Dracaena Colorama is an increasingly popular houseplant among beginners and experts alike. Because of its vibrant leaves, the plant is a superb way to brighten up your home while being rather low-maintenance at the same time.
In this care guide, our experts will offer their top tips and tricks for growing a stunning Dracaena Colorama.
What Is Dracaena Colorama?
Dracaena Colorama is a cultivar of the Dracaena marginata plant, also known as the Madagascar Dragon Tree. It is an evergreen perennial native to Madagascar, Mauritius, and Mozambique, commonly grown for its richly colored foliage.
The name “dracaena” comes from the Greek word “drakaina,” meaning “female dragon,” an allusion to the fact that some plants in this genus produce a red resin called dragon’s blood.
The Madagascar Dragon Tree lives up to its name and can easily grow as tall as 20 feet (6 meters) in its native habitat. When grown indoors, it usually reaches 4 feet (1.2 meters) in height, with a long, woody stem and a palm-like appearance. Dracaena Colorama leaves are thin and pointy, up to 10 inches (25 cm) in length, and covered in pale yellow and vivid pink strips.
Dracaena marginata comes in many varieties, each with its unique shape and coloring. Apart from the Colorama, other cultivars worth adding to your collection are Dracaena Tricolor, Magenta, and Tarzan.
– Does Dracaena Colorama Purify the Air?
Yes! According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Dracaena marginata Colorama can remove volatile pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from the air. So if you’re looking for a plant that helps purify the air in your home or office, this one is an excellent choice.
– Is Dracaena Colorama Toxic?
The ASPCA lists the Dracaena plant as toxic to cats and dogs. The leaves can cause stomach irritation, vomiting, and drooling when ingested. Make sure to keep your Dracaena Colorama away from pets and children.
Dracaena Colorama Care Guide
Dracaena Colorama is one of the most beginner-friendly potted houseplants. Let’s take a close look at the care essentials for this plant.
– Light Requirements
Keep your Dracaena Colorama in a spot that receives bright indirect light. This plant is used to receiving dappled sunlight in its native habitat. Too much sun exposure will scorch the foliage and cause wilting. However, too little light will result in a leggy stem and small, discolored leaves.
The ideal place for growing Dracaena Colorama indoors is in a room with eastern or western exposure, preferably 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) away from the window. By providing it with the right amount of sunlight, you will also ensure that the foliage maintains its vibrant coloring.
– Temperature Requirements
Dracaena Colorama can be grown at the average room temperature. As long as the temperature range is between 65 and 80 degrees F (18 to 27 C), the plant should be happy.
Dracaena Colorama’s temperature tolerance hits a low of around 60 F (15.5 C). If you want to plant it outdoors, you can do so in USDA zones 9 to 11. It is not frost-hardy and can lose all its leaves if you keep it outside in the cold for extended periods.
– Water Requirements
On average, Dracaena Colorama needs to be watered once a week from spring until mid-autumn. During the colder months, you can reduce the watering frequency to once every 10-14 days.
We recommend allowing the soil to slightly dry out in between waterings to a depth of around 2 inches (5 cm). Give the plant a good soak, just until the water starts dripping through the drainage holes at the bottom of the container.
Dracaena Colorama is very sensitive to fluoride in tap water, which can cause yellowing and crispy leaf tips. Once the foliage is damaged by fluoride, it will not recover. Keeping the water in an open container overnight will get rid of chlorine, but not fluoride. As a result, we recommend either distilled water or rainwater for this plant.
– Humidity Requirements
Dracaena plants are native to the tropics, and despite their spiky looks, they actually enjoy humidity. Our recommendation is to keep your Dracaena Colorama in a room where the humidity levels are around 50 percent. If the air moisture levels drop below 40 percent, you will notice that the leaves develop brown, crispy tips.
The easiest way to increase humidity around your Dracaena Colorama is by using a pebble tray. Alternatively, you can also give the plant a light misting once every one or two days.
– Soil Requirements
This plant is not too pretentious when it comes to soil. To keep your Dracaena Colorama happy, we recommend potting it in a potting mix that is well-draining, aerated, and rich in nutrients. Combining equal parts garden loam and peat moss should do the trick.
Dracaena Colorama does not like having wet feet, which can result in the plant developing root rot. If you notice that the soil is staying wet for too long, you can also add a bit of perlite or coarse sand to the mix.
