Dracaena is an ornamental plant that grows in subtropical climates. If you’re looking to kick start your passion of growing plants, then start with dracaena.
It is a drought tolerant plant and is not particular about the lightening condition.
As a fledgling gardener you’ll have many unanswered queries like:
Can I put dracaena outside, will it be able to survive summer and should I need to shift the plant indoors in winter etc…
Dracaena plant is native to warm climates and can’t withstand if the temperature drops below 50F.
65F to 75F is the ideal temperature in which dracaena species plant does well.
You can put dracaena plant outside in summer, but you should ensure that the plant isn’t exposed to direct harsh sunlight. Use a shade cloth to save dracaena plant leaves from sunburn.
As mentioned dracaena plants can’t withstand frost. If the temperature in your regions drops below 65F, then move your plants indoors. Except one variety, dracaena draco that can survive if temperature drop down to 50F.
Before dwelling further, I highly recommend knowing growing conditions of this houseplant. It will help to you understand the dracaena needs efficiently.
Can Dracaena Tolerate Full Sun? – Growing Conditions
Dracaena is known for its long sword like leaves. When exposed to harsh sunlight, leaves of this houseplant will be sunburned.
This plant is considered low-maintenance plant and it can survive in a bit of dry soil. But, this doesn’t mean temperatures above 95F.
Like mentioned above, you’ve to shift the plant under shade to protect it from full sun.
Having said that, few varieties of dracaena plant does well when exposed to sunlight. If your plant has colourful leaves, then it has good light requirement.
However, there are certain dracaena varieties whose leaves will turn pale when exposed to too much sunlight.
Let me put growing conditions of dracaena in simple points.
Remember this: Dracaena plant doesn’t like temperature fluctuation. Ideal temperature is between 65F to 75F. More than 95F the plant leaves will be sunburned.
- Dracaena is a warm loving plant and is not heat sensitive.
- You can place this houseplant outside in summer, but direct exposure to full sun may burn its leaves.
- In winter, you can put dracaena plant outside but temperature shouldn’t drop below 55F.
- Dracaena species plant can’t survive frosting. Move your plants indoors to give them warmer environment.
- You may have to use humidifiers to grow dracaena plants indoors in winter.
Apart from this, like moist plants well-drained loose soil is preferred to grow dracaena.
Watering needs of the plant highly depends on the climatic conditions in your region.
As these plant species are native to tropical wild regions. Consistent moisture, warmer climates with partial shade and rich amount of organic matter do help the plant to thrive.
Check this out: Can You Put a Peace Lily Outside in Summer?
Do Dracaena Plants Grow Outside?
Sunlight needs of dracaena plants are: indirect sunlight for about 4 hours.
Preferred Climate: Warmer climate
Soil: well drained, must be able to retain moisture
As mentioned many times in this article, dracaena plant species is native to tropical-sub tropical climates of Asia, Africa and Australia.
So, yes, they can be grown outside. You must try to replicate the climatic conditions in the wild to grow this ornamental plant.
Dracaena plant is known for its hardiness, it can slowly adapt to the environment outside, provided that the plant is shielded from extreme temperatures.
Note: Most dracaena plants are capable of adapting to different lightning levels. But you should avoid moving this plant to different lightening conditions gradually.
Can I Put Dracaena Outside in Summer?
Certain dracaena varieties do well when they get enough sunlight.
Putting your houseplants under better lightening and high humidity will definitely improve its growth and you can see foliage getting darker.
Downside of shifting your dracaena outside is that it will be exposed to harsh sunlight, which can burn the leaves.
If you’re living in a tropical region, then shifting dracaena plant outdoors in summer may not be a good idea.
However, you can place the plant in balcony where it can get indirect bright light in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
Shade cloth comes as a savior to protect your outdoor houseplants from scorching sunlight.
Important note: Don’t put the dracaena plant outdoors at once. Sudden fluctuation in temperature can upset your plant.
Remember to gradually move the plant to outdoors in summer over few weeks. Once the plant gets adjusted to higher lightening levels you can continue to put the dracaena plant outdoors in summer.
Mistake: If you moved dracaena species plant at once, you may see discoloured and sunburned plant leaves.
To save, shift the plant to shade and allow it to adapt to the new environment.
Also Read: How Often to Water Jade Plant?
Apart from rising temperature, you should save your plant from wind. Though dracaena has strong stems and leaves, few varieties have shallow roots.
Heavy winds can damage most houseplants and it’s your responsibility to shield them.
Avoid placing dracaena in very windy places.
If you notice heavy winds, then out back the houseplants indoors. While moving from sunlight to shade, you don’t have to follow gradual moving method.
