The Dracaena Dorado is a beautiful houseplant that is easy to care for and requires low maintenance.
It features beautiful curly dark green leaves with very thin yellow borders.
The plant will grow into a small tree that’s about 4 to 5 feet tall. So, it does need some space indoors to get bigger.
Thanks to its size and DNA, the plant is great at cleaning air and removing toxins from your home’s indoor air.
How do you care for the Dracaena Dorado? The plant does well in a wide range of lighting conditions. But it thrives in medium to bright indirect light.
Avoid very strong light as well as long hours of direct sunlight.
It enjoys warm weather all year round with good humidity. It also easily adapts to average home conditions which makes it easy to care for. It will need pruning as it gets bigger for size control.
Dracaena Dorado Plant Care
The Dracaena Dorado will grow very well in medium to bright indirect light. It will likewise adapt and tolerate low light without any issues.
These features make it easy to grow indoors, be it in your home or your office.
Better yet, the plant responds well to artificial light.
Therefore, even if you don’t get a lot of sunshine into your home or the windows in your home are not getting lots of natural light access, the plant can still thrive.
It does well in fluorescent lighting as well as grow lights. So, you do have some options.
You can likewise use artificial lights to supplement the natural light. Or you can use it on its own.
That said, be careful with too much light.
While the plant will grow faster with plenty of light, make sure that the sunlight you’re giving it is either filtered, diffused or dappled.
Avoid direct sunlight.
The plant can tolerate a few hours of this. But more than 2-3 hours on a daily basis will be too much.
This is especially true for mid-day sun which is very harsh.
A simple way to make sure of this is to position the plant somewhere with medium to bright light but in a way the plant is never touched by the sun’s rays.
Last but not least, it is a good idea to clean the plant’s leaves every now and then.
You don’t have to do this daily or weekly. But once you see dust collecting on the surface of the leaves, use a damp cloth to wipe the foliage down.
This will allow the plant to absorb as much light as it can.
The Dracaena Dorado is accustomed to tropical and subtropical climates. As such, it prefers consistently warm weather all year round.
Its ideal temperature range in between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
And it will have no issues growing in conditions that are as hot as 95 degrees Fahrenheit as well.
Unfortunately, the opposite is not true.
There are no cold months in the tropics. More importantly, they do not experience any snow, frost, freezing temperature or even have winters.
During the latter part of the year, the sun is still up, and the weather is fairly mild to moderate.
As such, the Dracaena Dorado has poor tolerance to the cold.
And it has problems with temperatures that are below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you leave the plant in this environment, you’ll see its growth slow down and its leaves start to curl. Additionally, the leaves will soon get discolored.
If the conditions persist, you’ll also see the leaves drop after a while.
Therefore, it is a good idea to keep the plant away from anything cold. Indoors, this includes air conditioners and cold drafts.
Outdoors, a lot depends on where you live.
The Dracaena Dorado enjoys the outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. That’s because the weather is warm and sunny the entire year.
This means you can keep the plant outdoors in the garden or in a pot even from November through March.
On the other hand, if you live below zone 9, it is important to bring the plant indoors if you keep it outside during the warmer months.
Most home gardeners will keep the Dracaena Dorado as a houseplant in these regions.
The Dracaena Dorado prefers high humidity. And it will do best if you keep humidity between 60% and 80%.
However, one of the things that makes the Dracaena Dorado easy to care for is its adaptability.
The plant can will do well in average humidity in most cases.
That said, it is important to keep an eye on the plant especially for the first month or so as it gets used to your home’s environment.
As long as the leaves look healthy and maintain their color, it means that it is adapting to the conditions of you home.
However, if you see the leaf edges turn brown, crispy or dry, it means it needs more humidity.
If left this way, the leaves will later turn yellow and brown followed by leaf drop.
There are a few reasons this can happen.
One is that the nursery or garden center keeps the plant in optimal conditions. If they grow their Dracaena Dorado in a greenhouse or somewhere with high humidity, it will need to get acclimated.
This means gradually letting it adjust to its new environment (your home) which likely won’t have nearly as high humidity.
If you see the leaves turn brown, then it is a good idea to mist the plant or get a humidifier. You can likewise set up a pebble tray to increase air moisture around the plant.
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How Often to Water Dracaena Dorado
The Dracaena Dorado enjoys moist soil. But make sure to never let the soil stay mucky or wet.
It hates being left in standing water.
That’s because the plant it prone to overwatering and root rot.
As such, it is a good idea to keep it on the drier side of things. However, note that the Dracaena Dorado is not drought tolerant.
So, it is also a no-no to let the soil completely dry, especially for long periods of time.
As long as you avoid these two extremes, the plant will grow well and stay healthy.
On average, the Dracaena Dorado needs watering every 7 to 14 days. However, the changes in the weather especially during the summer and winter means you need to adjust your watering schedule.
Therefore, a much more efficient way to know when to water is to check the soil instead.
I like to check the soil at least once a week.
All you need to do is feel the surface. As long as it is moist or wet, it means the plant does not need water.
Ideally, I like to wait until the top 50% to 75% of the soil has dried before adding water.
However, if you like to water more regularly, the bare minimum is to wait at least until the top 2-3 inches of soil has dried.
Never water the plant before this time. Doing so will increase the risk of overwatering.
Another thing worth noting is that the Dracaena Dorado is sensitive to too many chemicals in the water. Therefore, avoid hard water as well as highly mineralized tap water.
If your tap water contains lots of salts, fluoride or chlorine, it will harm the plant.
And you’ll see the leaves turn brown and dry out.
In case this happens, it is a good idea to switch to rainwater, distilled or filtered water. Another option is to let the chemicals evaporate first by leaving the tap water in room temperature for at least overnight.
