The dragon tree (Dracaena) is an ornamental plant from the Asparagus family. There are about 50 species in the genus, native to South Africa, Asia and Australia. Some types of dracaena can reach a height of up to 3 meters. There is an opinion that dracaena, or as it is also called "dragon tree", acquired its unusual name because of the red sap, reminiscent of dragon's blood.
In indoor floriculture, dracaena has long taken its place of honor. Its uncomplicated appearance and resemblance to palm crops has made Dracaena a very popular living decoration for office and residential premises.
Dracaena, regardless of its variety, and there are a huge variety of them, a very unpretentious plant in terms of growing and care. The most popular type is dracaena marginata or bordered. Anyone, even the most inexperienced florist, can easily take care of her - you just need to follow a few simple rules.
Dracaena belongs to moisture-loving crops. Overdrying the top layer of the earthen coma will aggravate vital processes. Watering is resumed when the earth dries up a couple of centimeters. Roots develop well in a humid environment. However, in this case, you need not overdo it, otherwise, water will stagnate, which will lead to rotting of the roots. In the summer, the soil in the pot is moistened daily. In the winter months, the volume of water is reduced. It is advisable to loosen the soil regularly.
Dracaena feels great at moderate temperatures. In the summer, in the room where the flowerpot stands, the temperature should not exceed 25 degrees. For the winter months, indoor temperatures of up to 15 degrees are considered favorable. It is recommended to take flower pots to the balcony during the warm season. Drafts are dangerous to the culture. It is better not to leave a flower near open windows. In hot weather, the leaves should be sprayed and watered more frequently.
The lighting level for a flower depends on the variety. Most of the varieties grow steadily in rooms where there is a sufficient amount of sunlight. It is important that the sun does not harm the leaves. It is preferable to place the pots in the vicinity of window openings that are in the east or west direction. Varieties with dark foliage are adapted to live in dimly lit rooms, while variegated crops, on the contrary, will need intense lighting. With a lack of light, they begin to lose color. Dracaena normally tolerate artificial lighting.
Dracaena is a very unpretentious plant and does not impose special requirements on the composition of the soil. The only condition for successful cultivation is that the soil must be fertile. Note also that dracaena is very fond of "heavy" soil, so a mixture of rough turf soil with the addition of compost or even sand is ideal for it.
When the plant begins to grow vigorously, the soil is fertilized. Most species are actively growing from March to August. Top dressing is done twice a month. As soon as the growth of the shoots subsides, it is enough to feed the perennial once a month. Traditional complex fertilizers are suitable for dracaena. Variegated varieties need special mixtures. Top dressing is carried out not only with complex fertilizers, but also with various homemade tinctures, for example, nettle tincture has a very beneficial effect on the growth and development of dracaena.
The "dragon tree" is transplanted every 2-3 years in the spring. Please note that the roots of the plant are at the top of the soil, so drainage should be very good, and it is better to take a high pot. The process of transplanting a dracaena itself is absolutely the same as that of any other indoor plant.
Formative pruning is necessary to create an attractive plant. If you do not follow all the rules of care, then the dracaena can be pulled up. The solution to this problem is pruning the top of the plant. Trimmed stems and tops can be used for cutting and planting cuttings.
Diseases and pests
The main threat to the health of dracaena comes from the scale insects and thrips. When a tree is infected with a spider mite, a premature shedding of leaves is observed.
Often, a brown spot forms on the leaf blades, after which the leaf dries completely. The plant loses its vitality and begins to ache. The reasons for these problems are the presence of dry air in the room and lack of watering.
With excessively bright lighting, foliage runs the risk of getting burns, which appear as dark spots. To avoid overheating, it is recommended to shade the flowerpots from the scorching sunlight.