Dracaena is a popular houseplant that can be found in almost every home. Each of its species refers to the exotics that originally appeared on the African continent, and the name of the flower itself translates as «female dragon». It comes from the fact that some strains produce a deep red, oily juice that scientists thought looked like dragon’s blood. In this article we will talk about the intricacies of caring for dracaena at home with photos and detailed descriptions of varieties.

All about dracaena care

Types, photos and names
— Godsefa
— Fringed
– Fragrant
— Deremskaya
— bent
— Sandera
Features of care
— Watering and sunlight
— Cropping
– Transplant
reproduction
– cuttings
— Lateral branches
— Seeds
Growing problems
— Leaves turn yellow and fall
— dry ends
— Falling leaves
— Diseases
— Pests

Dracaena: types, photos and names

Many mistakenly classify decorative varieties of dracaena as palm trees because of the similar branched trunk, but in fact it is a “false” palm tree, or succulent deciduous shrub.

There are several varieties of this plant available in flower shops for home breeding, and they all look different. One thing unites them: since it is a succulent subspecies, it is quite unpretentious and suitable for beginner gardeners. Here are some of the easiest to care for and popular varieties of dracaena with photos and names.

godsefa

Few people know that godsefa is a dracaena, it is so unlike the false palm trees familiar to everyone. It has thin, ascending stems with round, dark green foliage that has light blotches. This variety is best kept at a small distance from direct sunlight — like all variegated flowers, godsefa prefers diffused light. Also make sure that children and pets do not have access to the plant, as it is toxic. Water the soil as it dries out and do not overdo it with spraying — they are needed only in very dry air.

fringed

This species has a straight trunk and a lush hat of thin dark green leaves. The plant loves bright lighting and reacts very poorly to waterlogging. In winter, it should be watered no more than once a month, in summer — as the earth dries completely. If you notice that the leaves have begun to curl, make it a habit to spray them daily with a spray bottle.

Fragrant

It looks like a miniature palm tree without branches with wide, long leaves of dark green color. It grows very slowly, but with good lighting and suitable conditions, it can stretch up to two meters in 10-15 years. The variety got its name for flowering with fluffy light yellow flowers that exude a sweet honey smell. In care, it is a little more complicated than fellows with narrow leaves: you have to keep the pot away from drafts and central heating radiators. Avoid watering and spraying — if the water stagnates, then rotting will begin, and it will not be possible to save the plant.

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Deremskaya

It has a thick trunk, from which oblong, but wide leaves stretch upwards. In a flower shop, you can usually find pots in which two or three plants grow at once. The part of the trunk above the ground may be partially bare or completely covered with greenery. Put the flower closer to the window and boldly take it out to the balcony in the summer (just make sure that burn spots do not appear on the leaves on the hottest days). The plant also loves daily spraying and warm showers.

bent

It differs in the shape of the leaves: they are wide and curved down, often with light veins. Greenery completely covers the trunk, so from the side the flower looks like a neat rounded bush. The plant loves sunlight, so put it in the brightest place in the house and get ready to water and spray regularly. With proper care, there are no problems with growing, as this variety is resistant to diseases and pests.

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sander

Sander is often confused with bamboo due to its appearance. It is an undemanding, hardy variety often sold as an ornamental arrangement with intertwined stems. Grows in soil or water containers. If you choose the second option, periodically add fertilizers designed specifically for this plant.

Features of care

Watering and sunlight

Despite the differences between the species, they are united by the fact that they belong to succulent shrubs. Therefore, it is important to remember that the answer to the question of how to care for dracaena at home lies in a simple rule: it tolerates a short drying of the soil much better than waterlogging. When the soil is oversaturated with moisture, the stem quickly gains too much water, becomes soft, the greens fall off, and the roots rot. If you do not react quickly and do not dry the soil, the plant dies.

Also consider the flower’s love of sunlight — the reason for this lies in its African origin. Varieties with a light pattern can be placed at a distance of 2-3 meters from the south window. All the rest — on the windowsill or other surfaces standing close to the light. Depending on the species, spray the leaves, wipe them with a damp cloth, or take a warm shower — but always make sure that at the end of the procedure the water does not stagnate in places where the foliage grows.

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pruning

Pruning is optional. It is carried out to decoratively correct the crown, give it a neater shape or slow down growth if the flower has grown too large. Here’s how you can cut the dracaena without harming it:

  • The procedure is carried out from May to June.
  • With a sharp sterile knife, cut off the trunk in a place above the growth of foliage. The cut should be at least 10-15 cm from the ground, so young miniature seedlings are not cut.
  • The cut is covered with plastic wrap to avoid moisture loss. When it heals, new shoots will begin to appear around the edges.
  • Periodically rotate the pot around its axis so that the shoots reach for the sun and grow evenly.
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Transfer

When buying, specify in which soil the flower is sold. If this is a special soil for dracaena, the pot does not seem too cramped, and roots do not grow from the holes in the bottom, then a transplant is not needed. It can be carried out for a young seedling in a year, and for an adult and large one, which is no longer growing so fast, in a couple of years.

It is best to buy the soil ready-made: it will have the correct acidity and the ratio of fertilizers. If you collect the soil yourself, make sure that it is slightly acidic to neutral (pH 5.5-7), not too dense and heavy, without large clods. Fertilizers are needed mainly mineral, nitrogen.