– Fertilizer Requirements
Dracaena Colorama has low fertilizer requirements and should be able to take all the nutrients it needs from the soil. If you want to make it grow faster, you can give it a liquid fertilizer once a month, throughout spring and summer.
You can use a fertilizer that’s rich in nitrogen, with a nutrient ratio of 3-1-2. Dilute the fertilizer to one-half o one-third the strength and ensure that the soil is not dry before applying it.
Once every two months, we also encourage you to flush the soil of your Dracaena Colorama. Fertilizer salts and chemicals from the tap water can build up in the soil over time. Simply take your Dragon Plant to the shower and slowly run water through the soil for around 10 minutes.
– Pruning and Maintenance
Dracaena Colorama has moderate pruning needs. If you have a young Dracaena that only has leaves, the plant will spend the first 3 to 5 years of its life developing a stem. As it does, it will gradually shed its bottom leaves to reveal a bare, woody cane. We suggest letting the leaves fall off naturally rather than cutting them.
For mature Dracaena, we recommend pruning the top of the plant. This will help give it a bushy look, as well as keep it from growing too tall. Even when grown indoors, Dracaena Colorama can reach up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) in height. Use a sharp, sterilized blade, and remove ¼ or ⅓ of the main stem length. Keep the cuttings, as you can use them for propagating the plant.
– Repotting Dracaena Colorama
Dracaena Colorama has a slow growth rate. It usually takes up to 10 years for the plant to reach maturity. As a result, you only need to repot it once every two years. The recommended season to repot this plant is in spring or early summer. After repotting, we recommend that you don’t give the plant any additional fertilizers until the following year.
When repotting Dracaena Colorama, it’s also important to pick the right type of container. This plant enjoys being a bit root-bound, so avoid pots that are too big. A container that’s one size larger or 2 inches (5 cm) wider than the previous one is perfect.
Dracaena Colorama Propagation Guide
The easiest way to propagate Dracaena Colorama is through stem cuttings. We recommend using this method in spring and summer, during the plant’s growing season. If you are pruning your Dracaena, you can also use the cuttings to grow a new plant.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Use a sharp, sterilized blade. The blade should be sharp enough to make a straight, even cut. If the base of the cutting is torn or shredded, it’s likely to attract pathogens, which will result in rot.
- Cut 2 inches (5 cm) below the leaves. If your plant has several stems, you can safely cut all of them. The mother plant will develop dormant buds over the next couple of weeks, which will grow into new stems and leaves.
- Allow the cuttings to dry for an hour, away from direct sunlight.
- To minimize the chance of stem rot while propagating, we recommend rooting Dracaena cuttings in a very well-draining, porous mix. Fill a few containers with perlite or vermiculite, then place each cutting in a container.
- Lightly water the plants, and keep them in a warm room with plenty of bright indirect light.
- The cuttings should take three weeks to develop roots. Then, you can simply transplant them into the soil.
Common Pests and Problems
Here is a list of the most common problems you’ll come across when growing Dracaena Colorama indoors.
– Leggy Growth
Dracaena Colorama will naturally develop a long, bare stem over time. However, if you notice that your plant is growing very fast, with a leggy stem and very few leaves, this is most likely caused by insufficient light. Move your plant to a spot where it can receive bright indirect light. If your Dracaena has become leggy, the only way to fix it is through pruning.
– Yellowing Leaves
There are several reasons why your Dracaena Colorama has yellowing leaves. If the leaves are pale and drooping, with yellow spots in the middle of the leaves, that could indicate overwatering.
If the bottom leaves are starting to turn yellow, that is a sign of fluoride toxicity or too many fertilizer salts building up in the soil. Last but not least, yellowing leaves could also indicate a pest infestation.
Spider mites and mealybugs are the most common pests for Dracaena Colorama, especially if you’re growing the plant in low humidity. To get rid of these pests, spray the leaves with a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol once a week.
Dracaena Colorama adds a wonderful splash of color to any room, and, best of all, it’s pretty easy to grow!
Here’s a summary of the points we’ve covered in this article:
- Dracaena Colorama is a cultivar of the Dracaena marginata plant or the Madagascar Dragon Tree.
- It is very low-maintenance and can also be used to purify the air in your home.
- Keep this plant in bright indirect light, provide it with well-draining soil and avoid overwatering.
- Prune the top of the plant to keep it in shape and use the cuttings for propagation.
So if you’re looking for a plant that looks great and has the ability to purify the air in your home, Dracaena Colorama is a fantastic choice.
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