Last Updated on June 9, 2022 by Admin
The Dracaena Gold Star is a beautiful variegated houseplant that is best known for its blue-green, sword-shaped leaves that have yellow-green borders.
Its leaf color along with the bushiness of the plant make it very attractive.
It is also low maintenance, easy to care for and purifies indoor air.
Because of its size, the plant is usually placed in corners of living rooms and offices.
How do you care for the Dracaena Gold Star? The plant can tolerate low light. But for optimal growth, maintain medium to bright indirect light.
Keep it away from strong, intense direct sunlight as this will burn its leaves.
It does best in warm climate conditions and is not frost hardy. Avoid too much water as it is prone to overwatering and root rot.
Dracaena Gold Star Plant Care
The Dracaena Gold Star is a beautiful variegated plant with yellow stripes on its sharp narrow leaves.
It needs medium to bright indirect light to maintain these variegations.
Good lighting also lets the plant grow faster, taller and produce more leaves. Just as importantly, it maintains the quality of the leaves.
This means that the leaves stay vibrant, have lovely green and yellow color combinations and achieve good length and shape.
That’s what makes the Dracaena Gold Star gorgeous.
This is why an east or west facing windows are ideal. And eastern exposure gives you gentle morning sun while the west gives you a fading late afternoon sunlight.
Both are great for the plant.
But too much of a good thing becomes bad.
And this is the case for the excess light. Too much strong, intense or harsh light, be it from the sun or artificial lights will damage the leaves.
Note that the plant will be okay with this kind of environment. And it can tolerate it as long as you keep it well-hydrated.
However, you’ll end up with ugly discolored foliage that can eventually get brown or black burn marks.
Even worse, these are permanent.
So, your only option if to prune the damaged leaves and wait for new ones to grow.
Of course, you also need to move the plant to somewhere with less bright light. Otherwise, the new leaves will sustain the same damage as well after a while.
On the other hand, low light is something the Dracaena Gold Star can also tolerate.
But there are some side effects to this as well.
Slow growth, fewer leaves and smaller foliage are usually the result. You’ll also see the yellow variegations fade.
Thus, the leaf colors will look less vibrant or even dull if too little light.
This is why staying in the middle, where the Dracaena Gold Star gets good lighting in the form of medium to bright indirect or filtered light is ideal.
The ideal temperature for the Dracaena Gold Star is between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This makes it perfect for growing indoors as it matches temperatures you’ll find in most homes.
It likes this kind of climate because it comes from tropical and subtropical regions. Thus, the weather stays consistently moderate to warm all year round.
They also have perpetual sunshine except for some cloudier days during the rainy season.
Because the tropics don’t have cold months nor do they have winters, the Dracaena Gold Star is not accustomed to lower temperature.
Instead, its temperature tolerance is 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
And anything colder than that will give the plant problems. It will start with slower growth. But after a while the plant will wilt, and its leaves will get discolored.
The longer the cold environment persists, the more likely its leaves will eventually drop.
When the temperature hits around 30-35 degrees Fahrenheit, the Dracaena Gold Star will suffer cold damage as well.
Thus, try not to leave it in cold places.
Indoors, this is not a much of a problem. But you still need to watch out for sneaky situations like cold drafts coming in from open windows or air conditioned rooms.
Similarly, the plant hates sudden and significant temperature fluctuations.
So, avoid leaving it near stoves, heaters, radiators, fireplaces, vents and anything that can blow cold or hot air.
Outdoors, the plant prefers USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11.
In these locations you can keep it outdoors all year long since the weather stays warm to cool depending on the time of year.
As long as there is no frost, then the plant will be happy outside.
It is not frost tolerant.
This means that if you live anywhere with freezing conditions, it is a good idea to bring the plant indoors once the weather gets colder.
Many growers will just keep it inside as a houseplant to save on the extra effort.
The Dracaena Gold Star likes good humidity. Ideally, it prefers humidity of 60% to 80%.
This is where you’ll see the plant grow faster and maintain more vibrant colors.
However, that level is a bit high for most homes.
Unless you live in a coastal city, near a beach or a lake, it is not easy to maintain that high humidity.
Alternatively, if you have tropical, subtropical or Mediterranean weather, then you’ll naturally have high humidity as well.
