Dracaena fragrans ‘Limelight’
Botanical Name — Dracaena fragrans ‘Limelight’
Common Name — Dracaena ‘Limelight’, cornstalk Dracaena
Plant Family — Asparagaceae
Dracaena fragrans ‘Limelight’ is a slow-growing perennial plant native to tropical Africa, including Sudan, Mozambique, and Angola. It grows in upland environments at high altitudes up to 2250 meters. Younger specimens typically have a single unbranched stem with a rosette of leaves at the growing tip. When the rosette flowers or the growing tip is damaged the single stalk branches producing two or more new stems. Mature plants can reach up to 15 meters in height.
- Dracaena ‘Limelight’ does well in medium to bright indirect light or dappled sun. Avoid intense, direct sun as this can burn the leaves. Morning sun from an east or north-facing window is ideal. These plants will also grow well in a window with western exposure that gets good evening sun.
- Dracaena plants require warm temperatures to thrive. Ideal temperatures range between 65 and 90 ºF. This plant will start to decline at temperatures below 55 ºF.
- Dracaena ‘Limelight’ is a fairly drought-tolerant plant. It should only be watered when the soil has dried thoroughly. It is best to err on the side of underwatering. These plants do not do well in consistently moist or soggy soil.
- Dracaena plants like a loamy, well-draining, organically rich soil mixture. A good quality potting mix would work well for potting these plants. Soil can be amended with coco coir up to 25% to improve aeration. Fine pumice or perlite can be added up to 25% to improve drainage.
- Dracaena fragrans ‘Limelight’ flowers once it reaches maturity, which can take five years or longer. When they do flower they produce clusters of pink, yellow, or white flowers on flower stalks that emerge from whorls of leaves.
- Dracaena fragrans do not require much fertilization to thrive. To give them a boost during the growing season or refresh the soil, feed them with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted at half strength once a month. Feed your Dracaena from spring through summer, do not fertilize in the winter.
- Stem cuttings are the most reliable way to propagate a Dracaena plant. Using a clean, sharp blade. Stems can then be placed directly in the soil. While the Dracaena is rooting keep the soil lightly moist by misting it daily but do not soak the soil. Until your Dracaena has established roots it only needs minimal water.
- Cuttings can also be placed in water while they are rooting. Keep an eye on your cutting and put it in soil once you see roots that have grown 2-3” long.
- Stem cuttings will also encourage growth on the parent plant that the cutting was taken from.
- Cuttings should be kept in a warm, bright spot.
- Dracaena fragrans are tough, low-maintenance plants and are not especially susceptible to pests or diseases. The most common issue with these plants tends to be root or stem rot. This is typically brought on by overwatering. Plants that have suffered rot should be destroyed to prevent spread to other plants.
- Always check your plant for common houseplant pests such as mealybugs, scale, and spider mites.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- These plants require very little maintenance to remain happy. As the plant grows lower leaves may start to fall off. This is perfectly normal. New foliage will generate from the top. Prune away any unhealthy looking leaves.
- These plants prefer to be somewhat rootbound and will only need to be repotted once every two to three years. When repotting select a pot that is two to three inches larger in diameter.
- Dracaena fragrans are toxic to pets and humans. Ingesting this plant can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. Keep out of reach of children and pets.