How to Grow & Care for Dracaena Cintho at Home

The Dracaena Cintho is also known as the Dracaena Cintho Cane or the Corn Plant. Its scientific name is Dracaena fragrans Cintho.

Thus, you’ll see some similarities with the Dracaena fragrans.

This is a beautiful, small tree-like plant that is low maintenance and good at cleaning indoor air. It adapts to many living environments which makes it easy to grow indoors.

The plant features broad leaves with light green-yellow variegations that go down the center of its foliage.

It a the perfect plant if you’re looking for an accent piece that is resilient and tough which can grow in low light conditions.

The Dracaena Cintho is native to tropical Africa.

How do you care for the Dracaena Cintho? It thrives with bright indirect light. But it will not have any problem with low light.

However, avoid direct sunlight as too much exposure will burn its leaves.

When watering, wait until part of the soil has dried before adding more water. It is prone to overwatering and root rot.

Dracaena Cintho Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Dracaena Cintho thrives in plenty of light indoors. Ideally give it bright, indirect light. Although it will do very well in medium light. And it will tolerate low light conditions with no problems as well.

However, note that that in low light, you will notice its growth slow down compared to brighter locations. Similarly, it will produce fewer leaves and smaller ones at that too.

The most important thing to watch out for in low light is to avoid insufficient lighting. That’s because this can cause problems for the plant including slow or even stunted growth.

Its leaves can also get discolored and wilt after some time.

That’s because in dim, dark or very shaded locations, the plant will have difficulty with photosynthesis. Photosynthesis needs light to produce enough food for the plant. This in turn is what the plant uses for energy.

Thus, lack of light will result in a weaker, smaller plant that looks unhealthy.

On the other hand, you also want to keep the Dracaena Cintho away from strong light. Indoors, this usually means direct sunlight.

The simplest way to ensure this is to position it so the sun’s rays never touch the plant.

This way, it stays in a bright location with no direct sunlight.

The reason for doing this is that the plant has problems when it is exposed to more than 1-3 hours of direct sunlight.

While the Dracaena Cintho itself will be okay, is leaves won’t.

Too much sun or light will turn its leaves yellow or brown. It can also scorch them leaving foliage with burn marks.

What does this mean?

It means that when finding a good spot for the plant, it is a good idea to keep the plant near a window so it gets plenty of light.

However, position it so that the sun’s rays don’t directly hit the leaves or the plant.

This is true especially for a south facing window.

Outdoors, the plant will grow best in partial shade. Try to avoid full sun as the intensity is too much for the plant’s leaves to bear.

 

Temperature

The Dracaena Cintho grows best when temperature stays between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This is perfect for indoor growing since that’s the exact range that most homes have.

As such, it is easy for the plant to adapt to your home’s living environment as long as you can give it good lighting and humidity.

Note that while this range is the plant’s ideal level, it will do well as long as the temperature stays between 55 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

I’ve also seen it in Southeast Asia and South America living in 95 degree Fahrenheit summer heat with not problems at all.

So, it has fairly good tolerance to high temperatures.

The key is to maintain moderate to warm weather.

That’s because the Dracaena Cintho is accustomed to tropical and subtropical climates which is what its native habitat gets.

So, the problem for the plant is the cold weather.

The tropics don’t have any cold months. They also don’t have any winters.

This is why the Dracaena Cintho has issues when temperature drops under 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

As such, it is important to keep the plant away from this condition.

Indoors, you have the ability to control the temperature in your home. This makes it easier to keep the plant happy.

But you do need to watch out for winter weather, sudden drops in nighttime temperatures, air conditioners and cold drafts coming in from windows.

Outdoors, the Dracaena Cintho likes living in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 because the sun is up all year round. The weather also stays moderate during the latter part of the year.

These regions also don’t experience frost, snow or winter weather.

However, if you live in colder regions, it is a good idea to keep the plant indoors as a houseplant.

You can give it frequent vacations outdoors during the warmer months. But make sure to bring it back indoors once the temperature drops to near 55 degrees Fahrenheit around mid-fall.

Never leave the plant outside during winter.

 

Humidity

The Dracaena Cintho likes humidity. And it will do best if humidity is kept between 60% and 80%.

Unfortunately, this is often too high for most households.

The only exceptions are if you live in a tropical, subtropical or Mediterranean climate. It also works if you leave near the sea, ocean or large body of water like the lake.

Of course, you can achieve this with a greenhouse too.

The good news is that the Dracaena Cintho will tolerate average room humidity.

This makes it so much easier to accommodate since you likely won’t have to make any special adjustments to keep the plant happy.

However, if you live in an area with dry air, then this may be an issue.

Similarly, some nurseries raise their plants in greenhouses. As such, the humidity will be kept at higher levels for the houseplants they sell.

So, when you bring it to your home, the plant will struggle (at least initially) because of the difference. And it will take some time to get acclimated.

This is why it is important to ask the shop what conditions they keep the plant in. This way you can closely replicate them or get the plant acclimated to your home.

 

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How Often to Water Dracaena Cintho

The Dracaena Cintho has average watering needs. It needs to be watered around once every 7 to 114 days.

Ideally, keep the soil moist.

But avoid leaving the plant wet, soggy or mucky soil. Similarly, it does not like it when the soil gets completely dry.

Thus, it is best to keep the plant somewhere in between.

The key is to avoid overwatering the plant because is it prone to root rot when the roots are left to sit in water for long periods of time.

As such, it is best to let the soil dry slightly between waterings.

This means wait until the top 2-3 inches of soil has dried before you add more water. You can check this by sticking your finger into the soil down to the 2nd or 3rd knuckle.

If the soil feels moist or wet, don’t water yet.

Instead, only water when that depth is completely dry.

