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Scientific Name

Dracaena spp. (also Cordyline spp.)



Origins / Hardiness Zones

Asia, Africa, Australia / 10–12 USDA


The spiky grass-like blades that fountain out from the tops of wavy branches on these indoor trees make for an eye-catching houseplant. Sometimes mistaken for a type of palm, these Dracaena are actually related to Snake Plants and Yucca!

Light Needs

Water Schedule


Humidity Levels




Maintain humidity levels between 40 - 50%, which mimics the plant's native environment. To raise the plant's humidity, use a humidifier or place the pot on a tray of water and pebbles. Do not let the bottom of the pot touch the water. You can also mist the leaves regularly.

Toxins in the leaves and can lead to mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting in humans and pets if consumed. Particularly harmful to pets that are fond of chewing on the ribbon-like leaves.

Medium to bright, indirect light is ideal for this Dracaena. However, they can tolerate low light, as well. Just take extra precautions when watering and don't expect the plant to grow very much.

Water thoroughly when soil is about 50% dry. Avoid overwatering. Watering may be less frequent during winter months or in less light.

Adaptable to average indoor temperatures, but may complain when exposed to cold drafts or dry heat from vents. Most dracaena species thrive at temperatures of 70°F to 80°F but will react badly if temps fall below 50°F.

Dracaena is susceptible to some of the same pests that affect many houseplants, especially thrips and mealy bugs. Fungal leaf spot disease can sometimes be a problem if the soil is overly moist.

For a Dracaena, you can propagate through a stem or stub cutting. If you pruned a leggy plant, you can try both methods by first cutting off a few small 2-4 inch sections off the bottom of the bare stem, making sure to leave a decent section on the top (or apex) with the tuft of leaves. With the top piece, remove the lower leaves to ensure a clear stem before rooting in water or another medium. With the small chunks of stem, you can simply lay them horizontally in potting mix, only pushing them into the soil about halfway. Soon these stub cuttings will take root and leaves will sprout! With either method, once the roots are a few inches long you can pot up your new Dracaena.

Try to repot every 2-3 years in the spring, especially when tending to a younger plant. Increase the pot size by about 2 inches each time. Once mature and becoming unwieldily to maneuver—you can reduce your repotting frequency and switch to a routine of refreshing just the top few inches of soil.

If you're not already planning to repot, you can fertilize during the spring and summer months. Once to every two months should be plenty. No fertilizer is necessary during the winter when plant growth naturally slows down. You can try a balanced liquid or water-soluble fertilizer—always diluted more than the recommended strength.

Dracaena species are sensitive to fluorides and built-up salts, which can cause leaves to turn brown. If you notice this, try watering with non-fluoridated water, with an especially deep watering once each month to flush out salts. Browning leaves can also occur if indoor humidity levels are too low; mist the plant regularly or use a room humidifier.

While often touted for their low-light tolerance, if you're looking for significant growth year-over-year, your Dracaena will be much happier in bright, indirect light. On the other hand, if you're satisfied with their size and would like to brighten up a dreary corner of your house—by all means, Dracaena is up for the job (as long as you cut back on watering)!




Pests / Diseases

Common Problems



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