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How to Care for Dracaena?

Dracaena is native to southeastern Africa and is a popular plant in the region. This houseplant belongs to the family Asparagaceae. Due to the presence of special sword-shaped leaves, as well as the ease of maintenance, Dracaena plant has become one of the most beautiful special houseplants for indoor decoration. Continue reading this article in TooPlant in order to learn more about how to grow and care for Dracaena.

Introduction of Dracaena

Before addressing how to care for Dracaena, please allow us to give you a brief introduction about this houseplant.

Name Dracaena
Family Asparagaceae
Botanical Name Dracaena spp.
Toxic to humans, toxic to cats and dogs[1]American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Dracaena.
Native Southeastern Africa, Southern Asia, Northern Australia
Common Name(s) Dracaena (various species carry other common names)

Normally, Dracaena grows better in warm environments, so if you live in a city with a warm climate, Dracaena can be a great choice for you. Of course, even if the weather is cold, the interior of the house has a balanced temperature, so do not worry!

About 120 different species of trees and shrubs of this beautiful plant have been discovered in the world. It does not matter which type you like.

Each type of Dracaena, while having its own special beauty, has one thing in common, and that is the very low need for the plant to care.

The dark and beautiful leaves of Dracaena plant with its delicate designs have made it very unique and have been included in most of the houseplant shopping lists.

Plants of this family can be very large and dense, so pruning the upper part of the plant is essential to maintain the appearance of fit.

This plant has a long growth in its original nature and is usually very tall, But in apartment conditions, it will grow to a much lower height. Dracaena Fragrans, for example, grows up to 15 meters in tropical Africa, but will eventually grow to 120 to 180 centimeters if kept as a houseplant. It is enough to provide adequate light and water for Dracaena to enjoy the presence of this beautiful and pleasant plant in your home for a long time!

Dracaena is a poisonous plant, so keep it out of the reach of your child and pets so that they do not think about eating it!

In this article, we want to provide you with information about how to care for Dracaena, so stay tuned with Tooplant.

How Many Types Of Dracaena Are There?

As we have said, Dracaena is a plant with high diversity. But there are only a few different types that are planted and sold commercially and on a large scale. Although all of them are easy to be taken care of, each has its own characteristics.

For Example:

Dracaena Marginata, which grows to a height of about 2 meters as a houseplant, is like a small palm with slender green leaves on a vertical, wooden trunk. But Dracaena Reflexa has a more regular appearance, its green leaves have a curved ring and are beautifully decorated with a yellow stripe. Reflexes grow between 90 and 120 cm.

Another popular type of Dracaena is Dracaena Fragrans. The leaves are broad and colored and reach a height of 60 cm and a width of 8 cm. If you look at the leaves, you can clearly see the variety of green and yellow lines.

In the following, we will introduce you to 4 species of this plant:

Types of Dracaena and their caring methods

Types of Dracaena are as follows:

1. Lemon lime Dracaena

The lemon-lime Dracaena plant with its green and yellow leaves has a very beautiful and unique appearance. In addition, this plant, like other plants in the Dracaena family, is almost easy to be taken care of and is an ideal houseplant for today’s world.

Although this plant can grow up to two meters indoors, you can always keep its size small by constantly pruning it. Rotate the plant occasionally to make photosynthesis more efficient and effective. This also improves plant growth.

2. Dracaena Fragrans

Dracaena Fragrans is another species in the Dracaena family. Just take a look at this plant to see its beautiful and stunning leaves. If you take good care of it and you are a little lucky, you can wait for the tiny white flowers to bloom!

Dracaena Fragrans needs to be dry for a while; That is, give it enough water, then wait until the soil surface is completely dry and water it again. Dracaena Fragrans loves moisture, so always try to keep the environment moist. Note that the browning of the leaves of this plant is a sign of lack of humidity.

3. Dracaena Compacta

Dracaena Compacta originally belongs to Southeast Africa. Their beautiful, delicate leaves and special shape make Dracaena Compacta a very beautiful houseplant. This plant is very slow growing, so if you are looking for a plant that does not grow and does not grow much after purchase, Dracaena Compacta will definitely be a very good choice for you.

4. Dracaena Tarzan

Dracaena Tarzan is another species of Dracaena that was first discovered in Florida and later quickly became popular with people around the world because of its beautiful appearance. This type of Dracaena has thicker leaves and sometimes a trace of pink color can be seen on them.

Care for Dracaena

In this part, we will focus on the most important aspects which you need to take into consideration while treating this houseplant.  The best methods of how to take care of Dracaena include as follows:

 🪴 A Piece of Paradise: This is what Dracaena brings you! 🪴

Dracaena is a happy and refreshing plant. It grows in almost any environment and immediately gives the greenery around. So in order to take the best care of this plant, we must know the environmental conditions specific to each plant and provide it.

