Dracaena is mainly from Africa and tropical Asia. Characterized by long life and relatively slow growth (about 10 cm per year), the plant is known for its beautiful, often pristine leaves. Being part of the Agavaceae family, dracaena has lance shaped and arched leaves that grow in the form of bush at the top of the bare stem and can reach even 3 m tall. Seldom bloom in the interior, but under certain conditions, mature plants can give star-shaped flowers.
Where, when and how to plant the dracaena
Their culture is relatively easy. Dracaens need bright light, but without excessive heat. Dracaena fragrans and Dracaena marginata also bear a less light-like location, but this will slow their growth. Most species require approximately a constant temperature of 64.4 °F. If the temperature is not enough, the leaves will wither and fall. These plants generally need heat and humidity and it’s best to keep them in a pot of water filled with pebbles or clay balls. When planting or replanting, use normal soil, except for Dracaena Draco, who likes more a mixture of peat soil.
Choosing varieties of Dracaena
Dracaena marginata has the red-edged leaves. It’s the most tolerant species in terms of temperature and humidity. This is probably why it’s the most common indoor species. Dracaena marginata “tricolora” is a sort of striped leaves in three colors: pink, cream and green.
Dracaena Draco is also less demanding and bears less care. Its resin is red and grows slowly. However, it needs a large pot, even when it’s just a baby plant because it has a very well-developed radicular system.
Dracaena australis has green-brown leaves and is one of the few that can be planted outdoors for up to 23 °F.
How to care for Dracaena?
Water the plant every week: the substrate should remain moist without the water stagnating in the pot. Allow the surface soil to dry slightly before the next watering. In spring and summer, wash the plant once a month. In winter, let the soil dry out better.
If the air in the room is dry, spray water over the leaves daily and put the pot on a layer of wet pebbles or marble.
Fertilize the plant every 15 days during growth.
Don’t change the pot when roots come out of it because the plant likes to feel cramped. Dracaena draco makes an exception. Choose a larger pot for it to have more space.
If you want to branch out the plant, do it in spring. Cut its main stem and pour over it the healing wax.
Beneath her leaves may appear brown insects, which you can remove with a cotton pad swabbed in alcohol. If insect attack is too high, spray with a systemic insecticide.