Growers Guide To Warneckii Dracaena | Placement, Care, And Decor

Are you looking to add a splash of green to your interior décor? If the answer is yes, you will love Dracaena plants.

Best known for their abundant foliage, these plants make a wonderful addition to any home because they are so versatile and easy to care for.

Originating in tropical Africa thousands of years ago, its genus name translates to ‘female dragon’. Since then, it has thrived in many regions around the world due to its durability.

About the Warneckii dracaena

The common Warneckii houseplant was cultivated from the tropical Corn plant (Dracaena fragrans) more than 200 years ago and originates from Africa.

This marvelous plant is so stunning that it has been granted the prestigious Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society, making it one of the best indoor plants to enhance the look and feel of your home.

Botanical name

Dracaena deremensis ‘warneckii ulyses’

Common names

  • Dragon plant
  • Corn plant
  • Female Dragon

Warneckii dracaena types

Also commonly called Dracaena warneckii. there are several indoor plant types cultivated from the Dracaena fragrans species. The most common are:

  • Dracaena deremensis
  • Dracaena marginata
  • Dracaena lemon lime
  • dracaena sanderiana

Warneckii Dracaena plant care at a glance

  • Plant type: Evergreen shrub
  • Average height: 5 feet (1.5 m)
  • Average width: 30 inches (75 cm)
  • Plant growth rate: Slow
  • Blooms flowers: Yes
  • Pests: Spider mites, mealybugs
  • Life span: 15-20 years
  • Care difficulty: Low

What are the benefits?

Not only do Dracaena fragrans come in a variety of adaptable sizes and lovely colors, but they are also highly adaptable plants that can grow in your home for many years. With a bit of care and caution, they will bring a lovely touch to any room.

They will also improve the air quality of your space.

Studies by NASA have shown that Dracaena fragrans remove harmful chemicals such benzene, formeldahyde, and trichloroethylene from indoor air.

Warneckii dracaena appearance

Reaching a height of 2-5 ft, the Dracaena warneckii boasts lance-shaped leaves and substantial upright growth, which will make a lovely standing plant for your floor or garden. Shorter, bushier varieties grow well in decorative pots of any size, which look fantastic on countertops and tabletops in homes or offices.

Varieties like Dracaena lemon lime have illuminating yellow and gray leaves, while the Dracaena Marginata has red-fringed leaves. The most common, variety, the Dracaena warneckii has green leaves with slightly yellow fringes.

Leaves potted dracaena compact lemon lime Warneckii Variegate
Leaves of a potted dracaena compact lemon lime Warneckii // Photo by Ksenia Shestakova on Shutterstock

How tall do Dracaena warneckii grow?

As an indoor plant, Dracaena Warneckii typically matures at 4-5 ft., but when grown in the garden, it can tower to more than 10 ft.

How do I keep my Dracaena small?

Most people choose to keep their Warneckii dracaenas indoors, where they can still grow healthily and happily. The size of your Dracaena Warneckii plant is easily controlled with the right size pot. A smaller plant pot will limit your plant’s growth potential.

You can place your Dracaena plant on the floor, as well as on tabletops, countertops, and desks.

Young gardener checking leaves of Dracaena marginata grown in pot
Young gardener checking leaves of Dracaena marginata grown in pot // Photo by BearFotos on Shutterstock

Difficulty level

Many people love this variety because it is not difficult to grow. Dracaena can thrive even under intense neglect. It may be grown indoors in low-light environments, with infrequent watering, and at variable room temperatures, and still remain a sterling beauty throughout the growing season.

With the right care (see below) Dracaena Fragrans may produce flowers in the spring, but the most notable feature is its gray-green , or red foliage and signature stripes that look gorgeous, even with less than ideal care.

Is Warneckii dracaena safe to grow indoors?

