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Dracaena Massangeana Care – A Greenthumb Tutorial

Dracaena Massangeana Care – A Greenthumb Tutorial

The Dracaena Massangeana is also known as the Corn Plant or the happy plant because of the simple nature of this plant.

This plant is highly popular because of the freshness of its yellow and green leaves that bring a hint of nature into everyone’s homes and offices.

To grow this plant well, you simply need to provide it with bright indirect sunlight. But always keep it away from direct sunlight, as it can burn the leaves. Water the soil when the top becomes slightly dry; make sure to follow this rule strictly as overwatering can cause the tips of the leaves to turn brown. Create a homemade potting mixture for this plant using peat moss, vermiculite, and coarse sand. It will also appreciate warm temperatures ranging from 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (18-22 degrees Celsius).

This plant is known to filter out a large amount of toxic air inside homes and offices, which makes it one of the most beneficial house plants for lobbies and offices.

The Dracaena Massangeana belongs to the Asparagus family, Asparagaceae. This plant originates from tropical Africa and has USDA hardiness zones of 10 to 12.

This is a fascinating plant as it contains a secondary thickening meristem, which allows it to grow succulent, wide, and thick roots.

 

 

Basic Plant Care for Dracaena Massangeana

 

Soil

Dracaena Massangeana likes soil that is slightly acidic and drains well. The soil’s pH should range from 6.0 to 6.5 and no higher or lower than this. The soil is one of the biggest reasons why your Dracaena Massangeana will grow well, so it is important to get it right.

Use a peat-based potting mix that is formulated for tropical plants since it contains enough moisture. You can make your soil mix by adding:

Avoid using perlite in vermiculite’s place since it contains superphosphate that is bad for Dracaena Massangeana.

 

Water

The Dracaena Massangeana needs less water as compared to most house plants, but you need to keep it hydrated by occasionally misting it once or twice a week. Always keep the soil slightly moisturized and make sure it is well-draining.

After you water your Dracaena Massangeana thoroughly, make sure the soil becomes dry from the top before you water it next time. Overwatering your Dracaena plant can cause the roots to rot and the leaves to become yellow.

In the spring and summer season, the Dracaena Massangeana needs to be watered regularly while still having gaps between watering. Watering your plant after four to five days is more than enough.

During the winter season, you need to reduce the number of times you water your plant. You must only water your Dracaena Massangeana when at least one inch of the soil becomes dry and only water the soil enough to make it moist. Watering your plant two times in a month is enough in cold weather.

However, the number of times you water your plant during winters can vary depending on the amount of sunlight it receives. If you place it directly under the sunlight, then you will have to water it more frequently.

Dropping or yellowing of the leaves shows that you are over-watering your plant or proper drainage has not been provided. But, do not worry if the bottom of the leaves starts to turn yellow and fall; it is because your Dracaena Massangeana is shedding old leaves to grow new ones.

 

Light

To grow your Dracaena Massangeana well, you should keep it under indirect bright sunlight. Try using filtered indoor light, such as the one coming from a window curtain, or find a semi-shaded spot for your plant.

Never place your plant under direct sunlight, as the harsh rays can scorch the foliage.

 

Temperature

Dracaena Massangeana likes to be kept under temperatures of 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (18-22 degrees Celsius).

Generally, temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 degrees Celsius) is harmful to your plant.

 

Humidity

Dracaena Massangeana will survive under the natural humidity in a room since it is a house plant, but it would grow better under higher humidity levels, as it originates from tropical Africa. Keep the humidity range between 40 to 60 percent.

You can control the humidity levels by using a commercial humidifier or by placing a pebble tray next to the plant. When using a pebble tray, make sure that the water reaches just below the pebbles.

 

Fertilizer

Dracaena Massangeana likes fertilizers with a ratio of 3:1:2. You must apply this fertilizer every three months and only to the soil surrounding the plants. Fertilizers that contain too much superphosphate must be avoided.

During the winter season, you should stop fertilizing your plant as it is not in its growing season. Once October starts, do not fertilize your plant until April.

 

Repotting

Dracaena Massangeana needs to be repotted in a larger pot (2 inches larger) after every year or two, with fresh potting mix. When you repot your Dracaena Massangeana, you need to make sure you carefully lift your plant from the base and then put it in its new container.

