Watering Dracaena

To encourage a house plant’s healthy growth, try to recreate its native habitat indoors. In the case of tropical Dracaena, this does not entail planting tall palm and baobab trees in the middle of your living room. Rather, match its tropical environment by providing Dracaena bright indirect sunlight, warm temperatures, high humidity, and acidic, well-draining soil.

In its native habitat, Dracaena typically receives high amounts of rain followed by periods of drought. Dracaena has evolved to handle both of these situations by exhibiting humidity tolerance and drought tolerance. For best results, provide Dracaena with high humidity between 60 to 80 percent and reasonably moist soil that’s never continuously oversaturated.


How To Tell If Dracaena Needs Water

Depending on the humidity, water Dracaena every one to two weeks when Dracaena’s top one to two inches of soil are dry. If not dry to your fingertips, waiting a day or two to do another moisture check is best. Since Dracaena is susceptible to root rot, oversaturating soil for extended periods is harmful to this plant’s health. 

Look for signs of dehydration such as yellow leaves, wrinkled/curled leaves, dead leaves, brown leaf tips, and stunted growth. Water a dry plant well and reduce the time between moisture checks. Do this until Dracaena is healthy again. Conversely, yellow, brown, and wilting leaves and soft, darkish roots and stems indicate overwatering. In this case, decrease the watering frequency and wait until a moisture check determines the top layer of soil is dry.


How To Water Dracaena

Like most people, Dracaena prefers to drink clean water without harmful chemicals. Fluoride in city water is a particular problem. To avoid fluoride toxicity, try watering with stored rainwater or distilled water. Regardless of the vintage, however, water Dracaena deeply. Choose between top watering and bottom watering. If salt removal is your goal, go with top watering, but if supporting root growth is your aim, bottom watering is the better option. When top watering, look for water running out through the drainage holes as a sign that Dracaena’s soil is sufficiently moist. Just remember to maintain optimum humidity levels, around 60 to 80 percent, to minimize water loss via the leaves.

Dracaena Watering Tips

  • Dracaena’s preferred drinks are distilled water and stored rainwater.
  • Only water when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil are dry, about every one to two weeks. 
  • Signs of too much water are yellow leaves, wrinkled/curled leaves, dead leaves, brown leaf tips, and/or stunted growth.
  • Signs of too little water are yellow, brown, and wilting leaves and soft darkish roots/stems/leaves.
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 Author Suellen Barnes - Published 4-6-2023