The Dracaena Fragrans leaves are toxic to animals and humans when ingested, but even small amounts of consumption are not likely to cause serious problems. But if you suspect that your pet or child ate a large amount of foliage, watch for signs of lethargy, vomiting, and mouth irritation and call a doctor for further assistance.

How long does a dracaena plant live?

Dracaena plants are well-known for living a very long life – up to 30 or 40 years! But only if they are well cared for – they have a very slow plant growth rate!

Are you ready to add a Warneckii dracaena to your home? Here’s everything you need to know about buying and caring for your new plant so that it stays healthy and beautiful.

Dracaena Lemon Lime
Dracaena Lemon Lime, popular as a greenhouse or indoor plant // Photo by Ostralfotoru on Shutterstock

Plant care for Dracaena warneckii

The Dracaena family is well-known for being very durable, so plant care for this variety is quite easy. Watering can be done inconsistently because these plants are drought resistant by nature.

Its preference for indirect sunlight also means it functions well in many different environments and makes plant care a dream.

Water

How often should you water a Dracaena Warneckii?

Dracaena plants are desert succulents that require less water than most indoor plants. However, you still need to use caution as these plants do not respond well to chemicals in certain types of water.

Before watering your dracaena Warneckii, you should let at least half of the soil in the pot dry out. When your plant is ready for watering, do it gently and slowly so that water is distributed evenly among the roots.

Use a plant pot with drainage holes to drain any excess water. Overwatering can produce leaves that turn yellow and fall off, as well as root rot and ultimately the death of the plant – if you are not careful with your watering schedule.

The best water for Dracaena Warneckii

The Dracaena Warneckii is very sensitive to fluoride, which is present in tap water from most public water supplies. Experts suggest watering your plant with distilled water, purified water, or rain water.

But if you must use tap water for watering, allow it to sit overnight in a container so that the fluoride gas has some time to evaporate into the air.

Humidity and temperature

What is the ideal temperature and humidity for a Dracaena?

Dracaena plants prefer ambient temperatures of 65-80 degrees. However, they don’t work well with temps of less than 55 Celsius. Low temperatures affect the metabolism of this plant causing it to have low enzyme activity and destroying the overall nutrient absorption. Cold winter temperatures can also damage foliage.

Do I need to mist my Dracaena plant?

Varieties like Dracaena deremensis prefer typical room humidity levels of 40-60%. If you live in a dry climate, your Dracaena plant will require occasional misting to prevent brown leaf tips.

Light

Does Dracaena need full sun?

No. Dracaena plants naturally prefer indirect bright light. Your Warneckii plant will be very happy near a south-facing or north-facing window or in a semi-shady room. This is because too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves. 

The dracaena Warneckii even enjoys fluorescent office lighting because it can grow better in lower light than some other Dracaena species. It should be noted, however, that Dracaenas contain less chlorophyll than solid-green plants due to their multi-colored leaves. As a result, it will not grow to its full potential in very dim environments.

Dragon tree dracaena marginata
Dragon tree dracaena marginata next to a watering can in a beautifully designed home interior // Photo by Grumpy Cow Studios on Shutterstock

Soil

What potting soil is best for Dracaena?

It is very important to plant your Warneckii dracaena in a loam-based potting soil. Do not use a soil mixture that contains perlite because this kind of potting soil contains fluoride, which is toxic to Dracaena plants. 

A good mix includes three equal parts of pine bark, coarse builder’s sand, and peat moss. The best soil pH is 6 to 6.5.

Fertilizer

How to fertilize my Warneckii dracaena plant?

Dracaena Fragrans needs very little fertillzer. Give it some plant food once or twice a year in the spring and summer with a basic houseplant food diluted to half the recommended strength. Too much fertilizer can cause the leaf tips to burn. 

Repotting dracaena plants

Dracaena plants are naturally slow-growing plants. After several years of sitting in the same size pot with the same old soil, it will thank you for repotting it in a more spacious home. This process allows your dracaena warneckii plant more room to extend its roots and continue to grow taller, which is ideal for your tree.