Damages can occur to your plant when repotting, which is why it is important to be extremely careful with it. When you repot your Dracaena Massangeana, you need to:

  • Take a new pot, slightly larger than the previous one.
  • Create a new potting mix, so the water drains properly.
  • Make sure the new pot has proper drainage holes.
  • Add some of the potting mixture into the pot and save the other half for later.
  • Put your Dracaena Massangeana into the new pot.
  • Take the leftover potting mix and add it into the pot.
  • Slightly make the soil compact around the plant.
  • Water your plant so that it settles in the new soil.

 

Pruning

The lower leaves of your Dracaena Massangeana will start to turn yellow after two to three years. This is the natural lifespan of the plant, but this can be unsightly, which is why you would want to prune them off.

If the plant grows too large for you, then you simply need to cut the top parts of your plant because the new leaves will start to grow by the end of the growth period. To prune your Dracaena Massangeana properly, follow these steps:

  • Before starting to prune, sanitize all of your equipment. Clean your cutting tools with rubbing alcohol.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of any disease.
  • Pinch the stem from the tips before the growing period starts; this should be done during the spring season.
  • Only cut the stems once they are three to six inches long.

 

Propagation

Propagating your Dracaena Massangeana can be done through the stem cutting; simply follow these steps to propagate your plant:

  • Prepare the propagation tray or a new pot.
  • Use a peat moss-based soil mix. Do not use perlite in it.
  • Make sure that the propagation tray and the rest of the equipment are sanitized. Sanitizing your equipment will reduce the spread of diseases and fungus in your plant.
  • Cut a healthy stem from your plant and make sure it has at least three to four leaves on it.
  • Remove the excess leaves from the bottom of the stem.
  • Dip the cut end of the stem in a rooting hormone (this step is not necessary).
  • Create proper drainage in the propagation tray.
  • Put the step cutting in the soil and make the soil firm around it.
  • Place a covering on the tray by using a plastic bag.
  • Remove the plastic bag after every few hours to reduce humidity.

 

Blooms

This plant does not bloom very often. Some gardeners have experience panicles like blooms in outdoor locations.

 

Growth

The Dracaena Massangeana can be grown both indoors or outdoors, but the majority of people love growing it indoors. This plant can reach a height of 3 feet (0.9m), but it grows slowly. It can also spread about 1-2 ft. wide.

The leaves can grow up to 1 ft. in length. The glossy leaves are green in color with a yellow band in the middle.

Sometimes this plant produces variegated leaves that are dark green on the outer edges and apple green on the inside. These leaves have a unique appearance adding an exotic look to the corners of your house.

 

Common Problems for Dracaena Massangeana

 

Mealybugs

Mealybugs are one of the most notorious pests in the gardening world. These pests love growing in warm climates that have slight humidity. They have soft bodies but can be extremely hard to spot and get rid of because of their white bodies.

You can spot them mostly underneath the leaves of an infected plant. Another name given to mealybugs is crawlers. These pests are fast-moving, so once your plant is infected, it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible.

You can avoid their spread by taking rubbing alcohol and rubbing it all over the leaves of the infected plant; you can also use insecticides to get rid of mealybugs. Organic methods can also be used, such as neem oil.

 

Red Spider Mites

Red spider mites are extremely tiny pests that are almost invisible to the human eye. However, you would spot some issues with your plant once these pests have multiplied into a hundred more. You can often find these pests on plants such as Dracaena Massangeana because they have all the optimum conditions for the growth of red spider mites.

Spider mites thrive in high temperatures, which is why when you notice that your plant has become dusty, it means it has been infected with red spider mites. They multiply easily since the female spider mite can lay up to 100 eggs within two weeks; this is why taking action fast is important.

If your plant has become infected with these pests, then you will notice white dots underneath the leaves of your plant. It is important to move your infected plant away from your healthy ones because they spread fast.

To treat your infected plant, you must spray insecticide under the leaves and on top of them so that the growth of the spider mites reduces. Then spray your plant with high-pressure water to remove all of the spider mites stuck to it. You can also apply neem oil or insecticidal soap.

