How to Care for Dracaena Green Jewel

The Dracaena Green Jewel is also known as the corn plant, Green Jewel Dracaena. Its scientific name is Dracaena fragrans Green Jewel.

The plant is best known for its deep green leaves that get quite dense and full.

It is easy to care for and will purify indoor air from toxins.

This Dracaena plant is native to tropical Africa.

How do you care for the Dracaena Green Jewel? It will grow in bright, medium or low light provided that the light is indirect, filtered or dappled.

Avoid direct sunlight or very intense light as this will burn its leaves.

The plant is low maintenance and drought tolerant making it easy to care for indoors. It is tropical in nature so it enjoys warm weather and good humidity.

Dracaena Green Jewel Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Dracaena Green Jewel is ideally grown in medium to bright indirect light. It thrives in well-lit locations which will allow it to keep growing while maintaining its lovely saturated green leaves.

That said, it is also worth noting that the plant will tolerate low light.

Its ability to do well in wide range of lighting environments lets you choose where to keep it in your home.

But there are two exceptions.

  1. Very low light, dim locations and dark corners
  2. Excessive or strong light including direct sunlight

Avoid very low light as the plant will not grow here.

Like other houseplants, it needs light for photosynthesis. Therefore, lack of light or insufficient illumination means that the plant’s growth may slow down significantly or completely stop.

It will also get weaker, begin to wilt and become sickly looking.

This is why it is important to experiment when positioning it in low light spaces.

As light decreases, you’ll notice the Dracaena Green Jewel’s growth will slow. This may just be subtle if there’s still enough light.

But the less light it gets, the more you’ll notice that it will produce fewer leaves and smaller ones at that.

So, it is important to adjust the location depending on what looks best.

On the other hand, excess, very intense or harsh light is likewise harmful to the Dracaena Green Jewel.

In this case, excess light can burn its leaves. And even if its foliage does not get burned, you’ll see their color get affected.

For this reason it is a good idea to avoid placing the plant in the direct rays of the sun.

It can tolerate 1-3 hours of direct sunlight.

But anything more, its leaves can eventually sustain damage.

Thus, the same applies outdoors.

Here, it is best to keep the plant in partial shade. Try to avoid full sun.

 

Temperature

The Dracaena Green Jewel is native to tropical Africa. As such, it favors warm weather.

Ideally, it likes living in weather that is consistently sunny and relatively on the warmer side all year round.

That’s because there are no cold months in the tropics.

More importantly, there are not winters there.

So, they do not experience snow, frost or freezing temperatures.

This is why the Dracaena Green Jewel prefers 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Although, it does tolerate a wide range of temperatures.

Again, this makes the plant easy to care for.

But there’s also an exception.

In this case, it is the cold.

The Dracaena Green Jewel dislikes cold environments. And it is not frost hardy.

In fact, it has a difficult time with temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Therefore, it is important to be aware of this to avoid causing the plant stress. When things get too cold for it, you’ll see its growth slow.

Then its leaves will develop discoloration. And if the cold persists, you’ll see foliage drop as well.

Try to avoid temperatures in the 30s since the plant will experience cold damage there.

Because of its temperature tolerance, many growers keep the Dracaena Green Jewel indoors as a houseplant.

Although, you can still bring it outdoors during the warmer months.

But make sure to take it back indoors once the temperature reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Don’t forget to debug the plant each time you take it in from the yard or garden.

The only exception here are USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. These locations have warm, sunny conditions even during the latter part of the year.

As such, if you live in these areas, you can grow the Dracaena Green Jewel outdoors all year round without any issues or problems.

The key is to avoid leaving it anywhere with frost.

 

Humidity

The Dracaena Green Jewel prefers high humidity. If you give it a choice, it will favor humidity of 60% to 80%.

However, the plant will tolerate average room humidity.

So, in most cases, you won’t need to do anything extra to accommodate or keep it happy indoors.

Again, this is another reason that the Dracaena Green Jewel is easy to care for and low maintenance.

That said, its preference for higher humidity does mean that it will appreciate occasional misting.

Misting is simply spraying or spritzing the air around the plant to add moisture to the air surrounding the Dracaena Green Jewel.

In doing so, you increase humidity.

However, avoid overdoing this if you decide to mist the plant.

That’s because the plant is susceptible to leaf infections. These are often caused by fungal problems. Although bacterial issues can also arise.

Therefore, try not to get the leaves wet when you mist the plant.

Similarly, avoid leaving any water spots on foliage.

The excess moisture makes the environment prime for bacterial and fungal infections to develop.

And this is when you can make the plant prone to leaf spot diseases and other problems.

Another option if to set up a pebble tray. This is more hands off. And you don’t have to worry about excessively wetting the leaves or any other part of the plant.

 

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How Often to Water Dracaena Green Jewel

The Dracaena Green Jewel likes soil to stay consistently moist. Although it generally needs less water compared to most houseplants.

On average, it only needs to be watered every 10 to 14 days.

However, this figure will vary significantly based on the plant’s living conditions.

During the warmer months of summer, the soil will dry faster which means that you’ll need to water more regularly.

In contrast, winters are colder and there’s much less light. So, the soil stays wet longer.

This means that it takes longer for the soil to dry. Therefore, cut back significantly on water. Otherwise, you run the risk of overwatering the plant.

Similarly, if you keep the plant in bright light, it will need more water compared to a plant that lives in low light.

So, to make things easier, it is much better to check the soil to know when to water the plant than to try and figure out the watering schedule based on all the different living conditions and when they change.

To do so, just feel the soil.

I like to do this every 4 or 7 days.

You’ll know just by touching the surface of the soil.

As long as the soil surface is wet or even slightly moist, don’t water.

Instead, wait until it is dry.