You should repot your Warneckii plant every 3 years as it naturally outgrows its pot. You will know it is time to repot your dracaena when the soil becomes very loose and the roots are exploding through the drainage hole in the pot.

Dracaena plants
Dracaena plants are naturally slow-growing plants // Photo by Studio Light and Shade on Shutterstock

How much space does Dracaena warneckii need?

If you live in a warmer climate and want to plant or repot your Dracaena Warneckii in a nice outdoor planter, you will need to allow 36-48 inches (90-120 cm) of space for the plant to root itself into the soil so that it does not compete with your other plants for water and nutrients.

How do I repot dracaena Warneckii?

Although this plant is quite resistant, you should be careful to avoid transplant shock. To do this, water your dracaena plant generously at least 24 hours before repotting. If the leaf tips of your dracaena plant begin to curl or turn brown after moving it to a new pot, keep an eye on it and give it some extra care; it should begin to recover after a few weeks.

First, prepare a new pot that is at least 2 inches larger than its old one. Then, remove your dracaena plant from the pot, gently clean the roots of old soil, and check for signs of root rot. Finally, plant your dracaena in its new pot with fresh potting soil and water it generously. Ideally, you should transplant indoor plants in the spring and summer, and use fertilizer at this time..

Dracaena Marginata in a larger clay pot
The process of transplanting an adult houseplant Dracaena Marginata into a larger clay pot // Photo by pundapanda on Shutterstock

Why is my Warneckii plant dying?

Your Dracaena is probably not dying – killing a Warneckii plant is like failing gym class; kind of impossible unless you do nothing.

Even though some varieties like the Dracaena fragrans are extremely resistant and durable, sometimes things can go wrong. Here are some possible problems and solutions for caring for your Dracaena plant:

Yellow spots and brown tips on the foliage

This is typically a sign that your plant needs a bit more watering. Remember to check the potting soil weekly with your fingers to ensure it doesn’t remain dry for long periods.

Crispy, brown tips

This usually indicates a nutrient deficiency, which can be caused by over-fertilization or chemical imbalances, such as fluoride in the potting soil or water.

Pale, white foliage

Your plant might require a bit less direct sunlight. You can try moving your plant to a lower light source, or using a curtain during times when the direct afternoon sun is striking the window.

Normal Dracaena plant discoloration

It is not abnormal to see yellow leaves and brown tips from time to time so you will need to prune the plant regularly. Removing them is beneficial for the plant’s health. For taller trees, buy sharp, clean pruning shears to cut back the yellowing leaves.

Placing your new plant

Because of their adaptability to different environments, Dracaena plants can thrive nearly anywhere in your home. The placement of your new plant largely depends on your aesthetic preferences and the quality of your space.

What does Dracaena plant aesthetic mean?

Shape, color, and plant texture are important aesthetic attributes to consider when building your plant collection. It is highly recommended to vary the plants that grow in your home or commercial space to create the most aesthetically pleasing environment.

Most dracaena plants feature sword-like leaves with stunning stripes. The white-striped Warneckii dracaena can easily break up the monochrome of your solid-green houseplants. Or for a zanier vibe, pair it with an even bolder dracaena, such as the yellow-striped Dracaena lemon lime.

Placing your Warneckii dracaena amongst broad, green foliage will also provide a nice accent to your collection. With its coarse-textured leaves, it looks best when arranged with houseplants of a finer texture.

Dracaena Marginata
The stunning Dracaena Marginata is also known as a Dragon tree // Photo by Cre8 design on Shutterstock

Best plant pots for the Warneckii dracaena

Regardless if you want to place your dracaena on the floor and grow it into a large tree, or keep it small in a beautiful fiberglass plant pot, the dracaena is sure to promote a feeling of wellness in your life for years to come.

The Warneckii dracaena looks especially beautiful when paired with our collection of fiberglass plant pots. Here are a few of our favorites!

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