What Is A Dracaena Plant? – FAQs About Dracaena Plant

Having plants around is known to add a specific boost in one’s lifestyle – from being a precious, manageable source of humidity to portraying a comforting dose of nature’s most lovely scenery, they tend to possess an array of benefits. Not to mention they are a perfect addition for indoor settings. Typically, when someone is bringing a plant into their home, they want something easy to care for or a plant that doesn’t require much attention. Gardening is a hard, time-consuming task. Although it may be a hobby, not all gardeners have the time to participate. However, that shouldn’t mean that the task should be given up on – certain plants are perfect for those busy gardeners. One of the best plants for those situations is a dracaena plant.

Although this plant is a relatively simple species to raise, all plants have an assortment of needs that must be considered for the said plant to thrive. Due to this, owners of a dracaena may find themselves pondering some common questions such as how to properly grow a dracaena, how much light it needs, etc. This article will introduce you to the life of a dracaena plant, along with providing you with extensive insight into how to raise the plant to remain healthy.

What Is A Dracaena Plant?

A dracaena plant, also often known as a dragon tree, is one of nearly 170 assorted shrub-looking trees from the Asparagaceae plant family. These trees are native to many different places, Africa being the most common continent.  Dracaena is one of the most-owned houseplants, although they are great for locating outdoors as well, due to being an easy, undemanding species to raise and care for. They are quite easy to care for and only require a bare minimum of attention. However, like all plants, these trees do have some specific needs that owners should be sure to incorporate into a care routine (those will be specified later on in the article). Along with being such a low-maintenance species, dracaena radiate some highly compelling benefits, such as:

  • They have an ability to purify the air within homes. More specifically, they remove trichloroethylene, benzene, carbon dioxide, and formaldehyde, which cause serious health concerns and diseases.
  • They release moisture into the household air, reducing and maintaining humidity levels. 
  • Produces oxygen.
  • Improves moods and overall brain functions essential for maintaining a clear focus.
  • Appealing to both the eye and the setting of a room.
  • Can reduce levels of lead surrounding the home.

How To Grow A Dracaena

As with any plant, whether it be indoor or outdoor-based, dracaena plants have a few specifications that come with planting. These plants are typically outdoor plants. Once they’ve grown enough, they are moved indoors if desired. However, you can plant them indoors to start as well. Before planting, you will need to establish the best kind of soil to use. Dracaena`s don’t require a particular brand as long as it is full of the necessary ingredients. If you`re unsure which soil is best to use, consider talking to a garden specialist within the store’s garden department.

Growing Dracaena Indoors

When planting a dracaena indoors, you will need a good-sized pot. These plants, when raised correctly, can grow to be tall, so you will need one that has a good amount of depth and width to it. With your chosen soil, plant the dracaena in the pot. The plant will require a decent amount of light, but it should never be exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, it is ideal for placing it near a window where it will be protected from burning while still receiving a healthy dose of light. These trees thrive when surrounded by a bit of humidity. Still, if the humidity levels are high, the leaves will become dry and discolored – to avoid this occurrence from happening, lightly spray some water on the leaves occasionally.

Growing Dracaena Outdoors

When planting a dracaena outdoors, you should use quick-draining soil or compost-based garden soil. It’s best to plant the trees within a garden patch where the temperatures mostly remain warmer, as they should not be in contact with excessive cold temperatures. As for light, just like with indoor planters, you shouldn’t expose the outdoor dracaena to sunlight directly. Planting it in a lightly shaded area should suffice, just as long as the sunlight cannot have access to burn the leaves.

How Fast Do Dracaenas Grow?

When kept in a healthy growth state, Dracaenas can reach 6 feet tall. However, these trees typically grow pretty slowly regardless of being planted indoors or outdoors; therefore, the total size will not be met until about ten years or longer. Nonetheless, if you so choose to do so, you can potentially encourage your dracaenas growth speed to increase. To do so, the following steps must be conducted:

  • Keep up on the amount of sunlight your plant is receiving – As mentioned before, direct sunlight (and too much of it) can potentially burn your plant’s leaves, which will then stunt the healthy growth process. Keeping up on the amount of sunlight your plant is exposed to is highly important if you want your plant to grow faster. In addition, the indirect sunlight that the dracaena is exposed to still needs to be bright to ensure the plant receives enough energy.
  • Keep up on the leaves maintenance – the leaves of the dracaena, as with any plant, are very delicate and require protective maintenance to remain healthy. If the leaves get too dirty or dusty, either the plant will not absorb the necessary energy from the sun, or the leaves will attract pesky pests. It’s essential to know to get rid of any pests shortly after noticing them. This pest removal process is done best by spraying some Neem Oil directly onto the pests.
  • Make sure you’re watering enough – Plants become damaged and decayed when they are underwatered or overwatered, so it’s essential to know how much is enough and when to water them. For reference, you should water dracaenas until a bit of the water begins draining out of the pot’s holes. Dracaenas only need re-watering when the top and middle portion of the soil is mostly dry.