The good news is that the Dracaena Gold Star will tolerate average room humidity.
As with many of the factors above, this is what makes it resilient, tough, low maintenance and easy to care for.
However, note that the plant does benefit from occasional misting.
This will prevent it from getting too dry.
That said, avoid over misting the plant. Don’t spray too much. This can lead to fungal infections and other issues.
This means avoid getting the leaves wet or leaving water spots on them.
If you accidentally over mist it, use a towel to pat the leaves dry.
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How Often to Water Dracaena Gold Star
The Dracaena Gold Star needs moderate watering. It does not need a lot of water. So, watering once every 7 to 14 days usually works.
Depending on where you live, you may even only need to water once every 2 to 3 weeks.
The key is to avoid overwatering the plant. This can put it at risk root rot.
This means you don’t want to leave the soil wet, mucky or soggy. If you see this or it stays this way even after a few days since you’ve watered, then you’re likely giving it too much water.
Overwatering which is commonly caused by watering the plant too often is the number one cause of houseplant death.
As such, in this case, too much generosity is harmful to your houseplants.
This is the case for the Dracaena Gold Star.
For this reason, it is important to allow the soil to partially dry between waterings.
You have two choices here.
If you’re an aggressive waterer, wait until at least the top 2-3 inches of soil have dried before adding more water.
For me, I like to see that the top 50% to 75% of soil is dry before I water. Anything in between this range works well. So, you don’t need to be precise or stress about being late a day or two.
This is why it is important to regularly feel the soil.
This way, you never add water before the plant needs it.
The other important thing here is to water the plant thoroughly.
This means when it is time to water the Dracaena Gold Star, keep adding water until the entire root ball is soaked. This will ensure the roots get enough hydration.
Then let the plant completely drain after.
This second step avoids overwatering and potentially root rot. And it leaves you with moist soil while the roots have gotten enough to drink.
If you keep a saucer under the pot, discard any liquid that pools there as well.
Finally, when watering, avoid watering above the plant such that all the leaves get wet. Instead, pour directly onto the soil.
Wetting the leaves only increases the risk of bacterial and fungal diseases.
Dracaena Gold Star Potting Soil
The Dracaena Gold Star will stay healthy and grow at its best in well-draining soil. Again, this is because of its susceptibility to overwatering and root rot.
Therefore, you want to take that extra precaution to make sure that the soil does not retain too much moisture.
This means it is important to avoid heavy soils or anything that holds on to water. Also, stay away from soils that can get compacted over time.
All of these increase the risk of waterlogged soil which leads to overwatering and possibly root rot.
Instead, you want soil that has sufficient drainage and good aeriation.
The first allows excess water to quickly drain from the soil. Meanwhile, well-aerated soil easily lets oxygen reach the roots so they can breathe.
It is also worth noting that you don’t want soil that drains too much.
Some soils like those designed for cacti and succulents will drain too much moisture that it will eventually leave the roots dry or underwatered.
So, avoid very sandy soils or those designed to be very fast draining.
Note that I do know some growers who use standard potting soil and it works for them as well. If you do this, make sure there’s sufficient drainage. If not, you can add perlite or pumice.
The good news is that it is easy to make your own well-draining soil at home.
You can mix:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part perlite (or pumice)
Or you can go with:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part clay pebbles
The Dracaena Gold Star will benefit from fertilizer during its growing season. This will let it grow faster, produce more leaves and maintain its lovely colors.
However, keep it mind that it is not a heavy feeder.
So, avoid the temptation of giving it more fertilizer that it needs.
The good news is that the plant is not picky about the kind of plant food you use. This lets you choose what you want to use.
Often, most growers will go with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer.
Here, apply once a month during the spring and summer. Stop by early to mid fall. Then only restart next spring when the weather is warm again. Skip the winter.
Also, dilute the application by 50% each time to avoid overfertilizing.
Alternatively, you can likewise go with slow-release fertilizer.
If you prefer, you can use fish emulsion or liquid kelp. Fish fertilizer usually comes out as a cheaper but effective option.
This makes it a good choice if you’re on a budget.
Of course, you can skip fertilizer altogether. Instead, use topdressing by adding worm compost and another layer or compost on the soil each spring.
Whichever you go with, it is up to you. They all work well.
But always remember not to overdo it.
