Dracaena - False Palm
Dracaena (Dracaena) - one of the most spectacular decorative deciduous plants. It has about 150 species, whose homeland is tropical and subtropical Africa and the islands of Southeast Asia. Recently, many connoisseurs of indoor plants have grown fond of dracaena. The species forms of this flowerpot significantly differ from each other in shape, color of leaves and flowers, which means that dracaena can “sound” very differently in the interior. How to care for dracaena at home, propagate, transplant and fight its diseases, we will tell in this article.
The Latin name of the genus is Dracaena, which means "female dragon." The word "dracaena", sometimes "dragon" or "dragon tree", is usually used as the Russian name for the genus.
- How to distinguish dracaena from cordilina
- Home Care Dracaena
- Dracaena transplant
- Dracaena propagation
- Diseases and Pests
How to distinguish dracaena from cordilina
Earlier in the botanical classification of Dracaena, as well as the genera Cordilina and Yucca belonged to the Agave family (Agavaceae), but after that a separate Dracene family (Dracaenaceae) The new classification (APG III) includes the genus Dracaena in the family Asparagus (Asparagaceae).
Some of the adult dracaena are mistakenly called palm trees, confused with yucca, often referred to as cordilina dracaena, and vice versa. Systematic scientists have long figured out the systematic position of dracen and cordilin. To avoid mistakes in the care of these plants, you need to be able to distinguish between dracaena and cordilina.
In decorative floriculture, dracaena and cordilin are distinguished by their roots. In dracaena, the roots are orange-yellow and smooth, and in cordilins, the rhizomes are white and thickened. The leaves of dracaena are sessile (that is, without cuttings), linear, leathery, with parallel veins. In some species of dracaena, the leaves are collected by a bunch at the top of the stem, in others they are located throughout the stem by whorls or a spiral.
Home Care Dracaena
Among dracaena there are many plants with variegated leaves. Such dracaena should be kept in bright light so that their leaves do not lose their pattern. Green-leaf dracaenes are located in a bright, but protected from direct sunlight.
Many consider the dracaena a shade-loving plant, but in fact in a dark place it will wither away. Good growth and development requires intense light. If there is enough light in the summer, then in winter the dracaena should be rearranged closer to the window, because in winter there is usually always not enough light.
Moderate, not lower than + 15 ° С, most dracenes prefer a cold wintering at a temperature of + 10- + 12 ° С.
The optimum summer temperature for dracaena is + 18- + 25 ° C. Hardy dracaena (dragon tree, fragrant dracaena, Hooker dracaena) feel good in the fresh air, in a place protected from drafts. These are plants of cold greenhouses; in winter, they calmly tolerate temperatures of + 12 ° C and even lower.
It is necessary to constantly maintain uniform humidity of the substrate in a pot with dracaena, but not to allow bogging. Drying an earthen coma is also undesirable. At low temperatures, it is necessary to reduce the watering of dracaena to a minimum, alternating it with a slight loosening of the soil. The air in the room should be moist and warm; when it gets very hot, you need to spray the plant once a day.
Frequent spraying of dracaena is a kind of prevention against the appearance of a spider mite. Periodically arrange a warm shower for the plant to rinse off the dust and refresh the plant, but it is imperative to close the ground with a plastic bag so as not to over-moisten it.
Dry brown leaf tips often appear in dracaena when kept in winter in rooms with central heating.
During the growth period from April to August, every two weeks, dracaenas are fed with special complex fertilizers for indoor plants. In autumn and winter, dracaena should be fed less frequently.
Dracaena can be transplanted in the spring every two years or, if it grows very quickly, every year. For transplantation of dracaena, a larger pot is taken, shards or pebbles are placed at the bottom as drainage, then a mixture based on earth or peat. Recommended earthen mixture: equal amounts of turf, leaf soil, humus, peat and sand. The roots of dracaena need space; a pot with a diameter of 15 cm is suitable for a 40-centimeter plant.
Dracaena is propagated by apical cuttings, layering, or pieces of stem rooted under a film in the soil at a temperature of 25 ° C. There are several ways to propagate:
1. Apical cuttings: The upper part of the old plant is cut off and rooting the apical stem using phytohormones and lower heating.
2. Layering: receive air layers from the apical part of the plant, which is then cut.
3. Stalk cut: parts of the stem 5-7 cm long are used as stem cuttings. Segments of the stem root under the film at a temperature of + 25 ° C. Breeding dracaena is not difficult, since the pieces of stems perfectly tolerate transportation and serve as planting material. More persistent are plants with green leaves. Dracaena with narrow hard xiphoid leaves require increased attention.
Diseases and Pests
With proper care, dracaena rarely get sick.
Dracaena can dry leaves when insufficiently watered, and light, dry spots appear when leaves burn in direct sunlight. In this case, you need to arrange watering and spraying and find a suitable place for the plant.
Of the pests, dracaena is most often affected by a scab (brown plaques on the underside of the leaf) or a spider mite (a small bug that lives on the bottom half of the leaf). The upper side of the affected leaf is covered with yellow spots, and a spider web appears between the leaves.
The scabbard is removed with soapy water, after which it is advisable to treat the plant with an insecticide, if the pest is severely affected, the treatment should be repeated weekly. Spider mites are controlled by spraying with acaricide. But it is worth repeating that with regular spraying and wiping the leaves with a wet cloth, pests of Dracaena are usually not affected.
I share my personal experience: we have dracaena somewhere around 5-6 years already. A completely unpretentious plant, now it has grown to an impressive size. No special care features - plentiful watering and transplanting at the right time! I must say, it grows very beautifully, like in the jungle!