How to Grow and Care for Dracaena


The popular houseplants known collectively as Dracaenas actually include several species within the Draceana genus, as well as some plants that are now categorized in entirely different genera. For example, the houseplant sometimes called "ti tree" is now officially labeled as Cordyline australis, even though it still sometimes sold as a dracaena.

Thus, when you purchase a Dracaena houseplant, you usually buying one of the species characterized by spear or grass-shaped leaves that extend off one or more thickened, cane-like main stems. There are also other Dracaena species that have grow from rhizome-like roots, but these are generally sold under other names.

Dracaena species vary widely in their size, but the species sold as houseplants typically have spear or grass-like leaves that often emerge off one or more stems that grow thick and cane-like with time.


Dracaena Care

They are not generally demanding plants and will usually do well in shadier conditions than many other plants can withstand. With all but Dracaena Draco, however, it is important to keep the soil evenly moist throughout the year—they should not be allowed to dry out—and they do not thrive in drafty, cold conditions. The most common cause of the collapse is generally too much water during the winter in combination with cold conditions. If the plant begins to show brown leaf margins, raise humidity by misting regularly.



They can withstand light shade, especially the Ti Trees or D. marginal. D. Draco can withstand full sun.


Rich, well-drained potting compost.


Water regularly; do not let dirt dry out. D. Draco, however, can withstand drier conditions in the winter.

Temperature and Humidity

Most Dracaena prefers warmer temperatures of 65ºF and higher. D. Draco is the sole exception, able to withstand temperatures down to 50ºF.


Feed weekly or biweekly during the summer, or use a slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of the season.