Dracaena – a large genus of the agave plants, which combines 80 species of beautiful plants that are hardy, undemanding to growing conditions. These are trees or shrubs common in Africa and growing in tropical and subtropical forests, savannas, on mountain slopes. In most species, the leaves are leathery, stiff, linear or lanceolate, arranged spirally along the stem, and sometimes collected in bundles at the apex. It blooms in the 10-12th year, rarely. The flowers are small, white, pink, yellow, collected in racemes or panicles, sparsely decorated.
Dracaena are long-lived plants, some species are represented by specimens up to 5 thousand years old (on the island of Tenerife).
Dracaena – care at home
Lighting and temperature
Dracaena grows well at a temperature of 18-20 ° C, and Dracaena fragrans and Hooker can be grown in cool rooms. They are undemanding to light (including the mottled forms of Dracaena deremensis, in bright sunlight the leaves offen fade, lose brightness).
Watering and spraying
Dracaena is watered abundantly in spring and summer. In winter, watering is reduced, but do not allow to dry out the soil. Regularly sprayed. It should be remembered that dracaena can withstand light drying faster than excessive moisture, because the roots can rot. Dracaena is regularly sprayed at home.
Dracaena is fed every 2 weeks with highly diluted flower fertilizer for ornamental deciduous plants.
The soil mixture for dracaena is prepared from sod, leaf, humus and peat soil (2: 1: 1: 0.5).
Young dracaena plants are transplanted annually in the spring, adults – every 2-3 years. When planting the plants you must provide drainage.
Dracaena is propagated at home at any time of year by grafting stems (with or without leaves) 15-20 cm long each particle. Cuttings are planted in an upright position in a light mixture of peat with expanded clay, or sand with moss, or just in the sand at a temperature of 23 – 25 C. After 3 – 4 weeks, rooted cuttings are planted in pots with a diameter of 8 cm. Such plants are not very decorative, they serve for further grafting. Leafless stems can be propagated at any time. Cut particles (5 – 6 cm long) are placed in a greenhouse or box horizontally on the sand, pressing on 2 – 3 cm. Rooted cuttings are planted in pots (fully recessed part of the cut stem). Also cut the tops of shoots – they take root in sand or water. After 3-4 weeks, plant in pots in a mixture of peat, deciduous soil with the addition of sod and sand.
Diseases and pests
Draecena can be damage by spider mites, scale insects and nematodes.
Dracaena is one of the most powerful green filters. It is able to absorb through the leaves and roots toxic substances such as xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and neutralize them.