If transplanting is still necessary, purchase soil and a suitable plastic or ceramic pot with drainage holes. You will also need medium-sized expanded clay to lay it on the bottom of the pots. The thickness of the drainage layer should be at least 1/5 of the height of the pot.

The easiest way to transplant a dracaena and get it out of an old pot is transshipment. Wait for the soil to dry, carefully lay the flower on its side and gently squeeze the plastic pot. Pull the container to the side, it should move freely. Then put a layer of expanded clay and some earth in a new planter, place the root system in the center and start to sprinkle around the perimeter.

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reproduction

cuttings

The easiest way to propagate dracaena at home is cuttings. From May to June, prune and cut off a small part of the trunk with a sharp knife. Put it in water and wait a couple of weeks. The cutting will form roots, and then it can be transplanted into the ground. If after 4-5 days the roots have not begun to hatch, you can add a little growth stimulant to the water, but this is usually not required. Wait until the roots are 5-7 cm long before transplanting into the ground.

Lateral processes

Maybe another way to propagate dracaena at home is suitable for you — with lateral processes that are cut right at the base. Examine the part where the offshoot separates from the main stem. If you see small bumps, cut under them. Roots will then emerge from them. Fragrant and bent dracaena reproduce best in this way. The cut off shoot is placed in water and waiting for the roots to appear. You can add some growth stimulants to speed up this process. When transplanting into the soil, use a wooden stick as a prop so that the shoot does not fall or lean.

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seeds

Flowering varieties can be tried to propagate by seeds. To do this, you need to create conditions suitable for the appearance of flowers: good lighting, regular watering and a sufficient amount of fertilizer. At the end of flowering, a fruit will form, in which there will be from one to several seeds, depending on the variety. The seeds are soaked in water with a growth stimulator for a couple of days, laid out on the ground and pressed into it by about 1 cm. Next, the soil is sprayed with a spray bottle and the pot is covered with cling film. It is important that the pot is warm and the condensate does not stagnate. To do this, every day you need to open the film, ventilate and spray the ground again. After 2-3 weeks, sprouts will appear, which can be planted when they grow to at least 5 cm.

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Growing problems

Leaves turn yellow, dry and fall

If once every few months the dracaena leaves turn yellow and fall and it is not clear what to do, you don’t have to worry right away. Most often, this is a natural process: the plant simply renews itself and gets rid of accumulated toxins. But if for some reason the leaves of the dracaena turn yellow along the entire length of the stem, then the problem lies in the care. The reason may be:

  • Too frequent watering. An important symptom (in addition to falling leaves) is that the trunk has become soft, the bark is wrinkling. A common mistake is to water the flower a little, so as not to flood, but often. This plant originated in Africa, so it is used to rare but plentiful watering. Let the soil dry out completely, and then put the pot in a basin of water for 20 minutes so that the soil is saturated with moisture, or arrange a warm shower. After that, drain the excess water so that it does not stagnate in the planter or pan. Repeat the process only when the soil is dry.
  • dry air. If there are no problems with watering, try more frequent spraying. This problem often occurs in winter: the batteries started working, and the leaves of the dracaena began to dry out.
  • Draft. Another winter problem is cold air. Make sure there is no draft in the room and the pot is not in the way of the cold air flow during ventilation.
  • lack of light. Perhaps the plant is too dark if it is in the back of the room. Even the place in which he was comfortable in the summer may become insufficiently lit in the winter, when daylight hours become shorter.
  • Nutrient deficiency. If the leaves of the dracaena fall and it is not clear what to do, because there are no problems with watering and light, you may not have fed the flower for a long time. Apply nitrogen fertilizers to the soil.
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Only ends dry

It may not be clear why dracaena dries precisely at the tips of the leaves. Dry ends are an aesthetic problem that is especially common in the fringed species. Most likely, the air in the room was too dry. It will not work to return the leaves to their previous state, but if you introduce regular spraying with warm water, the new greenery will not dry out at the edges, and the old one will not fall off. If desired, you can carefully cut off the dry tips, but it is important not to touch the living tissue, otherwise the plant may begin to shed them. This procedure is recommended only if the dry part reaches at least 5-10 mm in length.

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Leaves are falling

If the plant is unusually drooping, then the problem is probably in watering. Analyze how you spent it in the last month. If the flower was watered too often and the lower part of the trunk became soft, the roots were damaged. Dracaena will have to be taken out of the ground, cut off its rotten roots and treated with an antifungal agent. If, on the contrary, they forgot about watering, it is enough to arrange a warm shower, and the flower will come to life.

In case none of these scenarios seem appropriate, think back to when you last fertilized the soil. If it was more than six months or a year ago, apply a little nitrogen top dressing.

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Diseases

If yellow or brown spots begin to appear on the flower and there are no other symptoms, this is most likely a fungal disease. It appears due to too high humidity and temperature or in contact with other diseased plants. To get rid of the fungus, first cut off the infected areas. If there are too many, remove those sheets that have suffered the most. Then treat with fungicides. All non-viable dracaena leaves will eventually be shed by itself, growing new ones to replace it.

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Pests

It is quite easy to identify pests — the flower not only begins to turn yellow, but is covered with cobwebs, sticky liquid, or a rash appears on it. In any case, all infected areas must be cut off and the flower transplanted. Healthy greens and the trunk are washed with soapy water, the soil is changed and the pot is cleaned. After transplantation, they are additionally treated with pesticides or sprayed with neem oil.

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