Last Updated on October 20, 2022 by Plant Mom Care
The perennial lemon lime dracaena plant is indigenous to tropical Africa and belongs to the Asparagaceae (asparagus) family. This low-maintenance plant is cultivated throughout America and Asia and can grow quite broad and more than 20 feet tall in its natural habitat. It can reach almost 5 – 7 feet indoors with no trouble but can also be grown smaller with regular pruning.
The sword-shaped leaves are 12 – 24 inches long with bright yellow and green stripes and are arranged like a rosette growing from a thick stem because of its bright colors it needs extra light than other dracaena varieties. Although it does produce white flowers in the wild, it rarely blooms as an indoor potted plant.
Lemon Lime Dracaena Light Requirements
This plant prefers plenty of indirect bright light to be able to maintain its bright vibrant colors but exposure to the direct sun must be avoided.
Excessive direct light might make leaf colors fade and also burn the leaves while insufficient light might make the leaves wrinkled and thin and produce leggy growth and leaf browning.
Although it can do well in low light, it’s better to grow it under moderate to bright light.
Lemon Lime Dracaena Watering
While this plant is generally drought-tolerant and does better than other plants with more demanding watering needs, it will grow well with low to moderate levels of watering.
Before giving the plant a drink, check the level of moisture in the soil to make sure it’s not moist just below the surface. Water only when half the soil dries up to avoid over-watering or under-watering as either of these will make the tips of the leaves brown.
Lemon Lime Dracaena Humidity
This plant likes high humidity levels but does well in average household humidity. If the air indoors is mostly dry, raise humidity levels with a humidifier or an improvised humidifier such as a tray of pebbles immersed in water or mist the plant.
Lemon Lime Dracaena Temperature
Considering its tropical origins, temperatures between 70 – 75°F will keep the plant healthy and thriving. It can also tolerate low temperatures around 53°F for short periods.
It can also grow outdoors in areas with hardiness zones 9 – 12.
Lemon Lime Dracaena Soil
It prefers soil rich with organic material that also is well-draining; a mix of potting soil, perlite, and compost will work well, providing nutrients and improving aeration and drainage.
As mentioned, over-watering can be a problem with this plant since root rot can easily set in water-logged conditions, proper drainage is essential.
Lemon Lime Dracaena Repotting
This plant likes to get root-bound so inspect the roots in spring or summer. Repot the plant into a slightly wider one if the roots have filled up the existing pot. Before repotting, water the plant thoroughly to reduce any transplant stress.
Make sure the new container has plenty of drainage holes and fill it halfway with suitable fresh soil. Carefully lift the plant out, remove any soil from the roots and insert it in the center of the new container. Fill the empty spaces with soil particularly around the roots, and gently use your hands to press the soil down.
Give the plant plenty of water until excess water drains out. Move it back to its previous growing area.
Lemon Lime Dracaena Propagation
This plant is generally propagated by stem cuttings. Take a 4 or 6-inch long cutting with at least one node and sprinkle the cut end with rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a pot of moist, well-draining soil, use a plastic bag to cover the pot to create a mini greenhouse effect for a few days.
Make sure you keep the soil lightly moistened until new roots develop on the new plant. This will take a couple of weeks and when new leaves emerge, the plant can be moved to a permanent location under indirect bright light.
Feed the plant 1 – 2 times monthly with a diluted balanced fertilizer in spring and summer after watering the plant. Stop feeding it in winter.
To keep the plant healthy, regularly wipe its leaves with a wet cloth to remove dust, keep the plant clean and help it photosynthesize efficiently. Avoid using any leaf-shine products on the leaves. This is also a good time to check for signs of pests or diseases.
While it doesn’t need heavy pruning other than removing any damaged or old leaves, you can control the size of the plant if it is outgrowing its space by pruning back new growth.
Rotate the plant occasionally to make sure every side gets sufficient light to promote healthy growth.
Lemon Lime Dracaena Common Problems
Look out for mealybugs and spider mites infestations that can harmfully damage the foliage. Keeping the leaves dust-free and clean helps prevent pest infestations. Spray the plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap to deter and eliminate these pests, repeating this after 2 weeks.
Fluoride toxicity will cause tan or dark brown discoloration in the yellow bands of the leaves. Fusarium leaf spot is another disease that can produce tan/reddish spots with wide borders of yellow on new foliar growth, both these problems will make the leaves look dull and make leaves brown.
Is Lemon Lime Dracaena easy to care for?
These plants need very little care as long as you water them properly and grow them under suitable temperatures and humidity. They are good plants to cultivate for both beginners and experienced gardeners. Even their size can be easily managed with judicious pruning.
Can I put my Lemon Lime Dracaena outside?
This is a tropical native and won’t tolerate frost. It can thrive in frost-free areas if you happen to live in zones 9 – 12 with temperatures above 53 °F or more.
How fast does my lemon lime plant grow?
This plant has a slow growth rate and averages about 6 inches a year. When properly cared for, it can grow to a maximum indoor height of about 6 feet with a width of almost 3 feet.
How long do Dracena plants live?
The life span of dracaena plants is not much more than 15 years; however, propagation will keep them alive indefinitely through their offspring.