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How to Plant Dracaena

Updated June 18, 2018

Dracaenas are both indoor and outdoor plants. They grow well outside in subtropical and tropical regions. Dracaenas are related to the family of lilies, and there are quite a few popular species. They are grown for their colourful, unique foliage, as their flowers are relatively inconspicuous. Most dracaenas that are grown indoors never bloom. Dracaenas are a relatively easy plant to grow, as they are tolerant of poor growing conditions and don't need to be fussed over.

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  1. Choose an area in your yard that gets either full or partial sun. Dracaenas planted for outdoor use have been hardened off to withstand the sunlight, unlike indoor dracaenas. Though they will grow in a variety of conditions, ample sunlight is best.

  2. Consider how big your dracaena can become, when choosing an area to plant it in. Some species of dracaenas can reach a height of 12 to 13 feet in tropical areas, if left unpruned. Choose a location that won't interfere with the growth of other shrubs and trees, or grow under the eaves of your house.

  3. Dig a hole that is twice as big as the container the plant is in. This will help loosen up the area and allow the roots to spread out. Place your dracaena in the hole at the same height it was in the container. Fill in the hole with soil and press firmly down around the plant to get rid of any air pockets that may remain. Water the plant well. Water your dracaena once a week, until it is established. Dracaenas can tolerate poor soil conditions and drought, but will benefit from regular watering. Don't flood the area, as dracaenas don't like living in conditions where their roots are continuously wet.

  4. Fertilise your dracaena with a water-soluble fertiliser once a month. Apply an all purpose granular fertiliser, such as 6-6-6, four times per year.

  5. Prune your dracaena to keep its size under control. Pruning will also allow the plant to branch out. Cut the stem at the height you desire it to branch out at. New buds should start to appear within a month.

  6. Dip the cut end of your dracaena cutting into root tone and start a new plant. Place the end with the root tone in a container of soil and water it well. Your cutting should start to develop roots in a couple of weeks. Keep the soil moist, but not flooded.

  7. Select a container that has proper drainage and will accommodate your plant or dracaena cutting. Fill the container with a potting mix (not soil) and place your plant or cutting into it. Press the soil down firmly around the plant or cutting.

  8. Choose an area inside that will receive bright, indirect light. Species such as Janet Craig and warneckii will grow in lower-light conditions. More colourful varieties need direct sunlight in order to retain their colour. Place these varieties closer to a window. Place your dracaena in a warm area. They don't do well in cold environments. Don't place your dracaena in a spot where the air conditioner is blowing directly on it.

  9. Use rain, distilled or day-old tap water to water your plant. The fluoride content in straight tap water can damage the foliage.

  10. Water your potted dracaena when the soil feels dry. Overwatering can cause your plant to rot, as can improper drainage. Make sure your container has a drain hole in the bottom.

  11. Apply a light dusting of lime to the surface soil and water if the tips of the leaves begin to turn brown and you've been watering the plant correctly. The pH level is most likely off and has caused the browning. Fertilise the dracaena with a water-soluble fertiliser every few weeks. Once a year, change the soil in the container with fresh soil.

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Things You'll Need

  • Root tone
  • Water-soluble fertiliser
  • Potting mix
  • Shovel
  • Granular fertiliser

About the Author

For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.

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