How to Care for Dracaena: Growing Information and Tips
Dracaena fragrans, also known as corn plant, is a tropical African timeless tree that people have grown indoors since the mid-1800s in Europe and since the early 20th century in the US.
Although this tree grows slowly, it’s still preferred over other indoor plants because of the thick stems or canes that produce long leaves, such as stalks of corn, developing upward, which give the plant a tropical look. It resemble palm trees, which is why they’re sometimes called “fake palms.”
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant, look no further than Dracaena fragrans. Below, you will find a detailed guide on how to care for it, so take a closer look!
Is Dracaena Fragrans Indoor Plant?
Dracaena fragrans is a hardy indoor plant that will develop in normal room humidity. However, since it’s a tropical plant, it prefers higher humidity and occasional misting.
People grow this plant indoors because it’s not frost-hardy and can’t tolerate low light; thus, it’s the ideal houseplant. It’s also low-maintenance as well as drought tolerant.
How to Care for Dracaena Fragrans?
Home gardeners and plant enthusiasts often grow corn plants or Dracaena fragrans as large and potted plants inside their homes since they’re tropical trees that need climate-controlled conditions.
Corn plants such as this one thrive in bright spots without direct sunlight and away from air conditioning and heating vents. Dracaena fragrans prefer higher humidity. However, they can also adapt to regular room humidity. You can also develop Dracaena fragrans outdoors during the hot summer days.
Just make sure they’re placed in a sheltered and partly shady spot. Also, protect your plants from strong winds. Take them indoors once the temperatures start dropping below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Does Dracaena Need Sunlight?
You should place this plant near a window with partial sunlight.
Note that too little light will cause pale leaves and slow your plant’s growth. Too much sunlight or direct sunlight, on the other hand, will burn your plant’s leaves and cause them to droop or wilt.
However, if you decide to grow your plant outdoors, pick a shadier location.
The best choice for growing Dracaena fragrans is a loose and loamy potting soil mix. Just make sure that you pick soil with good drainage because this plant’s roots don’t like standing water.
How to Water It?
This plant prefers evenly moist but not soggy soil, especially during the growing season (spring-fall). Take a break from watering in the late fall and during winter.
However, don’t let the soil fully dry out because soil that’s too dry or too damp will lead to different issues in your plant.
Temperature and Humidity
Dracaena fragrans thrives in temperatures between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. So, keep your plant safe from lower temperatures such as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
And if you temporarily took out your plant during the hot summer days, make sure to bring it back indoors before temperatures start dropping. Furthermore, keep the humidity levels between 40-50%, which resembles the plant’s native environment.
You can utilize a humidifier to raise the humidity or just put the pot on a tray of pebbles and water. This plant also enjoys occasional misting, so keep that in mind.
This plant likes organic fertilizers, so make sure to provide rich soil by adding a balanced liquid fertilizer every second month during the growing season. Also, feed sparingly during the winter.
The natural lifespan of this plant’s leaves is 2-3 years. After that time, the lower leaves will start yellowing. And once you notice yellow leaves, remove them.
Furthermore, if your Dracaena fragrans grows too tall for your living space, just slice the tops of the canes, and you will notice new leaf buds near the cut over time.
Potting and Repotting
You should repot your Dracaena fragrans every year or every second year into a bigger pot (2-3 inches deeper and larger) with fresh and well-draining potting soil.
How to Propagate Dracaena Fragrans?
You should propagate this plant during spring or summer.
However, if you grow Dracaena fragrans inside your home, you can propagate them at any given time. It is highly suggested that you propagate these plants when they become too tall for your living space.
You can create another plant by slicing the top off the parent plant. That way, you can also enhance the leaf growth of the original plant. Steam cutting or top cutting is the best method to propagate this plant. The following video contains tips that can help you!
Watch This Video: How To Propagate Dracaena Successfully
How Fast Do Dracaena Fragrans Grow?
Although Dracaena fragrans is a slow-growing plant, it’s still a striking, timeless tree that can reach great heights of about 6 feet indoors.
However, note that it can take up to a decade to get to this height. You can encourage your plant to grow faster by providing a lot of bright indirect sunlight.
Growing Corn Plants from Seed?
First and foremost, soak the seeds in room-temperature water for 3-5 days to boost germination. Then, add 2-3 seeds in a smaller pot filled with a moistened seed starting mix. Finally, cover the seeds, put your pot on a warm and germinating mat, and cover with transparent plastic wrap.
The temperature of the soil should remain between 68 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make sure that your pot gets bright indirect sunlight.
Keep an eye for the soil. It shouldn’t be too moist. Otherwise, your seeds can rot. Once you notice growth, remove the plastic. Transplant in a 3-inch pot once the seedlings grow two true leaves.
Sometimes, some varieties of the Dracaena genus produces flowers over time, except for the Dracaena fragrans.
However, they do not frequently appear to call their appearance “common.” Thus, keep that in mind if you’re a fan of plants that provide flowers.
Lastly, you should know that the sap within the leaves and stems contains small levels of a toxic substance that isn’t fatal but can still lead to irritation in people and pets when ingested.
Other than that, it’s the perfect houseplant that will thrive with little TLC.