Dracaena Dorado Potting Soil
The Dracaena Dorado will do well in regular potting soil. However, it will be much better off in well-draining soil.
The reason I prefer using well-draining soil is that it ensures that the plant does not end up sitting in lots of water for long periods of time.
Since it is not picky, you can use different kinds of soil as long as they offer good drainage.
Here are a couple of potting soil mixes that work really well for the plant. I’ve experimented with different kinds and these use few ingredients to make them easier to combine.
- 1 part potting mix
- 1 part perlite or pumice
You can likewise use a mix of:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part clay pebbles
For nutrients, I highly suggest adding a 1/4″ layer of worm compost on top of the soil mix.
The key is to avoid very heavy and very sandy soils.
Both will cause extreme results which are harmful to the plant.
Heavy soils or soils that hold too much moisture will increase the risk of overwatering and root rot. On the other hand, very sandy soils increase will cause the soil to dry out very quickly. This will lead to an underwatered Dracaena Dorado plant.
The Dracaena Dorado is not a heavy feeder. However, it does need fertilizer to ensure that it receives the nutrients it needs.
The good news is that the plant is not picky with fertilizer.
But the most important thing is to avoid overfeeding it. This can lead to fertilizer burn which will damage its roots and leaves.
Thus, apply as indicated in the product label. And avoid giving the plant more that it needs.
I like to use a high quality all-purpose fertilizer. Avoid low quality products as they leave a lot of salts in the soil.
Dilute the application each time by 50%.
Only apply during spring and summer, which is the plant’s growing season. This is when it will do most of its growing. As such, you want to give it the sustenance it needs.
Stop feeding by early to mid-fall. And let the Dracaena Dorado rest during winter so it can gear up for more growth next spring.
The Dracaena Dorado will grow to about 4 to 6 feet high. And it will cover a spread of 3 feet from side to side.
While the plant is a slow grower, it will keep getting bigger over time.
As such, it has a slow and steady growth rate.
Like many other Dracaena plants, this species will eventually look like a mini-tree in a pot. It will grow upwards with leaves coming out in all directions.
In most cases, the plant does not need a lot of pruning.
But you may need to prune it to control its size. Another reason to trim it is to reduce the length of some of its leaves which can get long and bushy.
That said, how much you prune will largely depend on the look you are going for.
How to Propagate Dracaena Dorado
Dracaena Dorado propagation is quite easy. That’s because the plant responds well to stem tip cuttings. This makes it easy to grow new plants from the mother plant.
Additionally, the cuttings root quite well too.
The only downside is that unlike other houseplants, you won’t be able to propagate many new Dracaena Dorado from stem cuttings at the same time since the plant does not have as many stems than others.
But that’s a small consequence.
Of course, if the Dracaena Dorado is big and you want to reduce its size, you can always divide the plant as well propagate it.
In any case, here’s how to propagate the Dracaena Dorado from stem cuttings.
- Take a healthy stem tip cutting. You can choose how big of a cutting you want to take. But keep it mind, the bigger the cutting, the smaller the remaining stalk will be. However, this also means you’re starting the new plant with more leaves as well.
- Use a sterile pair of scissors, pruning shears or knife to cut the stem tip. If you go with scissors, make sure you use a larger pair with sharp blades to make a clean cut.
- Plant the cutting into a pot filled with well-draining soil.
- Water the soil and keep it moist. Then place the pot in medium to bright indirect light.
It takes the cutting several weeks to start rooting.
All the while, take care of it like you would the mother plant.
How to Repot or Transplant Dracaena Dorado
The slow growing nature of the Dracaena Dorado means that you don’t need to repot the plant every 6 months or yearly.
Instead, it will usually take about 2 or so years before it needs repotting.
However, don’t just blindly follow the figures. Instead, check the bottom of the pot to see if there are roots sneaking out from the drainage holes.
Once you see the roots come out of the holes, it means it is time to repot.
But there’s no need to do so before then.
The best time to repot the plant is during spring to early summer.
And you’ll need to take it out of its container to move it to a new, bigger one. For larger Dracaena Dorado, don’t try to pull or carry the plant.
You’ll likely hurt your back trying to do this.
Instead, gently tip the plant on its side and carefully slide the root ball out of the pot.
When choosing a new container, pick one that is one size larger. Don’t try to skip sizes and go up quickly. That only increases the risk of overwatering.
Additionally, have enough fresh, well-draining potting soil ready to replace the spent soil.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Sadly, the Dracaena Dorado is toxic to humans and pets. This means you want to keep the plant away from young children, dogs and cats.
Note that the plant only becomes toxic when ingested.
This means that you can hold, carry, touch or work with the plant without any side effects.
Dracaena Dorado Problems & Troubleshooting
The Dracaena Dorado is a fairly robust and resilient plant. So, you may see it live through its entire life without any bugs with proper care.
However, as with other houseplants, there’s never a guarantee of being pest free.
The key is to keep the plant healthy and clean its leaves to avoid dust from collecting.
That’s because, a weak or sick plant will be more prone to pests. Similarly, insects like dust.
This also means you need to check the plant’s leaves and stems for any pest presence. They particularly like to hide on the undersides of leaves.
The most common pest issues for the Dracaena Dorado include mealybugs, scale and aphids.
The Dracaena Dorado is likewise not prone to diseases. But overwatering and excess moisture are usually the main culprits for this.
The problem is that both are usually caused by human error.
Overwatering is caused by watering the plant too often. It can also happen when if the soil retains too much moisture.
Or if the pot you use has insufficient drainage.
On the other hand, bacterial and fungal infections are more uncommon with Dracaena plants. But if you keep wetting the leaves and leaving them wet, they’ll eventually experience problems as well.