Takeaway: Dracaena plant does well when moved outdoors, because it gets exposed to better sunlight compared to indoors. But, you must regularly check the plant to protect it from winds and scorching afternoon sunlight.
Move dracaena plant outdoors gradually, so the plant doesn’t get temperature stress.
Can Dracaena Survive Winter?
When outdoor temperature drops below 55F, then to save dracaena from dying you should move the plant indoors.
Indoors, this houseplant can survive provided you maintain the temperature above 55F.
You might also use humidifier to increase the moisture in the air.
In winter you must take dracaena insider and move back to outdoors in Spring.
How to Grow Dracaena Outdoors?
Are you growing in container or in the ground?
Both ways you can easily grow dracaena plants to beautify your gardening space.
As it is cold intolerant, not all people can plant dracaena in the ground. Those who’re living in USDA zones 10-11 can plant them in the ground.
Others should choose a container to grow dracaena plant species. So, when the temperature drops you can move the container indoors.
Easy way to start growing dracaena marginata plant is through propagation.
- Cut a stem from dracaena marginata plant to propagate.
- Prepare a container with 80 percent garden soil and 20 percent vermicompost.
- Plant the stem in the garden soil and water generously.
- Within a month roots starts developing and you’ve your own dracaena plant at home.
Those who’re planning to grow in the ground should dig a hole and add some vermicompost into it. Also Ensure the temperature don’t drop below 55F in your region. Else, the plant will die.
Compared to indoor, dracaena plant will thrive outdoors, providing indirect sunlight and consistent watering.
If you’re looking to move your dracaena plant outdoors, then you shouldn’t put under sunlight in one move.
As mentioned above, gradually move the dracaena plant, first in shade, then in partial shade and then during indirect sunlight.
This is to ensure the plant gets hardy to changed lightening levels.
Check the soil for moisture by inserting your finger in the garden soil. If it’s sticky, then you don’t have to water. Else, you should water generously.
Compared to indoors, your houseplant in outdoors requires frequent watering.
Note: Those who’re living in tropical regions, ensure that dracaena plant gets partial shade in afternoon. Use a shade cloth to shield the plant from rising heat in summer.
Where to Put a Dracaena Plant Outside?
Outdoor location of planting dracaena must get indirect sunlight and shouldn’t be in windy area.
Partial shade spot is best to grow all types of dracaena varieties.
In winter, you should be able to move the plant indoors or shield them in green house.
Can Dracaena Marginata Take Full Sun?
This plant species thrive in low to medium indirect sunlight.
4 hours of morning sunlight is enough for dracaena plant and in afternoon you should protect the plant from harsh sunlight using a shade cloth.
Types of Outdoor Dracaena Plants
There are hundreds of different dracaena plants species that you can prefer to plant outdoors or indoors.
One thing to remember if you’re putting indoor dracaena plant to outdoors is to move it gradually.
All varieties as listed thrive in indirect sunlight and need consistent moisture. They are sensitive towards cold and can’t withstand in temperature above 95F.
Dracaena Marginata, Dracaena Draco, Dracaena Arborea, Dracaena Fragrans, Dracaena Reflexa, Dracaena deremensis, Dracaena Warneckii and Dracaena sanderiana. (1)
Watering Dracaena Plants in Summer
With rising temperature the moisture gets evaporated into atmosphere. So, to maintain healthy dracaena plant consistent watering is important.
Don’t overwater, but also ensure you don’t underwater the plant.
When you’re growing dracaena plant outdoors in summer, then you should increase watering frequency.
You can use mulch to increase the water retention in the soil.
What Happens when Dracaena Exposed to too much sunlight?
Dracaena is a hardy plant. It can tolerate drought, but sudden change in temperature will leave the foliage sunburned.
This plant prefers indirect sunlight, however, there are few varieties of dracaena that does well when exposed to sunlight. But, even those plant types can’t withstand scorching sunlight.
Pale yellow leaves on your dracaena plant are a sign of sunburn.
To revive, move the plant in shade and trim the discolored leaves.
Yes, you can put dracaena plant outside in summer.
Sunlight helps this houseplant to thrive. But, when plant gets exposed to direct sunlight for a full day, then leaves start turning pale yellow.
Partial shade with bright indirect sunlight in morning will help dracaena plant.
Also, remember that this plant can’t survive cold. If the temperature drops below 55F, then move the plant indoors.
Windy areas can also damage the houseplant.
Dracaena doesn’t like fluctuation in temperature. Bring this plant outdoors gradually over few weeks.
So, if you’re planting dracaena outside make sure to save it from wind and extreme temperature.
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting