Dracaena Sunlight Requirements

Plants need light to live. Without sunlight, they would not be able to conduct photosynthesis and produce food. Native to tropical areas, Dracaena is no different. This herbaceous perennial tolerates low to bright indirect sunlight but prefers bright indirect sunlight. Variegated types of Dracaena, in particular, require bright indirect light to produce their vibrant colors. On the other hand, direct light can damage this evergreen’s leaves by causing sunburn.


Best Rooms To Grow Dracaena

What is the best spot to place this lovely plant in your house? The best choice is an east-facing window. To diminish the intensity of the morning sun, place the Dracaena three to five feet away from the window. Coming in second is a west-facing window. While receiving direct sunlight in the afternoon, these hours are offset by shade in the morning. Positioning Dracaena three to five feet away from a west-facing window will help prevent the afternoon sun from burning its leaves. North-facing windows receive too little bright sunlight, and south-facing windows receive too much, especially during the summertime. 

Remember to consider the type and amount of sunlight Dracaena receives when examining it for symptoms of poor health. Light can be a contributing factor to problems. Yellow leaves can be caused by too little light. Fading color can be due to too much light. Even if this perennial is sitting in the perfect spot, other issues could be at play. Is the window dirty? A dirty window can block a good portion of the sunlight. Has the lilac bush outside grown considerably over the past year and is blocking light through the window? Determining a spot with the right amount of light is a trial-and-error process. You have to keep making adjustments until Dracaena looks happy and healthy.

Providing Supplemental Sunlight To Dracaena

Like a detective, examine the clues to determine whether Dracaena is receiving adequate light. If Dracaena exhibits stunted growth, faded variegated leaves, or yellowing leaves, then adjust or redirect the available sunlight. If nothing is blocking the window outside; the window’s glass is clean; and no objects are blocking the light inside the room, you can try using mirrors to redirect the available sunlight closer to Dracaena. Another option is to supplement with artificial light. Full-spectrum T5 bulbs are a good option. These bulbs emit the colors of light Dracaena requires to flourish: red, blue, and green. Full-spectrum LED bulbs are another excellent choice.


Sunlight Needed For Growing Dracaena Outdoors

To give Dracaena some fresh air during the warmer months, begin transitioning this evergreen to the outdoors after the last frost date. Like indoors, the best outdoor location for Dracaena faces eastward in partial sun. Early morning sun followed by cooler afternoon shade is ideal. Transitioning your plant outdoors consists of gradually increasing both the number of hours and intensity of sunlight Dracaena receives. Begin with the very minimum sunlight exposure and increase it incrementally over a one-to-two-week period until reaching the maximum exposure it will receive when left outdoors. Making gradual changes is essential to preventing heat stress in Dracaena.

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 Author Suellen Barnes - Published 04-06-2023