Dracena Plant Care

Dracaena is grown for its dramatic foliage and carefree nature. This large group of plants includes many species that can grow up to 6 feet tall with long, strap-like leaves, often with red and yellow variegation. Dracaena is an undemanding plant that tolerates low light and low humidity and it will forgive the occasional missed watering. As the plant grows, the lower leaves drop off and the trunk scars over, creating an interesting pattern of markings.

D. fragrans, which is the familiar corn plant and D. marginata, commonly known as the rainbow plant, are two of the more familiar Dracaena species. Place the dracaena plant in a location with bright to moderate, indirect sunlight and temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Brown leaf tips and spots indicate that the plant is getting too much light. The plant is not getting enough light when leaves turn pale and the variegation fades.

Water the plant when the soil is dry at a depth of 2 inches or about the length of your finger to the second knuckle. Apply water to the soil until it drains out the holes in the bottom of the pot. After all of the excess water drains through, empty the saucer in the bottom of the pot.

Fertilize the plant with a liquid houseplant fertilizer, mixed according to the package instructions, every two weeks in spring and summer. In fall and winter, feed monthly. Wipe the leaves with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust as necessary. Wipe the undersides of the leaves as well as the upper surfaces. Removing dust opens the pores so the plant can exchange air freely, and it may help prevent spider mites. Don’t use commercial leaf shine products on dracaena plants.

Re-pot dracaena plants every other year into a pot 1 inch or so larger than the current pot. Remove as much of the old potting soil as possible without damaging the stiff roots. Make sure the plant sits at the same level as in the old pot.