Stunning? Check! Tropical and bright? Check and check! Easy to care for? You bet it is! The Dracaena Plant is growing mighty popular in households worldwide due to its beauty and low maintenance needs. This is a gorgeous plant that will look stunning in any room. All it needs is some simple Dracaena Plant care to thrive.
We have provided everything you need to know to keep this plant healthy, happy, and vibrant. The Dracaena Plant doesn’t need a lot of watering and is quite versatile in its environments. But there are still some crucial things to keep in mind if you want your plant to thrive in your home.
What Are Dracaena Plants?
The Dracaena Plant is native to Madagascar and can be found on other Indian Ocean islands. Madagascar’s climate is tropical along the coast, temperate throughout the inland, and arid in the south. It’s home to lush rain forests, tropical dry forests, and even deserts. The Dracaena Plant is used to warm, tropical temperatures, but it’s hardy and adaptable.
In its natural outdoor habitat, the Dracaena Plant can grow flowers and even berries. But these rarely appear when the Dracaena is kept indoors. They are also smaller when kept inside. They grow 15-20 feet tall in their natural environment but are closer to three feet indoors.
Inside, the Dracaena Plant (also known as the Dragon Tree) takes on a bushy appearance. Even without the flowers, this plant is very striking. It’s eye-catching inside any home, regardless of the decor, thanks to its bright green leaves striped with darker green in the center. They are long and straight, appearing like a spiky ball coming out of a long, thin stem.
The Dracaena Plant’s name originated in ancient Greek from the word “drakaina.” This means “female dragon,” inspired by the plant’s dramatic, spiky appearance and the red gum-like resin found in its stems. The resin is often referred to as “dragon’s blood.”
The Dracaena Plant was used in a variety of products hundreds of years ago. The mystical dragon blood resin was mixed into toothpaste, dyes, and even medicines. In modern times, the plant is still considered pretty helpful. The resin is found in varnish and photoengraving.
Are Dracaena Plants Easy to Care For?
Despite its tropical origins and striking appearance, the Dracaena Plant is surprisingly easy to care for. It’s known to be versatile and hardy, meaning it easily adapts to most home environments. As long as you provide its care requirements, the Dracaena Plant will thrive with ease in any house or apartment.
Can You Grow Dracaena Plants Indoors and Outdoors?
Growing your Dracaena Plant outside may be an option for you, though this depends on where you live. You should only attempt to grow a Dracaena Plant outdoors if you live in a warm climate. This tropical plant is unsurprisingly intolerant to the cold. It will only grow outdoors if it never drops below 65 degrees.
What Are the Benefits of a Dracaena Plant?
There are a lot of benefits to having a Dragon Tree in your home. The first is its striking appearance. The Dracaena Plant’s bright, tropical colors and architectural aesthetic make it a great decorative piece for your home. It will add a unique, tropical touch to any room.
But the Dracaena Plant isn’t just pretty to look at. Studies have proven that having a plant can improve your mood significantly. Place the Dracaena Plant in your office for a boost of inspiration and creativity. Research supports that plants will help you stay focused and reduce negative thoughts. You can also put the Dracaena Plant in your living room near your favorite reading spot.
Having plants around isn’t only good for your mental health. A study by NASA proved that having multiple plants around will help purify your home’s air. The Dracaena Plant is one of the most effective houseplants for air purification. The plant removes the following pollutants from the air:
- Carbon dioxide
These chemicals are linked with health issues like headaches, respiratory problems, anemia, marrow disease, and kidney disease.
Dracaena Plant Care Tips
The Dracaena Plant is hardy, but it has some minimum plant care requirements if you want to keep the plant healthy, bright, and thriving. Here are some things to keep in mind while caring for a Dracaena Plant.
Choosing the Right Dracaena Plant Soil
The Dragon Tree prefers rich and well-draining soil. You can often use a regular indoor plant potting mix, although some types of Dracaena Plant prefer slightly acidic soil (pH of 6-6.5). If you notice your Dracaena Plant isn’t growing to its full potential, try raising its soil’s acidity.
Finding the Right Pot for Dracaena Plants
The Dracaena Plant needs a pot that drains well. Look for a container with drainage holes so that the soil doesn’t get too moist. Plant experts recommend a terra cotta pot due to its porous material.
When it comes to repotting, make sure the new pot is two inches bigger than the previous container. Avoid moving the Dracaena Plant to a pot that is more than two inches bigger because this plant has a relatively small root system. Too large a pot could stunt the plant’s growth.
