How to Care for Dracaena Twister

The Dracaena Twister is commonly known as the Dracaena Twister Care, Twister Dragon Tree or by its scientific name which s Dracaena fragrans Twister.

The plant is unique and one of my favorite Dracaena varieties because of its curly leaves.

These make it gorgeous to look at, not to mention different.

It also features solid green leaves that will grow upwards becoming a good sized indoor tree.

Note that there is also a variegated version of the plant which has similar curly leaves. But the borders of the leaves have yellow or lime green variegations.

If you see this, you’re looking at the Dracaena Twister Lemon Lime, which is a variation of the Dracaena Twister.

In case you were wondering, the Dracaena Twister is native to tropical Africa.

How do you care for the Dracaena Twister? While it usually starts as a smaller plant it will grow quite tall. But it does not have a huge spread.

Nevertheless, make sure you give it enough space to grow.

Keep the plant in a well-lit area with medium to bright indirect light. Avoid too much direct sunlight.

It likewise thrives in warm temperatures with good humidity. Avoid the cold as it is not frost hardy.

Prune the plant as needed to control its size and shape it.

Dracaena Twister Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Dracaena Twister does well in a wide range of lighting environments. Thus, you can keep it low, medium or bright light.

The key here is to keep the plant in indirect, filtered, dappled or diffused light.

That said, as versatile as the plant is when it comes to different lighting conditions, it will thrive in medium to bright indirect light.

This is where you’ll see it grow at its best.

Note that the Dracaena Twister has solid green leaves. But if you if you happen to have the variegated version with curly leaves and yellow borders, they you probably have the Dracaena Twister Lemon Lime.

The Dracaena Twister Lemon lime is very similar to the Dracaena Twister except for its colorful foliage.

But the colors also mean that if you have the variegated version, it will need more light to maintain those colors.

That said, the Dracaena Twister Lemon Lime will tolerate low light too (at least the plant will).

However, its leaves may lose their color or the vibrancy of their colors with less light. And the lower the light, the more you’ll see the yellow colors fade.

There’s also the risk of the plant reverting to a Dracaena Twister with all green leaves in too little light. Therefore, I suggest keeping the plant it at least medium, indirect light.

Thus, for both Dracaena Twister varieties, the ideal locations are near east and west facing windows. Be a little bit more wary about the north facing window especially during winter when there’s little sunshine.

Outdoors, semi-shade or partial shade is idea.

Just as importantly, keep both Dracaena Twister varieties away from full sun, too much direct sunlight or very intense light.

Excess exposure can scorch their leaves.

As such, be careful with a south facing window and the direct rays of the sun.

 

Temperature

The Dracaena Twister is warm weather loving plant. That’s because it is native to tropical Africa.

This is why the plant enjoys perpetual sunshine and consistently moderate to warm weather.

It is also why it is perfect for growing indoors in homes.

Most homes maintain moderate to slightly warm temperatures, which make it easy to accommodate this lovely houseplant without having to adjust your thermostat.

The Dracaena Twister has an idea temperature range of 60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

And as long as you keep it in this range, the plant will do well and stay healthy as far as climate conditions go.

But avoid temperatures below 55 degrees as the plant has a hard time in the cold.

This means that indoors, it is important to avoid the hidden or sneaky “dangers” in the home.

This includes air conditioners, vents, cold drafts and sudden drops in nighttime temperatures. All of these can bring down temperature that will affect the plant.

Outdoors, the weather is the Dracaena Twister’s biggest threat.

As such, most growers will keep the plant indoors as houseplants. But you can still take it outdoors during the warmer months of the year.

However, make sure to bring it back indoors when the temperature drops around mid-fall.

Never leave it outdoors during winter as it will not survive.

There is one exception though.

This is in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11 which are locations the Dracaena Twister loves the outdoors. In these regions, the weather stays moderate to warm even during November through March.

So, you can leave the plant outdoors and it will grow happily and healthily there.

 

Humidity

Once again, the Dracaena Twister has the ability to do well in a wide range of levels here.

As far as humidity goes, the plant has no problems with regular household humidity (30% to 50%). This is what makes it hardy and low maintenance.

Note that given a choice, the Dracaena Twister will prefer high humidity.

That’s because it comes from the tropics, which is best known for its sunny, warm and humid weather.

Therefore, if you happen to have higher humidity or can give the plant this environment, you’ll see it grow faster, bigger and have more vibrant colors.

Its ideal humidity is between 60% to 80%. So, if you want, you can shoot for that.

But in most cases, misting the plant on occasion will help keep it happy.

There’s no need to overdo this though.

Misting too much is actually risky since it increases the risk of wet leaves or water spots on leaves. If this happens, it will make the conditions conducive for fungal disease.

So, if you happen to accidentally over spray the leaves while misting, pat them down with a dry towel or paper towels to help them dry.

 

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How Often to Water Dracaena Twister

Allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry out between waterings. This is the minimum I suggest when watering the plant.

That’s because the Dracaena Twister is relatively drought tolerate.

Just as importantly, it is prone to overwatering. And if you let this happen too long or often enough, it will results in root rot.

So, like most Dracaena plants, it is best to stay on the dry side when watering the plant.

During the warmer months, the plant usually needs watering every 10 to 14 days. This cuts back significantly during the winter when it can go as far back as 3 weeks.

The key is to use the soil as a guide.

Therefore, the best way to know when to water the plant is to regularly feel the soil.

As I’ve mentioned, at least wait until the top 2 or 3 inches of soil has dried before you add more water.

For me, I like to stay more conservative. As such, I wait until the top 50% to 75% of soil is dry before adding more water.

Anything in between this range works well.

You don’t to be precise.

