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Garden Topics: Tropicals & Houseplants


Dracaena Fragrans & Dracaena Reflexa

Dracaena HousplantWhy you may want to grow it: Dracaenas are a group of houseplants you just can't go wrong with. Why? They're among the easiest and most common indoor plants around. Young plants are small and bushy, making them perfect residents of desks and tabletops. Older dracaenas develop woody stems and can become tree like. In fact, after years and years, many healthy dracaenas can reach 5 or 6 feet tall. They're ideal for adding a bold splash of texture to your indoor decor.

Add interest by selecting varieties variegated with contrasting colors. Striped-type dracaena offers just that: Beautiful leaves that look good by themselves or in combination with other plants. When they're young, they form low mounds that look a bit like stars; as they grow, they pick up some height, eventually becoming tree-like (though it takes a while in your average living room).

How to care for it: You can grow most dracaenas in normal household conditions; they tolerate low light, but thrive in medium and bright spots. Water dracaenas when the soil surface gets dry; that's often about once a week or so, but can vary depending on the season, size of your plant, the size of its pot, the amount of light it gets, and other factors. House plants use much less water during the winter months.

Most dracaenas really don't require much fertilizer --- only once or twice a year to keep them healthy. But if you want more growth, you can fertilize more frequently. Use a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer such as Maxsea or Bonide Liquid Plant Food, and follow the directions on the packaging.

If your dracaena gets too tall and lanky, you can prune the top off. Most types will resprout and become bushier. If your dracaena has brown leaf tips, try boosting the humidity --- dry air (or soil that stays dry too long) can cause the leaves to develop this problem.

Health benefits: Dracaena has been shown by the NASA Clean Air Study to help remove indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.   

For More Information Check Out Wikipedia:  Dracaena



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