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Look no further than the Dracaena Massangeana if you’re in search of a tropical shrub of the Asparagaceae family that can grow in your garden, your home, and even an office. Its variegated foliage will give any space an exotic vibe that’s difficult to ignore.
Did we mention that it also helps purify the air in your home and attract hummingbirds to your garden?
Dracaena Massangeana is an unpretentious, easy-to-grow houseplant. It can live for decades, and with our expert tips and tricks, you will be sure to have a healthy, thriving Dracaena genus plant.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- What Is a Dracaena Massangeana?
- Dracaena Massangeana Care
- Pruning and Maintenance
What Is a Dracaena Massangeana?
Dracaena Massangeana is a low-maintenance houseplant with a tall growth habit, combining the looks of a shrub and a palm tree. A cultivar of Dracaena Fragrans and known as “Mass Cane” plant or corn plant, the plant grows up to 50 feet in the tropical regions of Africa.
Dracaena Massangeana Care
Dracaena Massangeana is a beginner-friendly plant that will also tolerate a bit of neglect. Let’s take a closer look at how to care for Dracaena Massangeana both indoors as well as in your garden:
When it comes to Dracaena Massangeana watering, the plant has moderate needs. It can tolerate a mild drought, both indoors and outdoors, but can be very sensitive to overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out to a depth of two inches (five centimeters), then water your plant using the soak and drain method.
If your Dracaena Massangeana is growing in very hot and dry conditions, you will need to water it more frequently, especially if you’re growing it outdoors. In indoor cultivation, the amount of light the plant receives will dictate how much water it needs.
A plant grown in partial shade will need less frequent watering than one growing in bright indirect light. To avoid any problems with overwatering, always use your finger to test whether the top two inches of the soil have dried out before giving the plant more water.
Dracaena Massangeana is very sensitive to fluoride, which is a common chemical found in tap water. If you notice that the tips of the leaves are developing brown, crispy tips with a yellow outline, that’s a sign that the water you’re using is too harsh.
Our recommendation is to use reverse osmosis water or distilled water. Rainwater also works, or if you have an aquarium, you can use water from it.
Dracaena Massangeana can tolerate growing in a wide range of light conditions. You can keep it in a darker room, where it receives partial shade, although you will notice that the plant grows at a slower rate.
For best results, we recommend giving it bright indirect light. Avoid direct sun exposure, as this will cause scorch marks on the foliage and faded colors.
A room with eastern exposure would be perfect for the Dracaena Fragrans Massangeana. Keep the pot about two feet away from the window. Don’t worry if the plant gets some direct sun in such a room.
The early morning sun is mild enough to not burn the foliage, and a couple of hours of direct exposure won’t harm the plant. In fact, it can even promote lush, fast growth.
In a room with southern or western exposure, we recommend keeping your Dracaena Massangeana closer to the wall, away from any direct sun. These rooms experience harsher sunlight conditions throughout the day, and your plant will get burnt foliage marks as a result.
A room with northern exposure also works, but in this case, we recommend placing your plant as close as possible to the window.
We recommend using a soil mix for Dracaena Massangeana that is loose, well-draining, moist, and rich in nutrients. This plant is very sensitive to having its roots sit in water, which will cause root rot.
On the other hand, a soil mix that dries too fast will also be harmful to the roots. Although this dracaena can tolerate a mild drought, prolonged and repeated exposure to low soil moisture will cause wilting and even permanent root damage.
When growing Dracaena Massangeana indoors, you can make a simple potting mix by combining two parts of peat-based soil and one part perlite. You can also substitute perlite for pumice and add a bit of horticultural sand. This mix provides good drainage and also doesn’t dry out too fast.
For outdoor cultivation, Dracaena Massangeana grows best in loamy, well-draining soils. If your garden has heavy clay soils, the roots will stay wet for too long, and the plant’s health will suffer. We recommend using amendments to improve drainage, such as coarse sand and silt. A touch of humus or compost will also give the plant a nutrient boost.
