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This article is written by Kunsang Choden.

Dracaena is one of the ever used household plants. This plant is  considered as one of the oldest household plant that dates back to mid 19th century. They add an extra beauty to the household environment. Dracaena is native to Africa yet today, it has reached every corner of the world due to its indoor growing ability. There are around 120 species of dracaena. This plant belongs to the family of Asparagaceae with subfamily Nolinoideae. Although majority of this plant species are native to Africa, some of them has its origin from the northern Australia and even southern parts of Asia. The dramatic and variegated foliage of this plant is what makes the plant unique specie.

There are quite a few good variety of dracaena. It has been found that the true dracaena bears green leaves while the other dracaena show different colored leaves. For instance, D.fragrans or Lindenii gives rishe to dark green leaves with yellowish striped leaves and D. fragrans ‘Victoria’ gives rise to a white and creamy striped leaves. These varieties in a dracaena make it a good indoor plant that creates some decorating effect at home.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom   : Plantae

Clade         : Angiosperms

Clade         : Monocot

Order         : Asparagales

Family       : Asparagaceae

Subfamily : Nolinoideae

Genus        : Dracaena

How to take care of dracaena?

Dracaena is not a fussy plant. It grows well in environment with a little care.

Light: Some amount of light is necessary for any kind of plant to grow well. It is important that you provide some amount of light to the dracaena plant although it can thrive in a shady area. In order to assure enough availability, you can keep the plant near the window where it can take in the needed light. Not enough light condition will result in losing the striped texture on the leaves. Thus, it is necessary that the plant receives some amount of light.

Water: Although dracaena does not ask for a great amount of water, it needs to be kept moist most of the time. The plant needs 40% humidity and will start to turn brown when it does not receive the moisture needed. One of the key things to keep in mind while taking care of dracaena is to provide the plant with non-fluoridated water as the plant is sensitive to fluoride water.

Temperature: Dracaena thrives well in conditions where the temperature is around mid 70 degree F.

Soil: This plant prefers to grow in a well-drained soil that is loose and loamy. It is always suggested that the soil is rich in humus and compost manure.

Fertilizer: Fertilizer can be used while taking care of the Dracaena plant. It is good to use calcium supplements to prevent browning on the leaf tips. You will need to use some light fertilizer as this plant stores fertilizer in their cane. 20-20 liquid fertilizer is suggested for the plant to grow to its best.

Growing dracaena:

Dust: Dust is a problem to everyone and the same goes for the plant. The plant is often disturbed by dust making the plant appear unhealthy. In order to freshen the plant, you will need to spray some fluoridated water.

Brown leaves: At times, the leaves of the dracaena starts to turn brown, this is caused due to certain chemicals and also due to the uncertain change in temperature. When the humidity drops below 40%, browning of the leaves takes place. In order to maintain humidity, you can spray some water that does not contain fluoride

 Dracaena is sensitive to some chemicals such as boron and fluoride. Thus, you are suggested to use non-fluoridated water.

Right amount of light condition is important. This plant can grow in low light conditions. If the plant receives no light at all, browning of leaves takes place.

Height: At times, you will see this plant growing taller than you want it to grow. During such a time, all you will need to do is to cut off the leaf buds or canes. This will make the plant grow to the needed size.

Propagation: It is possible to propagate the dracaena plant through the cutting method. All you will need to do here is to push the plant into the soil and keep the soil evenly moist. It will take some time for this plant to grow into a newer plant and all you will need to do is to be patient and wait for the plant to start new. Keep in mind that the plant needs the right amount of sunshine, light and a well fertilized soil.

Repotting: This plant can thrive both indoor and outdoor and can grow well in a pot. This plant can grow large and well, thus you will need to repot the plant once in a year time. In your process of repotting the plant, keep in mind that the new pot needs to have a good drainage hole on the sides along with free draining soil rich in humus.  

The corn plant is an oldie but goodie in the houseplant industry. Europeans have been using them as indoor plants since the mid-1800s and they’ve been popular in the United States since the early twentieth century. Corn plants are grown as thick canes that sprout from buds along the cane, achieving a “false palm” effect (they’re sometimes called false palms). They make good houseplants because they are tall and narrow, with controlled growth, and can withstand a fairly significant amount of abuse from casual indoor gardeners.

Use:

Air purification: One of the best use of dracaena is that this plant helps purify the air and keeps the environment free of chemicals such as carcinogen, cigarette smoke, benzene, xylene, trichloroethylene etc. Having this plant inside your home means you are breathing in some purified air.

Ornamental use: Dracaena being a household plant has good ornamental uses. It makes your room fresh and healthy. As you choose the household plants, it is good to choose these dracaena shrups-D. deremensis, D. fragrans, D. braunii, D. godshffiana.

They are the easiest of all the household plants. With around 120 species, they come in the variety of tree, shrubs and herbs. The herb form of this plant looks perfect on your desks and tabletops. The shrub form of this plant can be kept at the corner of the room as a room decorator.

Humidity control:  It has been experienced that having this plant at home reduces fatigue, sore throats, and other illnesses causing cold.

It also controls dust and reduces the humidity in a room.

Caution: This plant is found to be toxic to pets.

Process to plant dracaena:

1.    The location to plant dracaena plant needs to be considered before planting. You are suggested to place dracaena in a moderate and an environment that receives indirect sunlight having a temperature of around75 degree F. Make sure that the soil quality is good and rich with high quality humus and add compost manure for an excellent result.

2.     The second step to planting dracaena is watering. Most of the time it is encouraged that you start watering the plant when the soil is dry to a depth of 2 inches. You will need to empty the pot plate once all the water gets drained out from the pot hole from the bottom of the pot.

3.    Your third step is the provide liquid fertilizer to the plant for a better result. The time period for good fertilization in the spring and summer is every two week and once in a month during the winter months.

4.    Once the plant has fully grown, make sure you clean the leaves by dusting off the dust lying on the plant top by misting water or by using a clean cloth to clean the plant.

Your last step will be to repot the plant once in a year time.


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