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dracaena leaves
Photo by webentwicklerin via Pixabay

Commonly Asked Questions About Dracaena Plants

Why Are My Dracaena Leaves Turning Yellow?

Dracaena leaves discoloration is a common occurrence that most owners come across. Remember that a bit of yellow in the leaves is standard, as it indicates which leaves are old and ready to fall off. Typically, this discoloration isn’t a huge problem, as you can fix it simply. Thus, there are a variety of reasons why dracaena leaves may turn yellow. 

  • It has been underwatered or overwatered too much. 
  • The leaves are too dry from a watering mishap or higher humidity levels.
  • The plant is not receiving the necessary amount of sunlight needed.
  • Pests are or have been occupying your dracaenas leaves. The most common pests that infest dracaenas are mealy bugs, spider mites, aphids, thrips, and scales.

Before pinpointing exactly which solution is best, you will need to determine the cause of the yellow discoloration correctly. Talking to a garden specialist may be best, in this case, to save the plant. To fix the yellowing appearance of the leaves, based on the cause, there are a few possible techniques you can try to resolve the issue:

  • If the cause is due to overwatering, reduce the watering habits to a once-a-week routine. Also, ensure to check on the drainage holes of the dracaenas pot to make sure they aren’t o.
  • Consider repotting your plant with better soil.
  • Re-pot it outdoors.
  • Use Neem Oil to eliminate all pests and trim away any damaged or decaying leaves.

Why Are My Dracaena Leaves Turning Brown? 

Similar to the yellowing of dracaena leaves, the leaves turning brown at times is another common occurrence. These spots often show up on the tips of the leaves or on the leaves themselves and can appear due to the following possibilities: 

  • You use something other than clear, freshwater.
  • Using Perlite-based soil.
  • The plant has been exposed to harmful temperatures.
  • Damage has surfaced from the salt within a fertilizer that may have been used.

Luckily, resolving the issues with browning leaves is quite simple. However, it also depends on the cause of the discoloration, just like with the yellowing of the leaves. Some possible solutions to fixing browning leaves are as follows:

  • Use freshwater to clear out any excess fertilizer salt.
  • Talk to a specialist about any safe solvents on damaged leaves or remove the damaged and decaying leaves.
    • If you choose to remove the leaves, you need to do it correctly. To do so, you should only use garden shears to cut off the bad leaves carefully. Make sure you remove the entire brown spot so the damage won’t spread to further portions of the leaves.
  • Consider switching up your watering routine. You should water Dracaenas once a week unless they start drying out too fast.

Why Is My Dracaena Drooping?

Drooping leaves is usually a more severe issue with plants, as it indicates that something more internal is wrong with the plant. Environment-based situations can cause droopy leaves such as planted or a lack of proper care. Dracaena leaves are very delicate; therefore, a lack of care will cause them to weaken and begin to droop. If not taken care of, the leaves will start to break off or die entirely, stunting the plant’s health and growth. Because of this serious occurrence, you should speak to a specialist about possible resolutions. However, there is a good chance the plant will just need dumping.

dracaena in white pot
Photo by Pinterest

Fun Facts About Dracaenas

  • Dracaena stems, leaves, and sap are potentially toxic if pets or humans ingest them.
  • If you take care the trees properly, they can live for up to 100 years or longer.
  • The dracaenas resin from the stem used to be used for many things such as toothpaste, dye, and medicines.
  • Dracaenas got their name from a Greek word. This Greek word means that ‘female dragon.’

In Conclusion

To conclude, dracaena plants, also known as dragon trees, are unique. They’re fairly easy to care for, as long as you know how to maintain them, and they make a great addition to indoor settings! Although they aren’t a high-maintenance species, they still require proper care and some attention – given a chance, they will flourish into a beautiful, tall tree that’s appealing to the eye.  Therefore, if you’re someone who enjoys gardening or just the company of plants, but you don’t have the time to constantly keep an eye on them, owning a dracaena plant could be a great choice.

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