I actually like to wait until the top 50% to 75% of the soil dries before watering the plant. You can use the finger test to feel how dry the soil is.

Or you can insert a long piece of wood into the soil and see where the wet area of the wood comes up to.

If you like to regularly water or don’t have the patience to wait until the top half of the soil dries, you can water earlier.

But the bare minimum is to wait until the top 2-3 inches of soil has completely dried.

Never water before this happens.

Instead, wait until after the top 2-3 inches of soil is dry before you add water.

Doing so lets you avoid overwatering the risk of root rot that comes along with it.

 

Dracaena Green Jewel Potting Soil

The Dracaena Green Jewel will do okay with any good quality potting soil.

Once again, this makes it easy to care for the plant indoors.

However, I do like to be a little bit more cautious. This is because the plant is susceptible to overwatering and root rot.

Therefore, soil that retains more moisture can cause waterlogging.

This likewise leads to overwatering and potentially root rot.

As such, it like to use well-draining soil.

Well-draining soil holds on to some moisture but not a lot of it. This lets the roots stay hydrated. But at the same time, the soil also quickly drains excess moisture which keeps the roots from staying too much liquid for long periods of time.

This will help reduce the risk of waterlogged soil and overwatering.

If you already have regular potting soil at home, you can add perlite if you feel the soil is retaining too much moisture.

You can add a few handfuls at a time.

Then monitor the plant and soil to see how the new mix works.

That said, you can keep adding perlite all the way up until it makes up 25% of the soil mix.

But don’t overdo it.

Too much drainage means that the soil will get rid of more water.

So, if you add too much, you end up leaving the roots underwatered.

Another alternative is to use pumice. You can use this in place of perlite.

If you have clay pebbles, you can use this potting mix recipe instead.

  • 1 part potting soil
  • 1 part clay pebbles

In addition to well-draining and well-aerated soil, it is also important to keep the plant in a pot with sufficient drainage.

 

Fertilizer

The Dracaena Green Jewel will need fertilizer. But it does not need a lot of it. Therefore, it is very important not to overfertilize the plant.

Use an all purpose liquid fertilizer for indoors plants.

Apply every 2-4 weeks during spring and summer.

I suggest starting out with once a month feeding. And if the plant is growing well, then keep it at that.

But if it is not growing as much as expected, you can up the dose to once every 2 weeks.

Always dilute each dose by 50% to avoid overfertilizing. Also, only add fertilizer if the soil is moist. Never apply on dry soil.

In addition to standard commercial fertilizer, you can likewise go with slow-release fertilizer as an alternative.

 

Pruning

The Dracaena Green Jewel will reach between 4 to 5 feet high and about 3 to 4 feet wide.

It is a slow grower. So, while the plant will get sizable, it won’t happen in a hurry.

That said, you can buy the plant anywhere between 2 to 5 feet tall already. But note that the bigger the plant, the more costly it will be.

Because of its size, you’ll likely need to prune the plant.

How much and how often will depend on how much space you have to spare indoors.

You can prune it off the top if you want to limit its height or let it maintain a certain height.

You can also cut taller stalks to reduce the size of the plant. However, do save the stalks if you want to propagate it.

Pruning will also encourage new growth.

You can trim the plant any time. But for major pruning, it is best to do so during spring.

 

How to Propagate Dracaena Green Jewel

Dracaena Green Jewel propagation is best done via stem cuttings.

This makes it easy to propagate the plant and grow more new plants. But depending on how many new plants you want to grow, you can either go with a top cutting or stem cutting.

The difference between the two are:

Top cutting only takes the top part of the stem.

This lets you plant the cutting in soil or propagate it in water. But the downside of this is that you’ll only grow one plant at a time.

That said, this often works if you’re a home gardener since you probably won’t be growing several Dracaena Green Jewel at once anyways.

The benefit of top cutting is that the new plant is a semi-grown plant. Although, you do need to root the cutting.

Also, the remaining stem on the mother plant is still fairly sizable.

Stem cuttings are a better option if you want to grow several new plants at once.

Here, you’ll cut deeper into the stem, close to the base. You can then split the cutting into segments of 6-8 inches each and plant each of those stem cuttings in pots with soil.

Don’t worry about cutting off the stem of the Dracaena Green Jewel. In time it will grow back.

The best time to propagate the plant is during spring to early summer.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Dracaena Green Jewel

The Dracaena Green Jewel’s slow growth rate does mean that the plant does not need regular repotting.

On average, you only need to repot the plant every 2 to 3 years.

However, be ready to go up in pot size since the plant will gradually get bigger over time.

That said, avoid the temptation of jumping pot sizes just to reduce the number of times you need to repot the plant.

Doing so increases the risk of overwatering it due to overpotting.

The best time to repot is during spring.

But the only time you need to repot the plant is once it you see roots circling the pot or coming out from the drainage holes.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Yes, every part of the Dracaena Green Jewel is toxic. And this applies to both people and animals.

Therefore, keep the plant away from young children, cats and dogs to avoid any accidental consumption.

 

Dracaena Green Jewel Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Dracaena Green Jewel will usually stay relatively pest-free. But there are a few insects that like to attack the plant.

Mealybugs, aphids, spider mites and scale are the most common pest problems if they occur.

All of these are very tiny. But they will grow in number quickly.

Therefore, they can turn into an infestation if you don’t treat them when there are only a few.

This is why regular checking is ideal. While it is extra work, it keeps the plant healthy and safe from pest problems.

Always check under the leaves which is where these insects like to hide.

 

Diseases

Root rot from overwatering is always a threat when it comes to the Dracaena Green Jewel.

That’s because the plant does like wet feet.

And watering too frequently will leave its roots in water for prolonged periods of time.

Thus, in addition to waiting for part of the soil to dry between waterings, it is also important to use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes.

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