Dracaena Light Requirements: What light is best for Dracaena?

Light is among the first important issues to care for Dracaena. Some varieties of Dracaena, such as Lemon lime Dracaena, grow well in low light. But other plants in the Dracaena family prefer bright, filtered, and indirect sunlight, and enjoy being in a bright place, so make sure you sufficiently provide the Dracaena light requirements.

Choose a place for Dracaena that is protected from direct sunlight while receiving enough light. If the leaves of the plant become paler and taller, it means that the plant needs more light. Do not forget that direct sunlight damages the leaves; Unless the plant has grown in its original nature under direct sunlight.

Above, we tried to discuss all the details related to Dracaena light requirements since it plays a significant role in order to care for Dracaena.

Dracaena Watering: How often should you water a Dracaena?

In the rest, concerning the tips of caring for a Dracaena, it is better to know that Dracaena is famous for its low need for watering! For this plant, underwatering is always better than overwatering, but you should not allow the plant soil to dry completely. But when the soil dries, you have to water it carefully. Watering of Dracaena should be done in such a way that all parts of the soil are completely wet. To do this, place the pot in a sink or deep container, then start watering slowly on the soil surface and continue until you see excess water under the pot. Therefore, watering is another important aspect in order to care for Dracaena.

The number of waterings depends on the environmental characteristics of the plant, such as the amount of incoming light, the size of the pot, the amount of humidity, and so on. But the point we have to pay attention to is how dry the soil is.

Usually, when the upper half of the soil is dry, it is a good time to water the drain. In summer, you may need to water Dracaena once a week. Water suitable for Dracaena is purified water, rain or distilled water; Because this plant is sensitive to salt and salts in tap water.

Keep in mind that Dracaena prefers dry soil and the soil is always wet, which causes the plant to get all kinds of fungal diseases and root rot, do not forget that excess water should come out from under the pot and do not let this water come out with The plant is in contact because it may cause lack of ventilation and fungal diseases in the plant.

 In this way, to care for Dracaena, watering is considered to be of great significance.

Dracaena Soil: What is the best soil for a Dracaena?

Intending to care for Dracaena, the other crucial matter is soil. Dracaena grows in rich soil, with high amounts of natural fibers and excellent drainage. For example, pot soil containing coal is suitable for it and its soil can be a combination of garden soil + leaf soil + sand or perlite. Thus, it can be said that, soil is another basic and important issue so as to care for Dracaena.

Dracaena Temperature Tolerance

Now, we come to temperature and humidity which are assumed to be principal to care for Dracaena in addition to light, watering and soil that are mentioned above. The ideal temperature for Dracaena is in the range above 18 °C. Sudden cold can damage the leaves, so keep the plant away from cooling systems and in cold seasons, do not place it near windows and doors that open and close constantly.

Dracaena Humidity: Does Dracaena like humidity?

Moisture is another thing which we need to inevitably pay attention to when talking about how to take care of Dracaena. Dracaena family plants enjoy warm and humid summers. If you live in an environment with dry summers, try to increase the humidity by using humidifiers or spraying water around the plant. Dracaena is a tropical plant, so not only summer but any other warm and humid situation is lovely for it. Dracaena grows well at temperatures between 15 and 24 degrees but can not tolerate low temperatures. Therefore, please do not forget to take humidity into consideration in order to care for Dracaena in the best way.

Dracaena Fertilizer: What is the best fertilizer for a Dracaena?

When you want to care for Dracaena, one of the important questions that may come to your mind is “what is the best fertilizer?” In what follows, we will address how to fertilize this plant:

There is no need to fertilize Dracaena, but it will definitely enjoy proper fertilization. In fact, Dracaena, like most houseplants, should be fertilized once or twice a year. Multi-purpose liquid fertilizer for houseplants, or fish emulsion fertilizer to meet the needs of Dracaena. Dilute the selected fertilizer in a quarter of the concentration and add it to the soil. The soil must be wet so that the fertilizer does not burn the roots. Fertilization should be done only during the growing seasons of the plant, ie from April to September.

As a result, we could say that fertilizer is regarded as one of the fundamental issues when someone wants to care for Dracaena.

In the rest, the methods of caring for a Dracaena, we must say that a good pot should provide adequate drainage for the soil. The basic condition for choosing a pot for any plant is to have multiple drainage cavities at the bottom. Clay pots are suitable for Dracaena; This type of pot dries the soil well between waterings but prevents it from drying out completely. That is exactly the conditions that Dracaena needs to grow. The minimum pot size for this plant is 20 cm.

