As a medium-sized plant, the Dracaena lemon lime has striking broad leaves striped with white and lime green on the edges and a darker shade of green in the middle of the leaves.
The striped look this crates on the leaves is easy on the eyes and a good conversation starter.
If this plant is on your list of houseplants you want to keep in your home, my dracaena lemon lime plant care tips below are a good primer on what you need to successfully grow this plant at home.
Dracaena Lemon Lime Plant Care Tips
Cultivated in Asia and America, this plant has simple care requirements. There are a few pitfalls too as I explain below.
While the Dracaena is capable of stunning growth, reaching heights of 20 feet, plants cultivated indoors will typically stay at 4 to 6 feet tall.
The plants start out small and compact, but as they grow, they become more linear. The leaves reach lengths of 2 feet.
While the Dracaena is adaptable to low light conditions, it still prefers bright indirect light.
It’s important to avoid direct sun exposure if you don’t want to see the leaves of your plant get damaged from excess sun.
If the plant gets too much sun exposure, the leaves will fade or yellow.
Very low light conditions will also cause leaf problems — when the plant is getting too little light, the leaves can become wrinkled and thin.
If you want your Dracaena plant to thrive, choose a location that gets plenty of light, without the sun directly hitting the plant.
The Dracaena has low watering needs which is good news for those among us that are forgetful or always on the run.
If you sometimes forget to water this plant, it won’t mind. It has a fairly good water resistance, so infrequent watering will not be an issue.
That said, the plant has low to moderate watering requirements and isn’t tolerant of overwatering.
Therefore, it’s better to forget to water it sometimes than to be overzealous with the watering can.
Like many drought-resistant plants, the Dracaena is also sensitive to overwatering with root rot as a potentially fatal outcome.
To avoid overwatering, water the plant thoroughly, but make sure it becomes dry before you water again.
Another aspect to consider concerns the quality of the water you use for watering. Chlorinated and fluoridated water should be avoided.
Both chemicals can adversely affect the health of the leaves.
If your tap water is not fluoridated, chlorine remains your only concern, and chlorine can easily be removed from water by allowing the water to sit overnight, which will cause the chlorine to evaporate.
Temperature & Humidity
The plant enjoys the standard indoor temperatures in our homes. Ideally, the temperature for this plant should be between 70-75 F.
Temperatures below or near 50 F are not tolerated, so keep the plant inside if the weather becomes inhospitable for these plants.
The dracaena enjoys high humidity but adapts to normal indoor humidity. If the air in your home is particularly dry, increase humidity with a commercial humidifier or a makeshift humidifier (e.g. tray of pebbles submerged in water).
It needs soil rich in organic material but one that also drains well. A peaty mix will work best to improve drainage.
Because the plant can be easily overwatered, the soil should offer good drainage to the roots and prevent waterlogging.
Root rot can easily kill off the plant and because rotting occurs before any symptoms appear on the surface, it’s best to be circumspect and choose a soil that doesn’t retain water.
Dracaenas shipped from Hawaii will have their soil combined with lava rocks.
The Dracaena is not a heavy feeder, but it can benefit from some light feeding.
When it comes to fertilizer, you can either go with a weak houseplant fertilizer or a slow release one.
Fertilize only during the growing season (spring-summer). If you’re using a liquid houseplant fertilizer, dilute it at half strength and apply twice a month at most.
Potting & Repotting
Repotting is not needed often, but the plant will benefit from a refreshing of its potting soil. If the plant overgrows its current pot, it will also require transplanting.
Pick a pot that’s larger with 2” than the current pot. To repot, water the plant in its current location to moisten the soil, then lift the plant out of its pot.
Separate the soil from the root ball, then place the plant in the center of the new pot, fill the pot with potting mix, and firm the soil with your hands.
Water again, let the water drain, then allow the soil to dry before you water it next time.
Different Types of Dracaena Plants
There are many Dracaena varieties that make good alternatives to the lemon lime Dracaena.
Here are a few:
Dracaena reflexa ‘Song of India’
A yellow edged cultivar with high humidity requirements and easy care. It reaches 3 ft indoors and has a good tolerance to low light conditions.
Dracaena deremensis Janet Craig
The Janet Craig variety is a floor plant that can reach about 15 feet in its native habitat, although it stays much smaller indoors. Its shiny, solid dark green leaves reach 2 feet in length. It’s an excellent low light interior plant.
The Dracaena Warneckii can grow up to 5 feet tall, and an interesting feature is that this variety can be grown upright in the form of a cane or as a bush. It has beautiful, sword-like leaves.
This variety is also known as the corn plant because of the resemblance of its leaves to that of the corn plant’s leaves. The plant has moderate light requirements. While it can tolerate low light, it does not grow as well as in bright, indirect light.
Other than the varieties I described above, the Dracaena sanderiana and Dracaena godseffiana also make good houseplants.
Dracaena Lemon Lime Plant Propagation
Propagation by stem cutting is the easiest. Choose a 4-6″ inch node, use a clean blade to cut it.
To stimulate root development, apply a bit of rooting hormone on the cut end, then plant in well draining potting soil that’s moistened.
Cover with a clear plastic to create a greenhouse effect and stimulate rooting. Keep the plastic ok for a few days. After a couple of weeks, the stem should grow roots.
Dracaena Lemon Lime FAQs
For more info on pests and diseases and how to prune your dracaena lemon lime plant, consult the FAQs below:
Does the Dracaena lemon lime bloom?
These plants rarely bloom indoors. On the rare occasions that they do, the flowers are tiny, white and fragrant.
How to groom a Dracaena lemon lime plant?
From time to time, you may need to prune your dracaena plant to keep it having healthy growths and a tidy look.
As the plant grows older, it sheds its lower leaves, which you can remove.
Prune back any browning leaves or leaves that have brown tips, and bare stems.
To prevent pest infestations, it’s also recommended to periodically wipe the leaves with a moist cloth.
This will remove dust and debris, which can attract and feed potential pests.
Keeping the leaves tidy will also help the plant look fresh and clean.
Is the Dracaena lemon lime prone to pests and diseases?
There are a few pests that can attack this plant causing damage to their leaves.
Spider mites and mealybugs are most likely to do this, so keep an eye on potential infestation and act quickly. Use dishwasher soap or neem oil to get rid of an infestation.
Also, keeping the leaves dust and debris free is also a good way to prevent pests in the first place.
As for diseases, this plant is easy to overwater, so root rot is one of the potential issues that you may encounter as a beginner gardener.
Leaf spot and fluoride toxicity are two other problems that will cause browning leaves, brown tips, and brown spots on the leaves.
If your water is fluoridated, you may need to consider watering with rainwater or use a water conditioner that can remove fluoride from water.
Is the Dracaena lemon lime toxic to pets?
Yes, the plant is toxic to cats and dogs, so keep the plant away from any pets that may nip the leaves.
The leaves of the plant contain saponin and ingestion can cause drooling, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and even depression.
These symptoms of toxicity can be observed in both cats and dogs.
Best to not keep this plant around small pets that are still in the habit of chewing on everything they come across.
The Dracaena lemon lime is a beautiful Dracaena cultivar that makes an excellent plant for beginners because of its tolerance of some negligence and drought resistance.
Even though it’s an easy-care plant, you should still strive to offer it the best care by following my plant care tips.