Fertilizing Dracaena

In nature, tropical topsoil contains ample clay, silt, sand, humus, bacteria, worms, fungi, and moisture to support Dracaena’s growth. Houseplant Dracaena, however, has only a small pot of soil and slow-release fertilizer to sustain it. To keep your indoor plant happy, you will need to add nutrients throughout its lifetime on a regular schedule. Read on to learn how to fertilize your Dracaena properly.  


Why Fertilize Dracaena

This tropical plant needs essential macronutrients including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, commonly represented as N-P-K ratios on store-bought fertilizer packages. Nitrogen encourages foliage growth; phosphorus supports root growth and energy transport; and potassium supports water and nutrient movement from the roots to the leaves, and promotes blooming. Adding all three macronutrients to Dracaena’s soil will support its overall health. After Dracaena has depleted the soil of nutrients, you will need to refresh it. 

A proper feeding schedule is essential. Too many or too few chemicals delivered at the wrong time is counterproductive. Too much fertilizer may burn the plant. Too little fertilizer may stunt Dracaena’s growth. Only feed Dracaena when it is actively growing.

How Often To Fertilize Dracaena

Feed Dracaena, a typical light feeder, during the spring and summer months but not during the fall and winter when it’s dormant. Apply a liquid balanced (e.g. 2-2-2) fertilizer once a month. Dracaena can access the fertilizer’s nutrients faster if delivered in liquid versus solid form. 

How To Tell If Dracaena Needs Fertilizer

Dracaena will tell you if it needs fertilizer. If its green foliage begins to turn yellow, the issue is most likely a lack of nitrogen. Stunted growth and a reddish-blue color indicate Dracaena’s phosphorus tank is low. Stunted growth and wilted leaves are signs of potassium deficiency.  By feeding it a balanced, N-P-K- fertilizer, you will be resupplying all three of these macronutrients.


Best Fertilizer For Dracaena

Dracaena is not a heavy feeder, but fertilizing will support its health when grown in a container. Two excellent organic fertilizers are FoxFarm Grow Big - Liquid Concentrate (6-4-4) and Espoma Organic Indoor! (2-2-2) liquid fertilizer. FoxFarm suggests mixing 2-3 teaspoons of Grow Big per gallon of water, and Espoma recommends a ratio of two teaspoons of Indoor to one quart of water. Fertilize once or twice per month, saturating the substrate. 

A good alternative to these organic options is Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food. Miracle-Gro suggests applying it directly onto Dracaena’s soil and then watering. For pots less than 6 inches in diameter, use one pump of Indoor food and for pots greater than 6 inches, use two pumps. Miracle-Gro recommends doing this weekly throughout the growing season.

Dracaena Fertilizing Tips

Dracaena often benefits from monthly feedings during its growing season in the spring and summer months. FoxFarm Grow Big - Liquid Concentrate (6-4-4) and Espoma Organic Indoor! (2-2-2) liquid fertilizer are superb options to consider when searching for organic products.   

  • Houseplants require fertilizer to replenish nutrient-deficient soil.
  • Fertilize Dracaena once per month during its growing season.
  • Stunted growth, faded yellow or reddish-blue foliage, and wilted leaves may indicate a nutrient deficiency.
  • FoxFarm Grow Big - Liquid Concentrate (6-4-4) and Espoma Organic Indoor! (2-2-2) liquid fertilizer are two excellent organic choices to feed Dracaena, while Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food is a good non-organic option.


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers. 

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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 Author Suellen Barnes - Published 4-06-2023