Dracaenas, higher referred to as dragon bushes, have been standard houseplants for a while now. As indoor crops, they current a beautiful show of foliage that’s certain to please with out requiring fixed care. That’s the place an excellent potting soil combine for Dracaena is available in.
Widespread species, such because the dragon tree (Dracaena marginata), fortunate bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana), and striped Dracaena (Dracaena fragrans, AKA Dracaena massangeana or Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’), are treasured for his or her lengthy, usually variegated leaves. However these slender leaves will solely be at their greatest when the plant is given the right soil.
WARNING: Sansevieria Care IS NOT Dracaena Care
As unusual as this disclaimer sounds, it merely can’t be burdened sufficient. A couple of years again, botanists discovered genetic similarities between the genera Dracaena and Sansevieria.
The 2 had been instantly merged in no less than one standard classification system with out contemplating how totally different these genera truly had been.
Sadly, utilizing dracaena care guidelines to look after a sansevieria can hurt and even kill your snake tongue!
This reality has resulted in an ongoing battle between those that want to undertake the identify change and sansevieria fans who consider the 2 genera ought to stay separate resulting from their many organic variations.
All the time use warning and guarantee your plant is NOT a sansevieria earlier than utilizing any care information designed for dracaenas.
The Finest Soil For Dracaena
Merely put, dracaenas favor wealthy, well-drained soil.
Nonetheless, it will possibly tolerate a good vary of soil varieties and even soil-free mixes, which we’ll describe in additional element under.
If you buy fertilizer, you are likely to see an NPK score, which notes the proportion of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium current.
Nonetheless, a wholesome dracaena plant truly wants a variety of vitamins to thrive, and good soil can have many or all of those already included.
That is one thing a number of guides get fallacious when describing, and the terminology is definitely fairly necessary.
Soil pH is calculated on a scale with 10 classes, from extraordinarily acidic (lower than 4.5) to extraordinarily alkaline (over 9.1).
Dracaena crops favor a variety of slight acids (6.1- 6.5) or impartial (6.6 to 7.3).
Be cautious of web sites that describe 5.0 or 5.5 as “barely acidic.” These ranges can hurt or kill crops that require barely acidic soil.
All dracaena houseplants require the Massive Three macronutrients, that are:
- Nitrogen – Important for wholesome leaves and stems
- Phosphorus – Used primarily for producing blooms, but in addition useful in photosynthesis
- Potassium – Needed for a robust immune system and durable stems
These three vitamins will likely be primarily replenished by fertilizers for indoor crops, however all soil will comprise a point of those vitamins – particularly home made mixes.
Micronutrients are sometimes ignored as a result of they’re not highlighted on fertilizer packages.
Nonetheless, identical to a human multivitamin, any good soil and fertilizer will comprise hint quantities of those important vitamins.
Your dracaena will primarily need small quantities of:
Please observe that faucet water isn’t an excellent supply for these vitamins, because the calcium, chlorine fuel, and different chemical substances or mineral salts in faucet water aren’t in a kind the plant can simply digest, usually resulting in soil toxicity.
Selecting A Potting Soil For Dragon Timber
As talked about, dracaena wants soil with glorious drainage and a good quantity of natural materials.
Nearly any potting soil combine will work if amended, though an African violet potting combine is commonly the only option for tropical crops.
It’s normally a good suggestion to amend your potting combine with an mixture, akin to perlite, with one half mixture to 2 components soil combine.
Aggregates stop the soil from compacting, enhancing oxygenation and water drainage.
If working with poorer soil, you may additionally want to add some natural materials, akin to peat moss.
Selfmade Potting Mixes
In the event you’re feeling slightly extra adventurous, you can also make your personal soil-free combine.
For dracaenas, the commonest combine is an easy ratio of 1 half natural materials, one half mixture, and one half peat moss.
Nonetheless, there are a number of nice components to select from, so let’s take a second to cowl a number of the hottest:
This mixture helps filter toxins from the soil and supplies additional carbon.
Use not more than 5% to 10% p.c activated charcoal content material in your combine.
This isn’t the sand you’ll discover in a sandbox.
As an alternative, this mixture is the kind of large-grain sand used for concrete and masonry.
As with different aggregates, it prevents soil compacting however is rather less environment friendly at holding onto water, so attempt to not make it greater than 20% p.c of the whole combine and use it with moss.
Nonetheless, it’s an ideal reply to clay soils, which are likely to retain an excessive amount of moisture.
Coco coir is the fiber you discover on a coconut shell and is commonly offered in backyard facilities as a by-product of processing coconuts commercially.
It improves aeration, retains moisture, and supplies loads of natural materials, making it a preferred alternative for 20% to 30% of home made potting mixes.
Orchid Bark Or Pine Bark Fines
Orchid bark is maybe the most well-liked natural part, and a few recipes name for as a lot as 40% p.c of orchid bark content material.
In the meantime, pine bark fines are a byproduct of creating pine mulch and are rather less widespread.
Use sphagnum as an alternative of peat when utilizing the bark fines, because the fines enhance acidity, and use not more than 30% p.c.
Peat is the go-to alternative for a lot of growers, because it barely will increase soil acidity whereas serving to to retain moisture with out making a swampy mess.
Use 10 to twenty% p.c in your combine, relying on what different amendments you’re utilizing.
This standard mixture fabricated from crushed volcanic rock might help stop soil compacting and helps retain small quantities of moisture.
Perlite has a impartial pH and tends to be an inexpensive and easy-to-find possibility.
Pumice is a good mixture alternative, enhancing moisture retention in sandy soils whereas rising aeration in clay soils.
It additionally accommodates some sulphur, a micronutrient that may help in pest management however tries to not use greater than 10% to fifteen% p.c as an excessive amount of sulphur may give some crops indigestion.
Opposite to the claims of many websites, sphagnum and peat usually are not the identical factor.
Use sphagnum rather than peat to make the soil barely extra impartial.
One other mixture, this standard different to perlite, not solely retains the soil free and retains a little bit of moisture however can even assist retain some vitamins.
Use it in the identical ratio as you’d perlite.
That is actually worm poop and is a byproduct of vermiculture composting.
Nutrient-rich, including 5% to 10% p.c worm-casting content material to your combine will enhance your crops.