours of indirect sunlight per day. This sunlight should be relatively bright but not exposed to the plant. Direct sunlight can burn the plant’s leaves after having exposure for a while. To indicate whether or not your dracaena is receiving the correct amount of light, check its leaves! Slow-growing leaves typically mean the dracaena hasn’t received enough sunlight, whereas pale leaves indicate the plant has received too much.

Conclusion

Overall, Dracaena succulents are beautiful, easy-to-care-for plants that can be added to indoor or outdoor settings. With the benefits, these plants provide they’re located in, it’s too good of a plant to pass up on! You can effortlessly raise the plant by referring to the information in this article. It can’t get any easier than that!

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Posted in Guides & Care Tips