We recommend growing Dracaena Massangeana indoors in a temperature range between 70 and 75 F (21 to 24 C). Avoid exposure to temperatures below 59 F (15 C) for extended periods. The plant is not frost tolerant.
Any exposure to freezing temperatures can result in permanent damage to the roots, and your plant may not recover from the shock.
You can grow Dracaena Massangeana outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12. In outdoor cultivation, this plant is often used to form hedges but can also work as a colorful statement piece in a xeriscape garden.
Our recommendation is to grow it in a part of your garden that’s sheltered from direct sun, whether by a building or other trees. The outdoor sunlight conditions are much more intense than in your home, and the foliage of your dracaena will burn and fade very easily.
Dracaena Massangeana prefers a humidity level of at least 40 percent, slightly higher than the average found in most homes. We recommend aiming for 50 to 60 percent, which will stimulate healthy leaf growth.
One sign that the air in your home is too dry for this dracaena is dried leaf edges. To prevent that, the easiest solution is placing it on a pebble tray half-filled with water, and evaporation will help increase the air moisture around the plant.
When growing Dracaena Massangeana in your garden, you can also add mulch to the base of the plant to help retain moisture in the soil.
Should you mist your Dracaena Massangeana? This plant does enjoy being misted; however, misting alone is not a reliable long-term solution to increase humidity. Also, if your home does not have good air circulation, it can help spread pathogens that cause leaf spots. Our recommendation is to combine daily misting with a pebble tray to meet the plant’s humidity needs.
Dracaena Massangeana needs plenty of nutrients for healthy growth. Once a month, from early spring until mid-autumn, we recommend giving it a fertilizer that’s rich in nitrogen. A nutrient ratio of 3:1:2 is ideal for this plant.
To prevent any fertilizer burn or fertilizer salts building up in the soil, dilute the fertilizer to half the strength recommended on the label.
Dracaena Massangeana growing outdoors performs better if you use organic fertilizers that have been incorporated directly into the soil. Once a year, preferably in spring, apply a thin compost layer to the base of the plant.
Pruning and Maintenance
Dracaena Massangeana doesn’t typically require pruning when young. After one or two years, the older leaves from the bottom will start to turn yellow and fall off, which is how the plant’s palm-like stem is formed. To keep the plant looking tidy, you can use a pair of sharp, sterilized scissors to trim the yellowing leaves.
Once your Dracaena Massangeana develops a stem that’s at least one foot (30 centimeters) tall, it is worth thinking about pruning it back. If left to do their own thing, dracaena plants can grow a bare stem several feet tall, with a cluster of leaves at the top.
Some indoor gardeners enjoy this look, so it really is up to you if you want to trim it back or not.
If you want your Dracaena Massangeana to have a fuller, bushy look, you will need to give it a top cutting. Take a very sharp, sterilized blade and cut the top of the plant, about two inches (five centimeters) below the last leaves.
You can use this top section for propagation. Keep the remaining stump in its pot, even if it doesn’t have any leaves. Over the next couple of months, the stem will produce new clusters of leaves. In the meantime, water the stump moderately and give it bright indirect light to stimulate new stem growth.
Dracaena Massangeana has a slow to moderate growth rate and only needs to be repotted once every two to three years. You can tell if your dracaena needs a bigger pot when the roots start coming out of the drainage holes.
The ideal time for repotting Dracaena Massangeana is in spring or early summer. Once the plant has outgrown its current pot, we recommend repotting it to a container that’s one size or two inches (five centimeters) wider than the old one.
When it comes to containers, clay, ceramic, or terracotta are the best materials for Dracaena Massangeana. They help wick out excess moisture from the soil and allow the roots to receive plenty of air circulation.
Dracaena can also become top-heavy as it grows, and the weight of a clay or terracotta pot will help stabilize the plant and prevent it from falling over.
The best way to propagate Dracaena Fragrans Massangeana is through stem cuttings. You can either use green stems growing from the side of the plant or top stem cuttings if you’re planning to make your plant bushier. This propagation method is best used in spring or early summer.
