How to grow the Dracena
Dracaena is a genus of monocotyledonous plants of the Agavaceae family originating in the tropical areas of Africa and America that can be grown in an apartment. In this practical guide we will see how to grow Dracena. There are many species of Dracena, and among the most cultivated in the apartment we mention:
- marginata, from the striped leaves of red yellow and green;
- fragrans (synonym Deremensis) commonly called Tronchetto of Happiness, with wide leaves of green color, there are many variegated varieties, with streaks;
- braunii, with oval foliage with green and white stripes;
- draco, presents on the apical part of the stem tufts of leaves narrow and long, of dark green color from which at one time the “blood of dragon” was extracted used for the preparation of paints used for stringed musical instruments.
All the varieties of dracena, mostly with a shrub-like development, have robust collated root systems, erect trunks of light brown color, with tufts of elongated leaves whose color ranges from light green to lawn green.
For the cultivation of the dracena it is necessary to choose bright places but sheltered from the direct rays of the sun and from the air currents. The soil must be soft with a good amount of peat and well drained. The plants should be irrigated regularly from the vegetative growth until autumn and little during the winter period when it is necessary to keep the soil just wet. Remember to check if the saucer is full of water; in this case it must be emptied. For fertilization, a liquid fertilizer for houseplants should be administered once a month; alternatively, every three months, distribute the slow-release granular fertilizer at the base of the plant. Profit is the integration with coffee funds.
As for the propagation, the dracena can be reproduced by cuttings during the spring period. In this case the apical cuttings taken with sharp and disinfected shears must be taken. These cuttings (about 10 cm long), to which the dried leaves are removed, must first be treated with a rooting hormone that you can prepare yourself and then buried in a small pot containing peat and sand based soil. It is good practice to wrap the pot with transparent plastic in order to guarantee the right degree of humidity in order to reach a temperature of 20-24 ° C; then during the hottest hours the casing should be opened to avoid condensation. When the new leaflets finally appear, it means that the dracena cutting has rooted so that the plastic wrapping can be removed and transplanted.
As for repotting it is advisable to do it every 2 years approximately in spring using progressively larger containers and taking care not to mistreat the roots. It is good practice to carry out periodic leaf nebulisations if the environment is too dry. From time to time, washing the leaves with a damp cloth also allows cleaning with acres or cochineals. Among the adversities of the dracena we remember the cochineals, the mites and the rottenness that occur if you have not drained your vessel well. Among the most interesting properties of the dracena we remember the ability to control the humidity of the environments and thanks to the production of oxygen and the removal of benzene, toluene and xylene that is produced with cigarettes, is a good plant for the purification of air.
A warning about its toxicity: especially for many species of domestic animals and horses.