I like to wait until the top half of the soil has dried before adding more water. This is a more conservative approach.

And it is also safer in terms of avoiding overwatering and root rot.

The other thing to be aware of is that the Dracaena Cintho is sensitive to too many chemicals and minerals in the soil.

This means you want to avoid using highly mineralized tap water as well has hard water since they will turn the plant’s leaves yellow or brown.

Thus, if you’ve eliminated all the possible causes and still can’t find out the cause for brown foliage or yellow leaves, check the quality of the water you’re using.

Some cities have tap water that contain high amounts of fluoride, chlorine and salts.

If this is the case where you live, it is a good idea to switch to rainwater, distilled or filtered water. You can also leave tap water overnight to evaporate before watering your Dracaena Cintho with it.

 

Dracaena Cintho Potting Soil

The Dracaena Cintho will do okay with standard potting soil. However, because of its susceptibility to overwatering and root rot, I prefer to use well-draining soil.

This kind of soil will allow excess moisture to quickly drain.

In doing so, it helps keep the roots dry.

In contrast, if you use heavier soils that retain more moisture, the roots can end up sitting in water for long periods of time before the soil dries.

This environment puts it at risk of overwatering and potentially root rot.

The good news is that there are many ways to create well-draining potting soil that is suitable for the plant.

One is to mix potting soil with lava rocks. You can also use clay pebbles if you wish.

Both will increase drainage to allow excess liquid to quickly drain.

A simple way to achieve the right soil for the Dracaena Cintho is to mix;

  • 1 part potting soil
  • 1 part perlite

You can likewise swap out the perlite with pumice if you wish. That will work just as well since both perlite and pumice help make the mixture lighter and increase drainage.

For nutrients, add a 1/4” layer of worm compost as topdressing.

 

Fertilizer

The Dracaena Cintho will benefit from regular fertilizer. Although, it does not need a lot of plant food.

Use an all-purpose fertilizer during the plant’s growing season.

This happens during the warmer months of the year during spring and summer. As such, you can stop applying fertilizer by early to mid-fall.

Don’t feed the plant during winter as it won’t be doing much growing then.

Once a month feeding is ideal. Dilute the application by 50% each time. And make sure that the soil is moist before you add fertilizer.

Never apply when the soil is completely dry.

 

Pruning

The Dracaena Cintho will typically grow to between 6 to 8 feet high. This is a small tree-like plant that’s perfect for living rooms, offices and patios.

It also does not take a lot of space to the sides.

Instead, it grows upwards with many large leaves.

Since the plant is a slow grower, it does take some time for it reach its final size. Thus, you’ll usually see it indoors around 3 to 4 feet tall.

As far as pruning goes, most growers will prune the plant to control its size.

Others will trim it leaves to make it look neat.

Thus, most pruning is really for size and appearance purposes.

This means that you have the option of doing what you want. And how often your trim and how much you trim it will depend on where you’re placing the plant, how much space you have and how you want it to look.

That said, remove any old, brown, yellow and dead leaves.

 

How to Propagate Dracaena Cintho

Dracaena Cintho propagation is often done through stem tip cuttings.

This is fairly easy and straightforward. However, the downside is that unlike other houseplants, you won’t be able to propagate many new plants at once.

That’s because the Dracaena Cintho does not have as many stems like a pothos would have.

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

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

  1. Take a 4 to 6 inch stem tip cutting. Choose one that is healthy and has several leaves.
  2. Using a sterile knife or pruning shears, cut off the stem tip from the mother plant.
  3. Plant the stem tip cutting in a pot with well-draining soil.
  4. Place the pot in bright, indirect light. And water the soil until moist.

In several weeks, the cutting will grow new roots and the roots will begin to establish themselves in the ground.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Dracaena Cintho

The Dracaena Cintho will need repotting as it gets bigger.

Since it is a slow grower, you don’t need to hurry with repotting. Instead, it usually takes 2 years before you need to repot.

Of course, the exact frequency will depend on the how fast the plant grows.

And this can vary significantly depending on how much light, humidity, fertilizer, water and other things it receives in its living environment.

So, the best way to know when to repot the plant is to check the bottom of the pot and surface of the soil.

I like to do this once a year in early spring.

If you see roots popping up from the surface of the soil or from underneath the holes, it means the plant is looking for more space to grow.

As such, it is root bound and it is time repot.

Use a pot that is one size larger. Make sure it has drainage holes as well. Also, have enough potting mix to fill the new container.

I like to water the plant 24 hours before I plant to repot. This helps cut the risk of repotting stress or shock.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

When consumed, the Dracaena Cintho is toxic. And it is poisonous to humans, cats and dogs.

Therefore, choose a good location for the plant that’s also away from the reach of young children and pets.

Every part of the plant is toxic.

So, you don’t want them to accidentally chew or eat any of it while playing near or around the plant.

 

Dracaena Cintho Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Dracaena Cintho is not known for getting serious pest problems.

However, it can experience attacked from mealybugs, spider mites, scale and thrips.

All of these bugs will grow quickly in number as they have short lifespans and lay many eggs. Additionally, it only takes a few days for the eggs to hatch.

Therefore, if you see any of these insects, it is important to immediately isolate the plant and start treatment.

These pests can travel from one plant to another.

So, they can infect your entire houseplant collection if they are grouped together.

 

Diseases

Root and stem rot are big problems for this plant.

And it is excess moisture that causes these problems.

As such, it is very important to always be mindful of how you water and when you water.

Overwatering is the usual cause of root rot. It also causes fungal growth which is the main reason for stem rot.

Thus, avoid excess moisture. Use well-draining soil and a pot with good drainage.

Also, keep the plant in a well-lit location with sufficient air circulation to help excess water to dry faster.

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