Caring for Dracaenas
There are many varieties of Dracaenas which are used indoors. These plants are most commonly referred to as “corn plants” because of their resemblance to the leaves found on corn stalks. These extremely hardy plants are ideal for home use due to their ability to tolerate and grow under a wide range of light levels.
Light Levels for Dracaenas
Low to medium light levels will be sufficient for the plants’ health and growth, but they will also grow in higher light as long as they are not in direct sunlight
Dracaena Water Needs
These plants do not tolerate over watering, but allowing them to go too dry will result in damage to the leaves. Dracaenas are ideal candidates for self watering planters.
Temperature Ranges for Dracaena Health
Between 65º to 85º is ideal for plants in the Dracaena family.
Pests the Dracaena is Susceptible To
The most common pest associated with all Dracaena varieties is the mealy bug. A white cottony looking insect that is found in the leaf axils, along the stems and undersides of the leaves. The best way to guard for this pest is to watch for them and remove them immediately if they do show up.
Should you encounter this bug, they are easily removed with a cotton swab wetted with rubbing alcohol. If an infestation shows up be diligent to continue to remove the pest and watch closely for any reoccurrence. Visual inspection of your plants on a regular basis is good preventative maintenance.
Be certain to buy plants from reputable suppliers who can help you with selection. Many times when plants are purchased from discount houses they may appear clean initially, but after only a few months infestations can develop if there are eggs or a slight presence of a pest. Discount houses typically purchase plants from nurseries who can sell at the lowest price. Cutting costs at the growing level leads to inferior pest control programs and other programs which affect the quality of the plant. So look closely and be careful when you purchase from any nursery or retailer.