If you’ve ever asked yourself, ‘Can I put my dracaena outside in summer?’ this guide is for you.
Dracaenas can be put outside in the summer as long as the conditions allow it. Dracaenas have specific needs in terms of temperature, sunlight, humidity, and other factors that need to be met for them to thrive outside.
There are also risks associated with putting dracaenas outside, so keep reading to learn about these risks and the specific conditions needed to put your dracaena outside during the summer.
- Understanding Dracaena Plants
- Outdoor Requirements For Dracaenas
- Caring For Dracaena Outdoors In Summer
- How To Tell Your Dracaena Is Thriving Outside
- Transitioning From Indoors To Outdoors
- Outdoor Threats To Consider
- Types Of Dracaena for Outdoor Use
- In Summary
Understanding Dracaena Plants
Dracaena plants are a popular type of houseplant that originate from tropical regions in Africa. They are known for their striking foliage and easy-to-care-for nature, which makes them a favorite among indoor plant enthusiasts.
I’ve had dracaena marginatas for several years now, and they’ve grown to be one of my favorite plants.
As a tropical plant, dracaena thrives in warmer temperatures typically found indoors. In colder climates, you will almost always find them being grown indoors.
However, it is possible to keep them outside during the summer if the weather allows it.
Outdoor Requirements For Dracaenas
To ensure the health and growth of your dracaena outdoors during the summer, you must consider several factors.
This section will guide you through the essential requirements for this plant species.
Dracaenas thrive in warm temperatures.
During the summer, make sure to provide an environment that maintains a consistent temperature between 65 and 75°F.
These plants enjoy higher humidity levels of at least 60%, making it essential to maintain adequate moisture in the air.
If you live in a dry climate, you’ll need to find ways to increase the humidity. These include placing the dracaena near other plants or using a pebble tray below.
Misting is an option, but it can promote fungal growth if air circulation is poor and attract pests. It also only increases the humidity for a short period.
If the humidity is too low, it will make the plant susceptible to sun scorch and can cause the leaves to go brown at the edges and wilt.
Dracaenas grow best with bright, indirect sunlight.
This is important to consider when placing a dracaena outside, as too much direct sunlight will scorch the leaves, so you need to find a more protected position for your plant.
Dracaenas are best suited for USDA Zones 7-11, where the climate is warm enough to support their growth.
Caring For Dracaena Outdoors In Summer
In this section, you’ll learn how to care for your dracaena outdoors during summer.
Pruning And Maintenance
To keep your dracaena looking its best, you should regularly remove dead or damaged leaves. By doing so, you are promoting new, healthy growth. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant.
It’s also important to remember that sun scorch becomes much more common outside, so look out for sun-scorched leaves, as these must be pruned.
Choose The Right Position
A well-ventilated area with bright, indirect sunlight is ideal for your dracaena.
Don’t place your dracaena in a crowded place, as water splashing on the leaves from watering nearby plants can lead to fungal growth and attract pests.
Watering & Fertilizing
Your dracaena needs sufficient water to thrive, but be careful not to overwater (see common signs of overwatered dracaenas here).
A good practice is to monitor the soil moisture and water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
Once you notice the water draining out of the drainage holes in your container, stop watering. It’s also crucial to use well-draining soil, as this helps prevent root rot.
Succulent soil can work well here, as well as cactus mixes or regular potting soil mixed with perlite or sand. You can also incorporate compost into the soil, which adds extra nutrients.
Feeding your dracaena with a balanced fertilizer every couple of weeks outside during the growing season will enrich the soil nutrients and boost the overall health of your plant.
How To Tell Your Dracaena Is Thriving Outside
Here are some key indicators to look out for once you’ve placed your dracaena outside in the summer to make sure it’s thriving.
Vibrant Green Leaves
Healthy dracaena plants exhibit brightly colored green leaves.
If you notice strong, green foliage on your plant, it’s a good sign that it’s getting enough light and nutrients. Keep an eye out for any spots on the leaves, as these can be signs of disease or pests, as well as other issues like sun scorch or overwatering.
A thriving dracaena will continue to grow and produce new leaves throughout the growing season.
This is especially true during the summer when the growth rate should be the fastest. If you notice many new leaves growing, this is a clear sign that your dracaena is happy outside.
Another sign of a healthy dracaena is strong, firm stems.
Sturdy stems indicate that the plant is receiving enough water and nutrients to maintain its structure and also that stem rot is not affecting the plant.
While it’s unnecessary to check the roots constantly, it does help if you can inspect them during repotting.
Healthy roots should appear white or light tan and have a firm texture. Mushy, discolored roots with a foul odor are a sign of root rot.
Transitioning From Indoors To Outdoors
Moving your dracaena from indoors to outdoors during summer can be a great decision to help it thrive if the conditions outside allow for it.
Here are some tips to make the transition go smoothly.
First, you need to acclimate your dracaena to its new environment gradually.
Start by placing it in a shady spot for a week or two, such as under a tree or on the north side of your home. This allows your plant to adjust to the outdoor air movement, humidity, and temperature fluctuation without exposure to harsh sunlight.
After a few weeks, move it into an area that receives a few hours of direct sunlight daily.
Outdoor dracaenas will adapt to more hours of direct sunlight, but monitor the leaves during this time, and if they are getting scorched, then go back to more indirect sunlight.
Container Choice & Watering
Next, ensure your dracaena is in a suitable container with proper drainage.
Maintaining the right balance between moisture and draining excess water is crucial to avoid root rot. Regularly check the soil; it should be moist but not soggy.
Make sure your container is sturdy enough to withstand the outdoor conditions and ideally has wheels or a tray so you can move it quickly if needed.
Keep an eye on temperature changes, as dracaenas don’t like drastic temperature changes.
Make sure the temperature outdoors remains above 65°F (18°C), and bring your dracaena back indoors if the temperatures begin to drop. Temperatures below 50°F (10°C) can cause stress and damage.
Outdoor Threats To Consider
When considering placing your dracaena outside during the summer, you should be aware of a few potential threats to its health and well-being.
It’s much more common for outdoor dracaenas to attract pests than indoor varieties.
Look out for pests like mealybugs or soft scales that leave honeydew residue on the leaves and cause damage as they feed on the sap within them.
Exposing your dracaena to outdoor conditions may also increase the chances of it developing diseases. One of the most common issues is root rot, often caused by excess rain.
Outdoor dracaenas are also at risk of leaf spots due to excessive leaf moisture.
To prevent diseases, keep an eye on the weather and bring your dracaena inside if there is a lot of rain forecast. Also, when watering, make sure to water the soil and not the leaves.
Types Of Dracaena for Outdoor Use
When considering dracaena plants for outdoor use, choosing the right variety that can handle the outdoor environment during the summer months is essential. Here, we will focus on three popular dracaena types suitable for this purpose.
- Dracaena fragrans, also known as the corn plant, is popular due to its adaptability and resilience. This tropical plant features long, green leaves with a yellow stripe down the center, bringing a pop of color to your landscape.
- Dracaena marginata – I can personally recommend marginatas as I have owned several for years now. They have amazing, deep green leaves that thrive with indirect sunlight.
- Dracaena Draco is also a fantastic option for outdoor use. Draco features a thick trunk with sword-shaped leaves, making it an excellent focal point in your landscape design. They can grow up to 50 feet tall and are actually an excellent option for being planted outside year-round.
You should definitely consider keeping your dracaena outside in the summer if the conditions allow for it.
It will very likely boost the growth rate of your plant, just watch out for pests and diseases and avoid too much direct sunlight. Keep an eye on the weather forecast as well for periods of droughts or excessive rain.
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