HOUSEPLANT CARE FOR DRACAENA
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There are a few members of the dracaena family and they have long been popular houseplants. Dracaena Fragrans is sometimes called Corn Plant as it somewhat resembles corn. Dracaena is produced in a variety of forms including the tip, bush, staggered, character and standard. This versatile plant can be anywhere from one foot tall to twenty feet tall. You will not often find Dracaenas much larger than 6-7 feet tall except in interior landscapes or in nature.
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Some of the more common dracaena houseplants you are likely to find are the Marginata, Warneckii, Massangeana and the Janet Craig. These are some of the best house plants and make great additions to any home while requiring minimal care. Bright indirect light is best and they will take some morning sun. Most Dracaena will tolerate lower light levels for some time with reduced watering frequency.
Dracaena does best in a bright, indirect light situation. With good care, it can be maintained in somewhat lower lighting. Do not place in hot, direct sun. It is prone to root rot if overwatered, especially in lower light. In very hot, sunny locations spider mites will often be a problem as will leaf scorch.
In high light areas be sure you do not let the soil dry out completely as your dracaena will wilt and once this happens it will take a long time to recover. For the most part, dracaena is a beautiful easy care house plant. If you acquire one of these plants in a fairly large pot size, it would be a good idea to check the soil with a soil probe before you irrigate. See below for more information on watering your dracaena and check out the page on watering your interior plants.
Watering Dracaena - In lower to medium light, you should water Dracaena when potting media has dried down 1/2 to 3/4 the depth of the pot. If your Dracaena is in very bright light, allow the soil to dry down about 1/2 the depth of the soil depth before watering thoroughly. Please read the sections on watering and lighting for indoor plants for more information on the two things that will most impact your plants health.
You will need to be careful watering Dracaena fragrans and most Dracaenas. New plants with minimal roots should be watered around the cane only. Established plants with a good root system can be watered thoroughly. They are very prone to rot if kept too wet. Some signs of overwatering may be yellowing leaf tips, root rot and pale new growth with dark tips. More to the dry side is better but don't be extreme either. The first sign of underwatering will be a slight drooping of the leaves and leaf margins may start to curl.
Remove lower leaves as they yellow and trim brown tips to the natural leaf shape, as needed. It is normal for a new plant to shed some of its old foliage when it is moved to a new environment. Expect new additions to your home to do this. Given the proper care, it should acclimate and become a beautiful, trouble free plant.
Keep your dracaena's foliage clean and initially keep an eye out for insect problems. Mites, mealybug, thrips and scale can sometimes be a problem but a good wash down with soapy water should be sufficient to control these pests. Just make sure you treat as soon as you notice a problem as they can and will damage your plant.
Leave your plants in a nursery grow pot with drainage holes at the bottom and set that into the pretty container you purchased for your home. Having no way to remove excess water from the roots and soil makes it more likely that you will have a problem with overwatering. Make sure you size properly as there should be an inch or two of room between the decorative container and the nursery pot. This will provide adequate air circulation. If you must direct pot, use a clay pot as this is porous and will allow the root system of your plant to breathe.
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