Watering Your Dracaena Plant
The Dracaena Plant surprisingly needs less water than most indoor plants. Water this plant about every 10-14 days to ensure that the soil maintains an even moisture level. The Dracaena Plant likes the soil wet but not soggy, so make sure the top of the soil is dry before watering.
Feeding Your Dracaena Plant
Just like with water, the Dragon Tree requires very little fertilizer. Some experts say to only feed them once in the spring and again in the early summer. Others recommend feeding Dracaena Plants once or twice per month during spring and summer. Avoiding feeding your Dracaena during the winter as this can stunt its growth.
This is a slow-growing plant that can become damaged from too much fertilizer. Most plants prefer a water-soluble plant food that’s half the recommended strength, ensuring they won’t be overfed.
Dracaena Plant Placement and Lighting
The Dracaena Plant prefers filtered indoor light. They thrive when they are in front of a sunny window that is covered by a sheer curtain. They also don’t mind semi-shaded spots in your home. Never place this plant directly in the sun.
Humidity and Temperature
The Dracaena Plant requires a home that is 65 degrees or warmer at all times. The Dracaena is a bit pickier about its environment’s temperature than its other needs since the cold can kill it quickly.
When it comes to humidity, the Dracaena Plant prefers medium humidity. A room’s natural humidity is typically fine, but the higher, the better. Many Dracaena owners mist their plant’s foliage and soil to imitate the humid, environment that tropical plants thrive in.
Pruning Dracaena Plants
Pruning is beneficial to the Dragon Tree because it produces a fuller, healthier plant. New branches clusters of leaves appear when you prune your plant correctly. Luckily, pruning isn’t too tricky.
The best time to prune your Dracaena Plant is when it’s actively growing in the spring or summer. Avoid trimming them in the winter when they are dormant. While Dracaena’s are not entirely dormant in the fall, it is best to avoid pruning in the fall as well.
Make sure you use a sharp blade that cuts evenly and cleanly. A jagged cut is not only visually unappealing, but it can also invite disease. Use a mixture of bleach and water to clean your knife before pruning, thoroughly washing it afterward to keep your plant safe.
Common Issues Found in Dracaena Plants
The Dracaena Plant doesn’t need to be watered too often. Excessive watering is a common issue for new plant owners. It can feel weird to water a plant so little, but overwatering your plant will harm and potentially kill it.
You’ll notice your plant’s leaves fall off when you water it too often. This can also be caused by poor drainage. When it comes to watering, the Dracaena Plant should be given filtered water. This plant is sensitive to the salts and chemicals found in most tap water.
Another common issue is putting a Dragon Tree in direct sun. Even though this plant is tropical, it does not thrive in bright, direct sunlight. In fact, it will scorch the leaves. A burning plant will have dry patches and streaks on the leaves. If you notice this, move your plant to a spot with less sunlight to keep it safe.
How Do I Know if My Dracaena Plant is Dying?
Root rot is the most common reason that a Dracaena Plant dies. Rotted roots are most often caused by “drowning.” Overwatering your plant or putting it in a pot that doesn’t drain properly can lead to root rot.
Root rot is identifiable in several ways. You will notice that your Dragon Tree is soft to the touch, maybe even soggy. You’ll also see several leaves browning, curling, drying out, and dropping off of the plant. The roots themselves will be brown or black and will also feel soggy.
If your Dracaena Plant is suffering from root rot, it can be saved, but it’s challenging to come back from. Cut off the parts of the root that are affected and put your plant in a new pot with new soil. Make sure the pot and soil drain well. The top of the soil should be dry between waterings.
Are Dracaena Plants Poisonous?
While stunning and beneficial for our health, the Dracaena Plant is toxic to dogs and cats. The Dracaena Plant contains a chemical compound known as saponin that is harmful to pets.
If your pet consumes a piece of the Dracaena Plant, they may experience:
- Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
- Loss of appetite
Keep this plant far away from your pets. If you have a cat, you may want to consider another type of plant. Cats have a way of getting into things, including off-limit rooms.
Related: Pet Friendly Plants: Which House Plants Are Safe for My Furry Friend?
Final Thoughts – Dracaena Plant Care
The Dragon Tree is a stunning and colorful plant that adds tropical vibes to any room. With its spiky leaves, green stripes, and thin stem, this plant brings life and beauty to your home. The Dracaena Plant is also one of the best natural air purifiers that will have you feeling refreshed, healthy, and rejuvenated.
This plant needs bright, high drainage soil and light mistings if humidity levels are low. Once you have the plant’s minimal requirements perfected and create a watering schedule that works, your Dracaena Plant will thrive for a long time!