Fabulous houseplants: Dracaena deremensis

This is part two in a series on some of the easiest-care, most rewarding houseplants you can grow.

One of the houseplants I have the most success with is Dracaena deremensis (druh-SEE-nuh dair-rem-MEN-sis). Perhaps you've heard of references to corn plants and rainbow plants which are the common names of some types of Dracaenas.

As you can see, the leaves are striking and glossy. My favorite two varieties (which are pictured here) are 'Lemon Lime' and 'Warneckii'.

'Lemon Lime'
You might be familiar with the Dracaena spike plants that are widely available in garden centers for use in container plantings. They are members of the same genus of plants.

My Dracaena houseplants prefer a moderate amount of light, and if it's indirect light, so much the better. They do best with a room temperature range between 65 and 75 degrees F. I generally water the plants once a week but am careful not to overwater them. As you probably already know, there are very few plants that tolerate wet roots.

Plant them in a good-quality potting soil and repot them every 2 to 3 years. I don't fertilize them in the fall or winter months, but during spring and summer, I feed them monthly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer.

'Warneckii' can grow up to 6 feet tall and 'Lemon Lime' ranges from 3 to 4 feet. Each have long sword-like leaves.

The great thing about Dracaena plants is that you can find them with different foliage colors and types. They can be propagated through rooted cuttings.

The only pest problem on a Dracaena I've had was mealybugs. And boy, are they a pain! They hitchhiked on a plant I brought home from a garden center a couple of years ago and have been tricky to control. The lesson here is to keep new plants quarantined away from established houseplants for a couple of weeks, so you can see if there's a problem before you put them in groupings with other plants.  (as always, learn from my mistakes!)

I think you'll find Dracaenas really add a nice dimension and texture to the home, and they're so easy to grow!