 

Scale Insects

There are two types of scales that can affect your plants, one is soft scaled, and the other is the armored scale. The soft scale insects have a wax coating on them, which makes it easier to get rid of them compared to the armored scales.

Armored scaled cannot be killed since they have a hard shell on their bodies that protects them from predators. The hard shell also prevents them from getting killed when insecticides are sprayed on them.

You can prevent the spread of scale insects by pruning your plant or by rubbing alcohol on the leaves. You can also use high-pressure water to spray the scales off of the leaves.

 

Thrips

Thrips have the ability to fly from one plant to another. These pests like to stay in large groups and only feed off of one plant until it dies. Once they are done feeding one plant, they move on to the next nearest plant. So if one of your plants gets infected, then all of your plants will get infected.

To check your plant for infection, you need to shake your plant. If your plant is infected, then you will see the thrips flying around in the air.

Adult thrips, as well as baby thrips, like plants with blossoms on them; however, they are also attracted to light-colored leaves such as those present on Dracaena Massangeana.

In order to get rid of thrips, you need to remove every single of them individually from your plant. You can also spray your plant with insecticide sprays, but it will not be as effective as hand removing them or shaking them off.

 

Fluoride Toxicity

Fluoride toxicity occurs when your Dracaena Massangeana had been fed too much fluoride. This can happen if you use tap water, high phosphate fertilizer, or perlite-based soil mix for your plant.

To avoid fluoride toxicity, do not use fluoridated water, high phosphate fertilizer, or low pH soil. High calcium levels or rooting medium in the soil can help tie with the fluoride and cause fewer injuries to your plant.

 

Tips for Growing Dracaena Massangeana

Growing any plant can be a difficult task sometimes, but if you take control of just a few things, then almost any plant would flourish. Here are some tips you can follow to grow a healthy Dracaena Massangeana:

  • Keep it under minimum temperatures ranging from 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 degrees Celsius) and maximum temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius).
  • Maintain normal room humidity, but if possible, keep their humidity range between 40 to 60 percent.
  • Fertilize your Dracaena Massangeana only during the summer season.
  • Do not mist your Dracaena Massangeana in the winters, and only mist your plant once or twice a week in the summers.
  • Make sure your soil mix is well-draining soil that does not contain perlite. Keep the soil mixture sphagnum peat moss with vermiculite and coarse sand.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Dracaena Massangeana

 

Why is my Dracaena Massangeana growing slowly?

The Dracaena Massangeana is a slow-growing plant, which is why you need to be a bit patient with it.

 

Does Dracaena Massangeana like humidity?

Natural room humidity is the best option for growing Dracaena Massangeana, but try to keep the humidity levels around 40 to 60 percent.

 

How do I save my dying Dracaena Massangeana?

You will have to get rid of the old soil, then prune the dead parts and let the plant sit in bare soil for a day. Repot your plant in a slightly larger pot than the roots, and make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom.

 

Can I use regular tap water for my Dracaena Massangeana?

Dracaena Massangeana is sensitive to fluoride, which is found in tap waters, so you will have to use purified water when watering your plant. Yellow edges indicate fluoride toxicity, so when you notice these symptoms, try changing your soil, fertilizer, or water source.

 

Should I mist my Dracaena Massangeana?

Dracaena Massangeana likes to be misted only once or twice per week, so you should avoid misting them too often.

 

Why are the leaves of my Dracaena Massangeana turning yellow?

Your potting mixture may be the issue as proper draining soil is one of the most important things to look into when taking care of Dracaena Massangeana. Too much moisture in the soil can kill your Dracaena Massangeana, so try changing the soil mix.

 

Conclusion

This colorful succulent is one of the oldest choices for indoor plants. The long leaves that are green in color with slight yellow stripes have the traditional look of Dragon plants. All it really needs is well-draining soil and occasional water to survive.

You could keep it at the entrance door or in the corner of the room, but it would instantly grab anyone’s attention because of how large the plant looks once it has grown.

It is never easy to take care of any plant, something can always go wrong, but there are always solutions available for any issue.

The same applies to Dracaena Massangeana; this plant may not be the simplest plant to grow, but it certainly isn’t the hardest to grow either.

Dracaena Plant Care - Best Kept Secrets! | Plantophiles

Monday 4th of January 2021

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