Dracaena Winter Care – Can You Grow A Dracaena In Winter


By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

Dracaena is a popular houseplant, treasured for its ability to brighten living spaces with little care or attention from the home grower. In addition to its use as a houseplant, various types of dracaena are often found at nurseries and garden centers. While many people choose to grow the plant outdoors as an annual, the plant can also be overwintered and enjoyed for many growing seasons to come, even by those living beyond the plant’s growing zone. Read on to learn more about keeping dracaena in winter.

Overwintering Dracaena Plants

Dracaena cold tolerance varies greatly depending upon which variety is being cultivated in the garden (most are zones 9 and above). While some do not tolerate frost or cold temperatures, other varieties may tolerate conditions in cooler USDA growing zones like zone 7-8.

Those growing dracaena as houseplants won’t require any special considerations when preparing for winter, but anyone having outdoor plantings will need to take necessary steps to help the plant survive upcoming cooler conditions. Growers living on the margins of the plants’ cold hardiness zone may be able to successfully overwinter the plants by providing a thorough mulching in fall; however, the best course of action is to dig the plants up and bring them indoors.

In the fall, as temperatures begin to cool, carefully dig around the dracaena plants. Leaving the root ball intact, transplant the dracaena into a large container. Bring the container indoors and place it in a warm location that receives indirect sunlight. Throughout the winter, the plant will need only occasional watering when soil becomes dry. Replant into the garden next season when all chance of frost has passed.

If plants have grown too large to transplant into pots or have become difficult to move, there is one additional option for the grower. Since dracaena plants are easily propagated, gardeners have the option of taking stem cuttings. Rooting stem cuttings in a new container will allow new dracaena plants to be easily taken indoors and overwintered until warm temperatures have arrived.

In addition to convenience, taking stem cuttings will allow the gardener to easily and cost effectively increase the number of plants he/she will have to plant into the garden the following growing season.

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Read more about Dracaena Plants


Why Does My Dracaena Have Brown Tips?

Dracaena houseplants of all different varieties are grown by indoor gardeners for their attractive form and foliage, and their tolerance of a wide range of growing conditions. Whilst generally trouble-free, if you’ve noticed your Dracaena getting brown tips, you are not alone.

Dracaena houseplants most commonly get brown tips due to watering problems, over-fertilizing, or low humidity. The brown tips are caused by the leaf tissue dying in response to a lack of water or toxicity. Brown tips will not recover, but good care will prevent brown tips on new foliage.


Once established, the dracaena is quite drought-tolerant, but it will thrive with at least a moderate amount of water. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soaked, watering once or twice a week during dry periods in the spring and summer. This plant does not require much fertilizer. Two applications of slow-release fertilizer, marked 10-10-10 or 8-8-8, in early spring and again in the summer will encourage just the right amount of growth.

As dracaena grows it gets tall and lanky, losing its leaves at the bottom of the plant. The resulting spindly trees with tufts of leaves on the top can look awkward and unbalanced. To make the tree more bushy, cut the tall canes down to the height at which you wish them to stand with pruning shears. Use sterilized pruning shears to prevent the spread of plant diseases. From the cut will sprout one or more new shoots that will grow leaves.


How to Care for a Dracaena

Last Updated: August 25, 2020 References

This article was co-authored by Chai Saechao. Chai Saechao is the Founder and Owner of Plant Therapy, an indoor-plant store founded in 2018 based in San Francisco, California. As a self-described plant doctor, he believes in the therapeutic power of plants, hoping to keep sharing his love of plants with anyone willing to listen and learn.

There are 21 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 11,955 times.

Dracaena plants are hardy houseplants with a lush, tropical appearance and strap-shaped leaves. They’re attractive, easy to maintain, and can tolerate low light conditions, which makes them popular indoor plants in homes and offices. Thriving dracaena plants can grow up to 10 feet (3.0 m) tall, but you can easily control their height with a bit of pruning. Be sure to repot your dracaena each spring to give it plenty of growing room!

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u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.

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u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.

Chai Saechao
Plant Specialist Expert Interview. 20 February 2019. Cold water will shock the plant, so make sure it's lukewarm. Root rot is a common problem for dracaenas, so take care not to over-water them. [7] X Research source

  • How much water you give your dracaena will depend on its size, the size of its container, and the soil medium you're using. Let the soil dry completely between each watering, and then give the dry soil a thorough soak. [8] X Trustworthy Source University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Division of the University of Georgia focused on research and community education Go to source
  • If you notice that the leaves have brown tips, you may be overwatering.
  • Yellow foliage typically indicates that your plant needs more water.