Dracaena Toxicity: Is Dracaena poisonous to humans and pets?

In order to care for Dracaena, toxicity is considered to be a major issue because it directly relates to your health especially children and pets. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, dracaena is poisonous to cats and dogs. 

Dracaena will have toxic effects if swallowed. Complications may include vomiting, nausea, weight loss, periodic hyperactivity, or dilated pupils. To find answer to the question “is dracaena safe for cats, dogs and humans?” we must say that dracaena is not safe for cats, dogs and humans. Therefore, you need to be careful and keep it out of reach of pets.

Dracaena Pruning: How to prune Dracaena?

Another thing to keep in mind when caring for a Dracaena is pruning it. Dracaena’s response to pruning is quite positive. So, for example, if you want to shorten your Dracaena Fragrans height, simply cut off the upper stems, a bunch of new leaves will replace them and give the plant a denser appearance. If brown leaves appear on the plant due to insufficient light or excessive watering, remove them so that new, healthy leaves can grow in their place.

Common Pests and Diseases

After a description of taking care of a Dracaena, we will explain the problems and their solutions:

Various pests and diseases rarely occur for Dracaena. But the fluoride in the water may cause the leaves of the plant to turn yellow or brown. In this case, to solve the problem, use distilled water or rainwater to water the plant. These signs may also occur due to the low humidity of the environment, so it is better to put some pebbles under the pot. These pebbles absorb the water coming out from under the pot and create a moist atmosphere around the plant. Although the amount of this moisture is not large, it can help the plant a lot.

Caring for Dracaena: Common Problems With Dracaena

After a description of taking care of a Dracaena, we will explain the problems and their solutions:

What Causes Brown Spots on Dracaena Leaves?

Brown spots appear for a variety of reasons. But often, improper watering is the main reason. But first, we need to know the meaning of leaf browning:

Now we must examine the main causes of dracaena brown tips:

Discontinuous watering

If you see browning of the tips of the Dracaena leaves or the appearance of brown spots, it is most likely a problem of inconsistent watering. If the soil becomes too dry, the tips of the leaves will turn brown and various spots will appear on its surface.

Treatment method: The best way to determine the correct watering time is to remove the soil surface. Remove a few centimeters of soil depth and measure its moisture content. If it is dry, it is better to water the plant. Repeat this every 7-10 days and do not allow too much interruption between waterings.

The interior of houses is usually warm and dry in winter. During this period, do not leave the plant alone and continue watering as needed.

Water sensitivity

If you notice brown spots on the tips and edges of the leaves, the plant may have a problem with water quality. The presence of chlorine or fluoride in tap water, or the accumulation of salts in the soil will cause these signs.

Treatment method: Choose a suitable container and pour tap water into it. Allow remaining uncovered for at least 24 hours. In this way, the chlorine and fluoride in it will evaporate and the water will be more ideal for the plant. Another way is to use rainwater or distilled water instead of tap water. Also, if you notice a build-up of white deposits on the outside of the pot (especially near drainage holes), it is a sign of excess salt. Use rainwater or distilled water to remove this excess salt from the soil.

Leaf spot disease

If appear brown spots with a yellow streak form on the surface of the Dracaena leaf, your plant will have leaf spot disease. If brown spots with a yellow streak form on the surface of the Dracaena leaf, your plant will have leaf spot disease. Fungi and bacteria attack the plant, causing a brown spot and a yellow border. Such spots are not limited to a specific shape and vary in appearance, size and color.

Treatment method: Immediately remove the diseased leaves and separate the plant from other plants. Move it to a place where there are no other plants. To treat leaf spots, it is better to make this homemade combination: Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with two tablespoons of mineral oil. Immediately remove the diseased leaves and separate the plant from other plants. Move it to a place where there are no other plants. To treat leaf spots, it is best to make this homemade combination: Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with two tablespoons of mineral oil. Pour them into a spray bottle, shake well before use and spray it on all parts of the plant that have brown spots. (Mineral oil is different from vegetable oil).

Thus, if you are faced with the dracaena brown tips, there is no need to worry because you can easily solve the problem with the things we have explained with regard to the dracaena leaves turning brown.

Why Are Dracaena Leaves Turning Yellow? (The good tips for how to care for Dracaena)

As “leaves turning yellow” is one of the common problems that you may face when you want to care for Dracaena, we will try to describe the reasons and the ways to solve it in details. Dracaena yellow leaves is a sign of unfavorable conditions. In this case, you must act immediately.

Yellow leaves have the following characteristics:

Younger leaves (located at the top) are less at risk of yellowing than older leaves (located at the bottom). Younger leaves (located at the top) are less at risk of yellowing than older leaves (located at the bottom). These signs appear over several weeks, so if you monitor plant changes well, you can fix the problem quickly.

