Last Updated on August 31, 2022 by Plant Mom Care
Dracaena Deremensis or Hawaiian Sunshine Dracaena is a cultivar that was created from the Dracaena Lisa cultivar.
This plant has dark green leaves that face downwards facing leaves with yellow-green variegation that grow on top of long stems. It grows to around 5 feet high and 30 inches wide.
It is distinguished by its strong colors and resilience as an indoor plant, needing low maintenance, and is very adaptable to varying growing conditions.
Dracaena Light Requirements
This plant grows well in partial shade while it prefers at least 2-3 hours of indirect bright sunlight every day, it can tolerate low lighting conditions.
Generally, it requires moderate watering during its growing period from March-August and less watering in winter, you can allow the soil to dry out a bit before watering it again, and is forgiving if you miss watering it one or two times.
However, do not over-water the plant, as soggy soil can cause root rot. Ideally, it should be watered around the root zone – an area about 6-12 inches from the plant’s base. Don’t get the leaves wet as this encourages mold and disease.
Typically, water it once every 2-3 days, depending on growing conditions and the type of soil it’s growing in. Clay-like soils retain moisture much longer than sandy soil, so it needs more frequent watering if it grows in sandy soil.
This plant enjoys humidity, although it can handle arid conditions as well. You can lightly spray the leaves on occasion to remove dust and pests from the leaves, ensuring you dry the leaves afterward.
This plant does well in temperature ranges between 60-80°F. However, since it is a tropical plant, it doesn’t do well in low temperatures below 50°F.
This plant can tolerate any type of soil as long as it drains well. Regular potting mixes, amended with rich organic material, will allow the plant to thrive and grow healthy.
This plant should be repotted once in two years into a larger pot to stimulate growth. Tip the container on its side to ease the plant out. If the soil is too compacted, gently grasp the base and tug carefully without breaking the stem.
Holding the plant, lightly rake the root ball with your finger to free it apart from the roots if the roots are compact. Trim any dead roots away and place the plant in the new container. Pour in fresh soil to fill in the empty spaces and push the soil down evenly.
There are three methods to propagate this plant – cutting off the top of the plant, stem cuttings, and air layering.
Cutting the top of the plant
Cut it just below the leaves including at least 1-2 nodes as roots will grow from these nodes then, you can either plant the cutting in soil or place it in a container of fresh water.
Place the container in a warm spot and wait. New growth and roots will appear quickly during the warm months and might take a little bit longer during winter.
Transplant the water-propagated cutting into the soil once the roots reach about 1 inch long, or simply let it grow in water.
Don’t worry about propagating your plant this way – new leaves will soon start sprouting from the bare stem and the plant will grow as good as ever.
Propagating from stem cuttings
Similar to the previous method, you can top the plant and propagate as mentioned, you can also cut many sections of the stem, each around 8 inches and containing a few nodes.
Place these stem cuttings in water or soil. Be patient, as this takes a bit longer than the previous method. Roots should appear along with the nodes at the bottom, while nodes on top will start producing new shoots.
Propagating by air layering
This plant is a great candidate for using a propagation technique called air layering. This essentially involves taking a cutting but tricking the plant into forming a root system before cutting the stem away from the main plant.
For this method, you’ll need a knife, plastic wrap, and some moss or coconut coir/dust. Select a place on the stem that marks how long you want the new plant to be.
After sterilizing the knife with alcohol, carefully abrade the bark in a circle around the stem of the plant. The exposed area should be about half-inch wide, basically a wound on the stem.
Wet the moss and cover the wounded area, then cover the moss with the plastic wrap and tie off both ends. This will induce the plant to produce roots around the wounded area.
Once the new roots form in the moss, the plastic can be removed. Cut the stem below the rooted area and plant your new plant into fresh soil.
As mentioned above, the bare stem will start producing new leaves and shoots, generally producing several ‘heads’ than before.
Fertilizers are generally not required for this plant since it doesn’t need feeding to thrive. Feed it once or twice in the year with a diluted fertilizer or simply add a few inches of organic compost during the growing period in spring and summer.
It shouldn’t be fed too much as it will suffer damage from over-fertilization.
This plant can be freely pruned to maintain the desired shape or size. Pinching new buds stimulates bushier new growth. Remove old leaves to keep the plant looking healthy.
Dracaena Common Problems
This plant is susceptible to pests like mites, mealybugs, and thrips. Mites are generally more active in drier conditions, so keep the plant well irrigated, particularly during summer.
Pests can often be dislodged by direct sprays of water although leaves might have to be cut off and destroyed with heavy infestations. Use an organic or regular pesticide to treat the plant.
The mineral buildup of salts and over-fertilization can make the tips of leaves brown. Flush away the buildup under a tap or with distilled water.
If the leaves start changing color to brown or yellow, it’s likely due to either under-or over-watering.
Sometimes you might notice dry leaves falling from the plants – this is normal because the leaves are old. If this happens to leaves at the top of the plant, then it could be due to pests. Inspect the plant for any pests, particularly under the leaves.
This plant is sensitive to chemicals like fluoride and will develop brittle or scorched leaves. If the tap water in your area has high levels of fluoride, collect and use rainwater or distilled water.
If the base of leaves develops yellow or brown spots, then you must take care not to splash the leaves with water. While this plant rarely develops diseases, over-watering can cause root rot.
Too much exposure to light will cause spots or brown edges on leaves. Curly leaves suggest that the plant hasn’t been watered for a while.