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Dracaena is a genus of plants, including roughly 120 species of trees and succulents. Over the years, other genera, such as Pleomele (Song of India) and Cordyline, have been added and removed from this genus. Most recently, Sansevieria have been added to the genus Dracaena. Most Dracaena are native to Africa, southern Asia and northern Australia. Often referred to as 'Dragon Trees', Dracaena get their name from Ancient Greek 'drakaina', meaning "female dragon".
All in all, Dracaena come in a wildly large array of colors, sizes, shapes, and textures, but make wonderful houseplants!
Dracaena are very popular as houseplants, as they tolerate low light and sparse watering well. While most varieties can acclimate to lots of direct sun, they all do well in low light applications and are wonderful for just about every room in your home or office.
Optimal light for your Dracaena would be bright, indirect, to a few hours of direct, morning sun. If you can not offer that, your Dracaena will still do fine in a lower lit corner, or shaded room with little to no direct light.
While Dracaena can tolerate longer periods of drought, they prefer and do best when they are kept evenly moist at all times. If they go too long without water, you will notice the tips of the leaves will brown and crisp. You can snip the tips off and the plant will be just fine. An evenly moist soil is best, and a planter with drainage is a great option so that excess water does not pool at the the bottom of the pot, causing root issues. Check the soil every 3-4 days and water as needed. If the top inch or so of the soil is dry, your Dracaena could most likely use a drink. We find it best to check with your finger, as opposed to relying on a moisture meter. They can often times be quite inaccurate.
While it is not completely necessary, you can use a general purpose, high quality fertilizer from Spring through Fall. We recommend diluting the fertilizer to about 50% strength. Fish Head Farms soil conditioner is a great option to use year round to provide essential nutrients and promote strong, healthy growth.
A loose, well draining soil or soilless mix is ideal. A peat based mixture with lots of perlite, vermiculite or sand will do the trick. For a pre-mixed formula, we find that a Cactus/Succulent blend is perfect!
Dracaena are pretty slow growers and do not need, or want, to be repotted very often. We recommend repotting every 2 or 3 years, and only if they are noticeably pot bound. Even then, you only want to move up 2" or so in pot sizes to reduce stress. This should be done in the Spring or early Summer months. If you have just recently purchased your plant, do not repot it for at least 6 months.
The most common pest issues for Dracaena include Mealy Bugs and Scale. It is always best practice to isolate any new plants you bring in to your home for a few weeks to watch for little pests. For help and tips on prevention and treatment of pests, see our At Home Pest Recipes here!
If you have any more questions, or need further assistance, please feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email!