Now we study the reasons for the yellowing of the plant:

1. Lack of enough space for root growth

Root growth over time causes it to condense. If there is not enough air circulation for this system, the plant will suffer from various problems, including yellowing of the leaves. In this case, move the plant to a larger pot and choose porous soil for it.

2. OverWatering

One of the most common causes of dracaena yellow leaves is overwatering. This plant can not adapt to high amounts of water. See the watering section of this article for a review. If you can, take a look at the roots, if the soil around them is wet and swampy, let it dry completely and stop watering until then.

3. Lack of essential elements

 Sometimes, the problem goes back to fertilizer. Nitrogen deficiency can cause the leaves to turn yellow. If environmental conditions were right for the plant but its leaves turned yellow, you should be skeptical. In this case, use a fertilizer with high amounts of nitrogen.

4. Low water temperature

 watering of the plant with cold water shocks it. The yellowing of your Dracaena leaf may be the result of this shock. The water temperature should always be a few degrees higher than the ambient temperature.

5. Dry air

Excessive dryness will cause the leaves of plants to turn yellow. As we have said, Dracaena is a tropical plant and is accustomed to living in humid environments. So it is necessary to increase the humidity of the air around it. Do not place it near heating/cooling devices and try to provide enough moisture by spraying water around it.

6. Proximity to heat/cold source

A sudden change in temperature is annoying for the plant. In general, any drastic change or excess, in any case, will be to the detriment of plants. Dracaena should not be placed next to radiators, fireplaces, air conditioners, doors or open windows.

7. The correct way to separate the leaf/diseased part of the plant

 We always recommend that you remove the leaves or diseased areas of the plant before the problem spreads. In this way, you help the plant to have enough energy for its healing and to look healthy again. To do this, cut the tips of the leaves or other brown/yellowed parts of the plant with clean scissors. Be careful not to cut only the brown part and do not damage other healthy parts of the plant. For this reason, it is better to leave a very thin strip of brown/yellow to prevent the healthy parts from being removed. If the entire leaf surface is brown/yellow, remove it from the base. It is not a difficult task, because usually, the leaf itself breaks easily! If the leaf does not come off the plant due to tight pulling, cut it from the attachment point to the stem with sharp scissors.

Why Are Dracaena Leaves Dropping?

“Leaves dropping” is another common problem that you may face when you want to care for Dracaena, so we will try to describe the reasons and the ways to solve it in details.

Falling leaves are a warning to you. But do not worry, sometimes shedding is part of the plant life cycle and is therefore quite natural. Like other plants, Dracaena removes old leaves for more complete growth. So if the plant is losing leaves that have been on the plant for a long time, this is just a healthy measure and personal hygiene for the plant! But if a large number of plant leaves suddenly fall off, the situation is different. This usually happens when you make a mistake. So you can solve the problem yourself. The first possibility is not the presence of pests; Rather, the problem is the constant enemy, which is overwatering or underwatering!

– Usually, when we see the first fallen leaves, we go to the sprinkler and water the plant before any work. But unaware that the same amount of excess water has caused this event. Dracaena can not survive in wet soil, and it shows you this by shedding its leaves. Such soil predisposes the plant to a variety of fungal diseases and root rot. The plant should be planted in pots with multiple drainage holes. Empty the saucer after each watering so that excess water does not re-enter the plant.

Here, to make sure the amount of water, it is better to take the plant out of the pot. If the roots looked rotten and the soil was wet, the reason for the leaf fall is clear! Remove the damaged parts from the roots and plant the houseplant in new soil.

Sometimes underwatering can be the cause of plant leaf fall. Touching the soil at the bottom of the pot will solve this problem. If it is dry, it means that the root has no water.

Cold wind or excessive heat may also be the cause of drooping leaves. Check the position of the pot and move it away from the window/heat source.

How To Get Corn Plants (Dracaena) To Bloom? (How do you make Dracaena bloom?)

Dracaena is known as a deciduous plant. In fact, the main reason for keeping it is to enjoy its beautiful leaves. But sometimes you can expect to bloom too! For example, Dracaena Fragrans can produce small, fragrant and colorful flowers. To move the Dracaena towards flowering, you need to place it in cool air.

Infographic Of How To Care For Dracaena

In this article, we tried to explain to you in an infographic the essential tips in the care of Dracaena, so that you can briefly and usefully learn the methods of caring for this plant.

In The End

In this article, we tried to provide you with the necessary information about the methods of caring for a Dracaena.

However, if you have any questions regarding this indoor plant or you need to get advice from our houseplant experts, please share your questions with us through the comments section below.


1 American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Dracaena.
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