Dracaena is a popular houseplant, treasured for its ability to brighten living spaces with little care or attention from the home grower. In addition to its use as a houseplant, various types of dracaena are often found at nurseries and garden centers. While many people choose to grow the plant outdoors as an annual, the plant can also be overwintered and enjoyed for many growing seasons to come, even by those living beyond the plant’s growing zone. Read on to learn more about keeping dracaena in winter.
Overwintering Dracaena Plants
Dracaena cold tolerance varies greatly depending upon which variety is being cultivated in the garden (most are zones 9 and above). While some do not tolerate frost or cold temperatures, other varieties may tolerate conditions in cooler USDA growing zones like zone 7-8.
Those growing dracaena as houseplants won’t require any special considerations when preparing for winter, but anyone having outdoor plantings will need to take necessary steps to help the plant survive upcoming cooler conditions. Growers living on the margins of the plants’ cold hardiness zone may be able to successfully overwinter the plants by providing a thorough mulching in fall; however, the best course of action is to dig the plants up and bring them indoors.
In the fall, as temperatures begin to cool, carefully dig around the dracaena plants. Leaving the root ball intact, transplant the dracaena into a large container. Bring the container indoors and place it in a warm location that receives indirect sunlight. Throughout the winter, the plant will need only occasional watering when soil becomes dry. Replant into the garden next season when all chance of frost has passed.
If plants have grown too large to transplant into pots or have become difficult to move, there is one additional option for the grower. Since dracaena plants are easily propagated, gardeners have the option of taking stem cuttings. Rooting stem cuttings in a new container will allow new dracaena plants to be easily taken indoors and overwintered until warm temperatures have arrived.
In addition to convenience, taking stem cuttings will allow the gardener to easily and cost effectively increase the number of plants he/she will have to plant into the garden the following growing season.