Tip: Dracaenas are sensitive to flouride, which is commonly found in tap water. Use distilled or bottled water for the best results. [9] X Trustworthy Source University of Vermont Department of Plant and Soil Science Plant and Soil Department at University of Vermont's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Go to source


Dracaena Spikes (Dracaena indivisa)

Features

Most commonly utilized as an annual for adding vertical interest to mixed plantings, or as an attractive houseplant. Varieties commonly available offer striped foliage in mixes of reds, greens, and white. Also known as Cordyline indivisa.

Wonderful for combination plantings. Perfect for all kinds of containers. Use as an accent or specimen in beds, planters and window boxes.

Plant Feed

Fertilize regularly for best display.

Watering

Basic Care Summary

Very easy to grow in virtually any location. Best in fertile, well-drained soil. Keep soil moist, watering freely in dry weather. Fertilize regularly for best display.

Planting Instructions

Prepare the garden by breaking up the existing soil (use a hoe, spade, or power tiller). Add organic matter such as manure, peat moss or garden compost until the soil is loose and easy to work. Organic ingredients improve drainage, add nutrients and encourage earthworms and other organisms that help keep soil healthy. Give plants an extra boost by adding a granulated starter fertilizer or a balanced all-purpose feed (for example fertilizers labeled 12-12-12).

Check the plant label for suggested spacing. Crowding plants can result in fewer blooms and weak growth as the plants compete for light. Exceptions to this might be regions with a short growing season, shade plantings which tend to grow slower and fill in less quickly, or a need to fill an area with color quickly such as for a special event or if planning to entertain guests outdoors.

Remove the plant from the container. If plants are in a pack, gently squeeze the outside of the individual plant cell while tipping container to the side. If plant doesn't loosen, continue pressing on the outside of the container while gently grasping the base of the plant and tugging carefully so as not to crush or break the stem until the plant is released. If the plant is in a pot, brace the base of the plant, tip it sideways and tap the outside of the pot to loosen. Rotate the container and continue to tap, loosening the soil until the plant pulls smoothly from the pot.

Dig the hole up to two times larger than the root ball and deep enough that the plant will be at the same level in the ground as the soil level in the container. Grasping the plant at the top of the root ball, use your finger to lightly rake the roots apart. This is especially important if the roots are dense and have filled up the container. Set the plant in the hole.

Push the soil gently around the roots filling in empty space around the root ball. Firm the soil down around the plant by hand, tamping with the flat side of a small trowel, or even by pressing down on the soil by foot. The soil covering the planting hole should be even with the surrounding soil, or up to one inch higher than the top of the root ball. New plantings should be watered daily for a couple of weeks to get them well established.

Vining annuals require vertical space to grow, so provide a trellis, fence, wall or other structure that allows the plant to grow freely and spread.

Watering Instructions

New plantings should be watered daily for a couple of weeks. After that, depending on the weather and soil type, watering can be adjusted to every two or three days. Clay soils hold moisture longer than sandy soils, so expect to water more frequently in sandy settings.

Different plants have different water needs. Some plants prefer staying on the dry side, others like to be consistently moist. Refer to the plant label to check a plant’s specific requirements.

Ideally water should only be applied to the root zone - an area roughly 6-12” (15-30cm) from the base of the plant, not the entire plant. A soaker hose is a great investment for keeping plants healthy and reducing water lost through evaporation. Hand watering using a watering wand with a sprinkler head attached is also a good way to control watering. If the garden area is large, and a sprinkler is necessary, try to water in the morning so that plant foliage has time to dry through the day. Moist foliage encourages disease and mold that can weaken or damage plants.

To check for soil moisture use your finger or a small trowel to dig in and examine the soil. If the first 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, it is time to water.

Fertilizing Instructions

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product with a nutritional balance designed to encourage blooming (such as 5-10-5).

Too much fertilizer can actually damage plants so it’s important to follow the package directions to determine how much, and how often, to feed plants.

Pruning Instructions

Prune plants freely to maintain the desired size and shape. Pinching plants back stimulates dense, bushy new growth and encourages more flowers.

Remove old flowers to keep plant looking healthy and prevent seed production that drains the plant’s energy at the expense of forming new flowers.

Some plants are grown only for their attractive foliage (such as coleus, dusty miller and flowering kale). Their flowers are not very showy and any buds should be pinched off to keep the foliage looking its best.


Watch the video: 13 Winter Houseplant Care Tips


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