Dracaena Massangeana stem cuttings can be rooted in either soil or water. Soil propagation is usually slower and poses the risk of stem rot, which is fatal for the cutting. For best results, we recommend propagating the cuttings in water. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Take a very sharp blade and sterilize it using rubbing alcohol.
- For green stems, cut them as close as you can to the main stem. Then cut some of the bottom leaves until you’re left with a bare stem section about an inch long.
- For top cuttings, cut the stem about two inches below the oldest leaves.
- Keep the cuttings in a cool, dry room for a couple of days until the bottom of the cutting has developed a callus.
- Once your cuttings are callused, place them in a jar or cup with room temperature water. Keep the jar in a bright, warm room but away from any direct sunlight. Remember to change the water once every five to seven days.
- If you want to speed up the process, you can also apply a rooting hormone to the base of the cuttings. However, this isn’t necessary, as dracaena cuttings will root very fast on their own, especially in water.
- After a couple of weeks, your cuttings will start to develop roots. Wait until the roots are at least two inches (five centimeters) long, then transplant them in a well-draining potting mix.
Dracaena Massangeana is a tough and resilient plant.
Although it rarely suffers from pests and diseases, here are a few things we recommend keeping an eye out for.
– Brown, Crispy Leaf Tips
Dracaena Massangeana is sensitive to the harsh minerals in tap water, especially fluoride, which will cause the tips of the leaves to turn brown and crispy. Although fluoride won’t kill your dracaena, it will damage its looks, which is why we recommend that you avoid using tap water if possible. Instead, you can use the distilled type, rainwater, or water from your aquarium.
– Brown Leaves
The leaves of your Dracaena Massangeana will turn brown if you give it too much or too little water. Keep a consistent watering schedule, and allow the soil to dry to a depth of two inches before giving the plant more water.
– Mealybugs and Spider Mites
If your Dracaena Massangeana is growing in a very dry environment, it can become susceptible to spider mites and mealybugs infestations. Once you spot these pests, wipe the leaves with a solution of four parts water and one part of isopropyl alcohol. Then, use the solution to spray the plant once a week for a month.
– Is Dracaena Massangeana an Indoor Plant?
Yes. Dracaena Fragrans Massangeana can be grown as both an indoor and outdoor plant. When grown indoors, the plant will produce upright cane-like stems, which reach a height of around five feet (1.5 meters).
Its tolerance to lower light conditions also makes this plant an excellent choice for offices or spaces that use artificial light.
– Is Dracaena Massangeana Toxic?
Yes. Dracaena Massangeana leaves contain saponins, which are toxic to cats and dogs if ingested. Our recommendation is to keep this plant out of reach of pets and kids.
– Does Dracaena Massangeana Flower?
Yes. Dracaena will bloom in the right growing conditions, producing clusters of small, white, or pinkish flowers with a pleasant scent. If you’re growing this plant in your garden, you will discover that it is also very popular with hummingbirds.
– Does Dracaena Massangeana Purify the Air?
Yes. Dracaena Fragrans was included in NASA’s Clean Air Study and was found to remove harmful chemicals from the air, such as formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
Growing Dracaena Massangeana is a good fit for beginners and expert gardeners. Here’s our quick recap of how to keep this plant happy and healthy:
- Dracaena Fragrans Massangeana is a tropical shrub native to Africa and can be grown both as a houseplant and in your garden.
- It has a slow growth rate but will eventually reach a height of over five feet.
- This plant can tolerate various conditions but will grow best in bright indirect light, moderate humidity, and well-draining, nutrient-rich soils.
- To keep the plant in shape and prevent it from growing too tall, you will need to give it a top cut once every few years.
- The easiest way to propagate dracaena is through stem cuttings, preferably in spring or summer.
- Dracaena Massangeana is tolerant to most pests and diseases but is sensitive to fluoride in tap water, poor-draining soils, and the occasional spider mite or mealybug infestation.
That wraps up everything you need to know about growing Dracaena Massangeana in your home or garden. Now that you know how to care for this plant, get ready to enjoy it for many decades to come.