Tips for Care - Dracaena Compacta
Also known as the pineapple dracaena or dwarf dracaena, Dracaena compacta is a beautiful small indoor plant with its genesis in Hawai. It's an excellent houseplant since it grows well in low light conditions and looks quite stylish. It's a slow-growing plant that grows about 4-5 inches per year. It's a great foliage plant characterized by thick, stiff, and glossy dark green-colored leaves that spread out to form a rosette around a cane.
Potting: The planter must have a hole. This plant needs well-drained soil. Potting mix can be 1/3rd Cocopeat, 1/3rd sand & 1/3rd garden soil. While transporting the plant, the soil becomes compacted. So once you receive it, aerating it once allows the roots to breathe is helpful for plant growth.
Light Requirement: Temperature is best from 15º Celsius to 27 º Celsius. This plant needs bright, filtered sunlight. So it can be kept in an east-facing window but slightly away for consistent light. Cannot sustain long periods of direct sun.
Watering: It is a tropical plant; hence the plant loves humidity. For this purpose, one can keep a pebble-filled tray at the bottom of the pot or put some Sphagnum moss or Coco Coir drenched with water at the top of the soil or group with a set of plants. This plant is prone to root rot, so keeping the soil always soggy is not a good idea. Water during summers when soil is dry at the top, so once every 1-2 days. During the rainy season or winter, give water only when the soil is almost 50% dry in the pot. So give water once every 5-7 days.
Fertilization: Fertilize when the plant is in the growing season, i.e., summers. It's a slow-growing plant, and hence twice a year fertilization is enough. Also, one should give only half the recommended strength.
Propagation: Through stem cutting. New shoot sprouts grow from below the cutting position. Plant 3-4 cuttings in new soil for the bushy look. 6-8 inch length cutting should be cut. The bottom 3-4 layers of leaves should be removed & cutting should be allowed to dry for a day before planting. Also, cut the leaves by 2/3rd in the cutting so that they don't take up much energy. Allow the nutrients for root growth. Cut the stem at the bottom in a diagonal manner. Scrape the cut stem at the base slightly above slanted cutting and then apply rooting hormones like rootex, root vein, etc. For better rooting, high temperature & moisture is suitable. Hence the cutting should be covered by polythene in winter or summer. Other methods of propagation are by using stem cuttings and potting in water.
General Tips: From time to time, trim the plant, as it helps in plant growth. Removal of discolored leaves is a good idea to keep the plant tidy. These plants love to remain root-bound, so it's a better idea to keep them in smaller pots and not shift to larger pots.
Other names: Dracaena dermensis "Janet Craig," Dwarf Dracaena, Pineapple Dracaena
Max reachable height: 5 feet
Bloom Time: Summers