Dracaena – How to Plant, Grow, and Care for

A wonderful and easy-to-care-for plant that goes by the name of Dracaena is something you should have. They are trendy, and most growers have this one in their arsenal. It’s about time you also have one.

A Dracaena is easy to plant, propagate and maintain. It makes the best of pot plants and is a quite striking and different types of elegant plants – so perfect for the office. Follow all the instructions below and you’ll be delighted with the results!

Steps on How to Plant A Dracaena

After propagating your Dracaena, the next step is how to formally plant them in a container where they can grow and establish. Hence, we provide for you the following steps to make it happen:

Select a container that goes well with where you want to place the plant

Fill it with well-draining soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 6.5

Make a hole in the soil and gently place the plant 2 to 3 inches deep

Place the potted plant in an area that receives bright light or partial shade

Apply a little amount of water to help set everything and wait for the soil to dry before watering again.

How To Grow and Care For Dracaena

1. Lighting Requirements

Filtered indoor light when placed near a windowsill or partial shade when grown outdoors. Do not expose the plant to bright direct sunlight.

2. Water Requirements

They do not demand frequent watering unless the soil is dry. Keep the leaves hydrated by misting and the soil should be moist, not wet.

3. Temperature Requirements

Dracaena prefers to grow in areas with temperatures ranging from 65 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit will harm the plant, thus transfer them immediately to a room with a balanced temperature.

Steps on How To Propagate A Dracaena

There are three ways to propagate a Dracaena: top cuttings, step cuttings, and air layering. With these simple steps, you can create more Dracaenas in your garden. Stick around to know how to perform the three methods

For Top Cuttings:

Snip the top part of the plant below the node

It is important to snip the top part below the nodes because this is where roots will develop.

Let the top cuttings dry or callous for few days

Leave the top cuttings in an area with partial shade and proper aeration to dry for 1 to 2 days. This will prevent contaminating the wound in the cuttings. For water propagation, you can skip this part.

 Place the top cuttings in a container filled with soil or water

For soil propagation, use well-draining soil and the cuttings should dry first before planting.

For water propagation, use freshwater to avoid contamination and transfer the cuttings to the soil once the roots have developed.

For Stem Cuttings:

 Cut the stem on the top part of a healthy mother plant

It has a similar process with top cuttings but you might have to use cutting tools with this one as some stems are harder to snip using bare hands. Use a sterile cutting object and wear a pair of gloves for safety.

You can take many stems as you want but make sure to leave a good section for the mother plant to recover.

 Let the stem cuttings dry or callous

Again, it is important to allow the stem cuttings to dry first before planting in the soil. If you propagate through water, you can skip this part.

 Place the stem cuttings in a container with soil or water

For soil propagation, always use well-draining soil and the cuttings should dry first before planting it.

For water propagation, use freshwater to avoid contaminating the cuttings with chemicals that are usually found in tap waters.

For Air Layering:

 Select a stem from a mother plant and scrape a layer of the bark

Air layering is the process of allowing a stem to develop roots without being removed from the mother plant.

Always use a sterile cutting object to avoid contamination and do this process with precision to prevent damaging other parts of the plant.

 Cover the wound sphagnum moss and wrap it with plastic

This will act as the soil to help the stem develop roots from the wound. You can add rooting hormone to the roots before covering to quicken the rooting process.

 Cut the stem once the roots are visible inside the plastic wrap

It takes patience before reaching this part but it is quite fulfilling when it happens. You can now plant them in a container using well-draining soil.

Dracaena Varieties and Origin

Oftentimes, you will be confused when you purchase a variant of the genus Dracaena because they are generally referred to as “Dracaena” despite having a clear difference between its variants.

That is because the genus Dracaena is composed of 40 species, and each of them has unique characteristics.

Hence, if you buy a Dracaena, you are purchasing a variant of the genus, not the whole genus itself.

Furthermore, Dracaenas are native to Tropical Africa, Southern Asia, and Australia.

The colors of this plant come in a single color of fresh green that may include stripes with colors ranging from light green, cream, red or yellow. It has many varieties and some of the most popular ones are listed below:

1. Compact (Janet Craig) Dracaena

This variety offers a single color of fresh green with flat and firm leaves growing upright. It has short internodes, which makes it a shrubby-looking plant. They adapt quite well to low light conditions but still prefer enough sunlight exposure.

2. Fragrans Massangeana (Corn Plant)  Dracaena

It is commonly known as a Corn Plant because of its colors that look like corn. It has an inner yellow color blended with fresh green on the side, resembling natural corn.

This Dracaena has a firm stem-like wood, and the inner yellow color runs to the base of the leaves.

3. Florida Beauty (Gold Dust) Dracaena 

This variety sounds expensive because the plant has yellow spots all over the leaves, thus the name Gold Dust. It has broader leaves than Corn Plant but is shorter in length.

The Golden Dust Dracaena is a smaller and shrubbier variety than other species in its class and rarely reaches more than 2 feet tall.

4. Deremensis (Lemon Lime) Dracaena

Otherwise known as Lemon Lime, this variety is a small plant that comes in the color of chartreuse green with white lines on the sides and slightly light green in the center.

5. Sanderiana (Lucky Bamboo) Dracaena

This variety goes by the name of Lucky Bamboo because its long and pliable stem appears like that of bamboo.

The pliable stem of Lucky Bamboo can be woven into certain shapes depending on the preference of the owner. This unique characteristic is what makes this variety a hot pick for collectors and ordinary growers.

6. Marginata (Madagascar Dragontree) Dracaena

This plant is commonly known as Madagascar Dragontree which is a popular choice for growing either as a shrub or a tree.

The stems are also woven into certain shapes when grown as a tree. The strap-like leaves of Madagascar Dragontree come in deep green with a shade of maroon on the sides.

7. Sanderiana Variegata (Ribbon Plant) Dracaena

This variety is commonly known as Ribbon Plant and is similar to Lucky Bamboo in terms of species but only differs in color.

This plant has creamy white leaf margins which give its elegant look. It is sometimes grown as a terrarium plant due to its ability to remain small for longer periods compared to other Dracaena species.

8. Reflexa (Song of India Pleomele) Dracaena

Commonly known as Song of India Pleomele, this Dracaena variant is a shrubby plant that is usually grown in multiple stems in one pot. The leaves are like the ones in Corn Plant but smaller with a size of 6 to 8 inches long only.

9. Marginata Tricolor (Madagascar Dragontree) Dracaena

This variety is similar to Madagascar Dragontree, but this plant comes in a lighter color. It has narrow strap-like leaves with medium green at the center and a gold band with a stripe of red on the sides.

Final Thoughts

Dracaena is generally a large group of popular houseplants known for their outstanding tolerance and attractive appearance.

They have colorful foliage, and it grows in an upright position regardless of the variant, whether big or small. The difference in size makes this genus flexible to grow either as a houseplant or in a garden.

Moreover, Dracaena rarely produces small clusters of fragrant white blossoms, but it is genuinely fascinating once they do. The plant starts as a small bushy young plant which is an excellent choice for tabletops and desks.

Over time, they will grow sturdily and could reach heights up to 5 to 6 feet tall that can then be transferred to a corner in your living room or dining room for a different profile.

The Dracaena is a captivating plant to look at – no matter which type or variant – each one is gorgeous and there’s something about them that calls to you so urgently that you will obviously buy one  – as did we – and then you’ll understand the reason why these pot plants are so very popular.

Jenny Marie
Tribal Writer

Edited By
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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