The Dracaena Gold Star will grow to about 5 feet tall and about 2 feet wide from side to side. It is a moderate grower and will consistently get bigger over time.
The plant has a lifespan of about 10 years which gives you a lot of time to enjoy it.
And you can easily propagate the plant as well when the time comes so you have new plants. See below for the steps to propagate the Dracaena Gold Star.
Because of its size, you may need to prune it.
In most cases, there’s no pruning needed. However, some indoor gardeners will prune the Dracaena Gold Star to control its size.
You can likewise trim some of its leaves if you want to keep them neat and tidy.
But in general, it is a low maintenance plant that does not really need much pruning.
How to Propagate Dracaena Gold Star
Dracaena Gold Star propagation can be done in a few ways.
The most common include top cuttings, stem cuttings and division.
Each one of these methods has its own pros and cons. And they are best used for certain purposes.
Top cuttings are the easiest way to propagate the Dracaena Gold Star. But with this method, you only propagate one new plant at a time.
Stem cuttings are the most popular propagation method. Here, you can create many new plants at the same time by using a longer stem can cutting it to segments.
Division is best used when you have a large plant and you want to reduce its size to create 2 or more smaller plants. It also has the benefit of not having to wait for the new plants to root.
I prefer to do top cuttings. But you can go with any method you want depending on your goals.
Propagating Dracaena Gold Star from Top Cuttings
To propagate the Dracaena Gold Star using top cuttings, you’re going to cut the top part of the plant.
Don’t be alarmed though, the mother plant will quickly recover and start growing again. So, you’re not harming it or damaging it by doing this.
When cutting a stem top or making a top cut, you want to get a sterile knife or pruning shears.
Then cut just below the leaf line.
Make sure that there are at least a few nodes included in the cutting you get. That’s where the new growth will come out from.
Once you have the top cut, you need to make a choice.
You can place the cutting in a jar filled with water and let the cutting root there. Or you can directly plant the cutting into a pot with well-draining potting mix.
I prefer to go with the latter because it is faster. Plus, you skip an extra step.
But many gardeners like to be able to see the roots as they grow. So, they propagate the cutting in water.
Both methods work. So, it is up to you.
If you plant the cutting directly into soil, just take care of the plant like you do its parent.
If you propagate in water, you’ll need to replace the water once in a while to prevent it from getting cloudy.
Once the roots grow from the cutting, you can transfer the cutting to a pot filled with well-draining soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Dracaena Gold Star
The Dracaena Gold Star will eventually need a good sized pot. So, be prepared to go up over 10 inch pots.
However, don’t be in a hurry to do so.
When repotting, you only want to go up one pot size at a time.
Especially with the Dracaena Gold Star which is prone to overwatering, excessively large containers increase the risk of too much water relative to the size of the root system.
As such, how big a pot you start with depends on how big your plant is.
If you get a larger plant, then pick an appropriate pot. For smaller plants, go with smaller containers.
The Dracaena Gold Star will need repotting every 2-3 years. But you don’t need to hurry.
Instead, make sure by checking the soil surface and bottom of the pot every spring.
If you see rooting coming out from either side, extending beyond where they were supposed to be, it means the plant wants more space.
Therefore, it is time to repot.
When doing so, replace the soil with fresh, well-draining potting mix as well.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Dracaena Gold Star is toxic to people and pets. Every part of the plant is toxic once ingested.
Therefore, it is safe to handle or touch the plant.
But avoid letting young children, dogs or cats accidentally chew or eat parts of the plant.
Dracaena Gold Star Problems & Troubleshooting
The Dracaena Gold Star can be prone to mealybugs, aphids, scale and spider mites. Therefore, it is important to check the plant regularly.
Pests like to hide on the undersides of the leaves. So, always look behind foliage.
In most cases, these insects come with the plant when you buy it from the store. They can also hitch a ride on the plant into your home if you take the plant outdoors during the warmer months.
So, always debug the plant before taking it indoors.
Bugs easily infest other nearby houseplants if you leave the plants close together.
Root rot caused by overwatering is something you always want to look out for with the Dracaena Gold Star.
It prefers to stay on the dry side.
So, don’t overwater the plant.
Instead, only add water when the soil is partially dry.
Keep in mind that it will tolerate dryness much better than excess moisture. So, if you’re not sure, don’t water.