The other thing to be aware of when watering the Dracaena Twister is its sensitivity to excess salts and minerals in water.

Some tap water are highly mineralized. This depends on your municipality and how much they add.

If they happen to add a lot of chlorine, fluoride or other salts, it will cause the leaves of the Dracaena Twister to turn brown and dry.

This is something worth checking if you notice these symptoms.

And if it is indeed the tap water, switch to rainwater or distilled water. You can also let the tap water sit overnight to let the salts and excess minerals evaporate.

 

Dracaena Twister Potting Soil

The Dracaena Twister will do well in all-purpose potting soil.

Once again, it is not finicky about this aspect. And as long as you don’t use heavy soils that retain too much moisture, it will be fine.

The thing to watch out for are the two extremes.

Soils that hold on to too much liquid can cause waterlogging which leads to overwatering.

The plant’s susceptibility to overwatering and root rot means you want to avoid this at all costs.

On the other hand, also stay away from very fast draining soils. Cacti and succulent soils will drain too much water which will dry out he Dracaena Twister.

As a result, you end up with an underwatered plant.

Therefore, avoid these two kinds of soil.

For me, I like to go with well-draining soil. Again, this is mainly because the Dracaena Twister is prone to overwatering and root rot.

So, it works well for me as a precaution.

I do suggest that if you go with regular houseplant potting soil to have some perlite on hand just in case. This will let you adjust the drainage of the soil in case it retains too much water.

If you notice the soil hold too much moisture, add a few handfuls to the mix. This will increase drainage and make the soil lighter as well.

You can adjust as you go by adding or subtracting the amount o f perlite you incorporate.

On the other hand, if you want to just go with well-draining soil, here’s a mixture that works very well.

  • 1 part potting soil
  • 1 part perlite

 

Fertilizer

To help the Dracaena Twister grow at its best, it is important to feed the plant.

Of course, you can go without fertilizing it. But from what I’ve seen, there’s a huge difference between a fertilized and unfertilized Dracaena Twister.

And you’ll see a significant difference in terms of growth, size, color, and quality even in just a year.

As such, it is a good idea to give it plant food.

That said, don’t overfeed the plant. Like water, too much fertilizer is very harmful since it can burn the roots and the leaves.

Instead, just give it the nutrients it needs.

This means applying an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer once a month during spring and summer. Stop feeding by early or mid-autumn. And don’t fertilize it during winter.

Dilute the application each time by 50% to avoid overfeeding the plant.

 

Pruning

As with other Dracaena varieties, the Dracaena Twister will grow into a mini-tree that is a few feet tall.

But is grows relatively straight up.

Although, in many cases it will tilt towards one side.

Therefore, this is something to watch out for as it gets bigger. I don’t particularly like it when it bends towards one direction because it is very obvious given how slim the plant is.

It is quite slim because the leaves don’t flare out like those in other Dracaena species.

Instead, they curl inwards keeping the plant’s foliage compact.

In many cases, you’ll see the Dracaena Twister as a much smaller plant anywhere from 8 to 15 inches resembling a ball.

This will eventually get bigger in time.

As such, pruning is primarily for keeping control of its size. Its leaves don’t require much pruning, if at all. However, I know some growers who trim them to keep them looking uniform.

So, you can do that as well.

 

How to Propagate Dracaena Twister

Dracaena Twister propagation is commonly done by stem tip cuttings (also known as top cuttings).

Here, you’ll be taking the top part of the plant and grow it into a new plant.

You can likewise do stem cuttings if you want to propagate more new plants.

Here’s how to propagate the Dracaena Twister from stem tip cuttings.

  1. Take a healthy stem tip. Make sure it has at least 1-2 nodes and several leaves on it.
  2. Cut the stem tip at the leaf line. Don’t worry about the mother plant as it will grow back on the area that you cut off.
  3. Once you have the stem tip cutting, apply rooting hormone. If you don’t have rooting hormone, don’t worry, this is an optional step. So, just skip it.
  4. Plant the stem tip cutting into a pot with well-draining soil.
  5. Position the pot near a window where it gets medium indirect light. Then water the soil until moist.

It usually takes several weeks for the cutting to root.

But since you’ve directly planted the cutting into a pot, all you need to do now is care for the new plant like you do its parent.

When the time comes and it outgrows in container, you can repot the plant to a bigger container.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Dracaena Twister

The Dracaena Twister enjoys staying in its pot. And it does not mind being slightly root bound.

Therefore, repotting is only needed every 2 years.

To know when to repot, check the pot and the plant’s roots every spring.

If you see roots circling around the pot, popping up from the surface of the soil, sneaking out from the creases between the soil and pot, it is time to repot.

Similarly, if there are rooting poking out from the bottom of the drainage holes of the pot, be ready to move the plant.

When repotting, choose a container that is 2 inches wider than the current pot.

Make sure it has drainage holes at the bottom.

And replace the soil with fresh, well-draining soil as well.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Dracaena Twister is toxic to humans and pets. However, it is only toxic when consumed.

Therefore, it is safe to hold, carry, move or touch.

That said, ingesting any part of the plant including the leaves can cause several side effects including vomiting, excessive drooling, nausea and other problems.

 

Dracaena Twister Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Dracaena Twister is prone to mealybugs, mites and scale. These are problematic and can harm the plant when you let them grow in number.

Also, keep in mind that they populate very quickly.

Therefore, even if you see just a few of them, it is important to immediately treat and eradicate them.

 

Diseases

The Dracaena Twister is prone to overwatering and root rot.

As such, you want to avoid this at all costs.

That’s because watering too often or using soil that causes waterlogging can ultimately destroy the plant.

As such, always allow the soil to dry between waterings. And use well-draining soil to avoid letting the roots sit in water for extended periods of time.

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