Lemon Lime Dracaena is a bright, zippy houseplant that cleans the air indoors. The bright green, white and dark green variegated leaves are broad and arc slightly, creating a very graceful form. Dracaenas do well in fluorescent to bright, indirect light to maintain their striking colors. They do well in offices or living rooms away from windows or natural light. They help to clean the air of indoor toxins, such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. Dracaena prefer to dry out somewhat between watering. Their tolerance of a wide range of conditions makes them an excellent choice for first time houseplant owners.
Growing Zone: 9-11
Mature Height: 7′ – 8′
Mature Width: 3′
Classification: Colorful Foliage
Sunlight: Fluorescent to bright, direct light
Flower Color: Unlikely to flower indoors, white sticky flower
Soil Condition: Regular potting mix
Water Require: Likes to dry out occasionally
Uses: Best in vertical spaces, like corners or hallways
Does Not Ship To: CA, WA, OR, AZ
Lemon Lime Dracaena is a racy, brightly striped foliage houseplant. It is an excellent choice for first time houseplant buyers because it handles missed watering and minimal light without consequence. Lemon Lime is just one variety in a large group of hybrids within the Dracaena family. Other varieties are green, red, yellow, white and usually a mix of several colors. Dracaena clean the air of benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. These plants are sold as bush, and are typically found 1 or 2 per pot in the 6″ size, and 3 per pot in the 10″ diameter pots. The 10″ diameter containers can also be grown at different heights with a clear trunk, usually named by the height of the foliage. For example, 4’3’2′ is the name of plants with canes found at 4 feet tall, 3 feet tall, and 2 feet tall. The plants can be trained to have a clear trunk or kept shorter as bush with leaves from the top of the plant to the soil.
Light Requirement of Lemon Lime Dracaena:
Lemon Lime Dracaena performs well in fluorescent light like office buildings or atriums or anywhere away from direct light. They can handle the bright, indirect light found in a northern or partially shaded eastern windowsill. Western or southern exposure would work as long as the plant is away from the window or the window is well shaded.
Watering Lemon Lime Dracaena:
Lemon Lime Dracaena likes to stay slightly moist, not too wet or too dry. Too many yellow leaves means the plant is staying wet too often, whereas brown tips to the leaves means it has been kept too dry. They recover well from drying out occasionally. The easiest way to tell if a plant needs to be watered is by the weight of the container. If the container is very heavy and the foliage is upright, chances are good the plant doesn’t need water, whereas a light container and limp foliage means the plant needs some water. Sometimes, water pours out of the container without being retained by the soil. Soaking the dry soil in a small dish or saucer can be a useful way to solve this problem. It is important not to water the foliage of these plants, or to over-water them as this will lead to leaf damage or plant death. If you’re unsure, it is always better to let the plant go dry instead of drenching it with water. Moisture meters are another easy way to tell if plants need to be watered, and usually come with a guide to indicate what number or level of moisture different plants require.
Fertilizing Lemon Lime Dracaena:
Any all purpose, foliage fertilizer will work for Lemon Lime Dracaena. Indoor houseplant fertilizers fall into two groups: water soluble, liquid quick release, and granular, slow release fertilizers. Jack’s Classic Indoor plant food works well as a powder, quick release fertilizer that is mixed with water to quickly provide nutrients to a plant that has been in a container for an extended time. On the other hand, Biotone Starter or Osmocote Indoor/Outdoor is an option as a granular, slow release fertilizer that can be applied while potting and planting. Any type of fertilizer offers nutrients that help plants with the transition to a new environment. All of these fertilizers may be used when planting Lemon Lime Dracaena indoors.
Best Growing Soil for Lemon Lime Dracaena:
Lemon Lime Dracaena does best in soil that stays slightly moist. Regular potting mix works well, try to keep the soil from drying out too much that it compacts, as it can be difficult to rehydrate.
History and Naming of Lemon Lime Dracaena:
Native to Africa, Dracaena is a large family, currently encompassing 110 species with about 40 varieties that are grown commercially. The name Dracaena comes from the draikana, an ancient Greek word meaning female dragon. Some varieties of Dracaena exude a thick, red sap when broken similar to dragon blood. Some of the plants in this family even have red stems. Unlike other plants, Dracaena has a tendency to thicken a secondary meristem, and produces thicker roots as a result. The best ways to propagate Dracaena is either by cuttings or by the seed. After the sticky white flowers, Dracaena produces a small round fruit that is viable. Unfortunately, these plants are unlikely to flower indoors, and the flower is not very showy.
Dracaena fragrans is the Latin name for Lemon Lime Dracaena. Dracaena is ancient Greek for female dragon, while fragrans refers to the fragrantly scented white flower. This plant has earned the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.