Dracaena Spike Winter Care: A Complete Guide

If you want to learn all about dracaena spike winter care, this guide is for you.

Keeping your dracaena spike happy over winter depends on the conditions where you live. If the temperature drops below freezing regularly, bringing your plant inside is a good idea to protect it from frost.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything there is to know about dracaena spike winter care, including how to protect your plant from frost and how other things change, like watering schedule and sunlight requirements.

Dracaena Spike Or Cordyline Australis?

Before we dive into the winter care of the dracaena spike plant, it’s essential to address what type of plant this actually is.

You see, ‘dracaena spike plant’ is often used incorrectly to describe an immature Cordyline australis plant.

You may also often see dracaena spikes sold as dracaena indivisa, which comes from confusion with the Cordyline indivisa.

So, in essence, ‘dracaena spike plant’ is the same as the ‘dracaena indivisa,’ and both terms are used incorrectly to describe the Cordyline australis, specifically immature versions that are still small.

What Is A Cordyline Australis, And Where Does The Confusion Come From?

Still following?

I know this can sound confusing, but cordylines and dracaenas are very closely related, and certain dracaenas have been reclassified as cordylines over the years.

So if you ever see a plant referred to as a dracaena spike plant or dracaena indivisa, these plants are actually Cordyline australis’ instead. Cordyline australis can grow up to 20 to 30 ‘ tall in its native New Zealand, but in the US, you’ll find them in containers or beddings, usually reaching 2 to 3′ wide with 3′ leaves.

Two mature cordyline australis plants next to water
Two cordyline australis plants grown in the wild in New Zealand

For the sake of this article, we’ll stick to the name dracaena spike plant as this is what most people associate with this plant, and the care requirements will not change either way.

Not that’s addressed; let’s get into the winter care for a dracaena spike plant.

Dracaena Spike Plant Winter Care

During winter, everything slows down due to a lack of sunlight and lower temperatures.

Here are some essential care requirements to consider.

Planting And Soil Requirements

If you are planting your dracaena spike outside before winter, using the correct type of soil to prevent overwatering and provide plenty of nutrients is important.

Well-draining soil with lots of organic material is ideal, and pre-mixed peat-based soils work well.

Watering And Fertilizing

Watering and fertilizing will slow down significantly during winter.

Only water when the top one to two inches of soil feels dry – this should only be once every two to three weeks when the temperature drops. Fertilizing is also unnecessary during winter, as it risks burning the roots due to excess nutrients.


Cordyline plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight but can tolerate some shade.

During the winter months, move your cordyline to a place with plenty of sunlight to compensate for the reduced daylight hours.

Winter Protection

If you live in USDA zones 9 to 11, your dracaena spike plant can stay outside year-round without much trouble.

A cordyline australis plant
User:Carstor, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons

The weather can still drop below freezing in some of these zones however, so it’s important to know how to protect your plant from the frost.

Frost Protection

If the weather is going to drop below freezing for a short period, you can shield your plant to protect it and keep it outside.

To keep your cordyline safe from frost damage, create a sheltered environment. Wrap the plant in horticultural fleece or bubble wrap, which provides a physical barrier against the cold. Make sure to secure the wrapping around the base of the plant to trap heat and keep the roots warm.

You can also mulch around the base of the plant for more protection.

If periods of frost are going to last for a long time, or if the temperature is going to drop severely, the best option is to bring the plant inside.

Can You Bring A Dracaena Spike Inside For Winter?

Yes, you can bring a dracaena spike inside for winter; in many cases, this is the best thing you can do.

If the temperature is going to drop below freezing for an extended period, moving your dracaena spike indoors is the only way to guarantee its health.

The preventative measures listed above can be helpful, but there’s always a chance of permanent frost damage.

If you are growing them in pots or containers, move them to a conservatory, greenhouse, or simply inside the house. Place the plant near a greenhouse heater or inside a well-insulated space to maintain temperatures above freezing.

Make sure they receive adequate light and keep them away from heat vents or drafts. This will help you protect your cordyline from cold weather while ensuring it continues to grow and thrive indoors.

Will A Dracaena Spike Come Back After Frost?

Dracaena spikes can be pretty resilient, but frost damage can be severe.

The plant’s ability to recover from frost largely depends on the extent of the damage and the care you provide afterward.

If most of the foliage has been damaged, your dracaena spike may take a while to recover and grow new leaves. However, if the damage is minimal and you give proper care, including protection from further frost, your plant should be able to bounce back to health.

In severe cases, part of the stem may have rotted and must be removed. As long as the whole stem hasn’t gone soft and rotted, there’s a good chance of recovery even at this stage.

In Summary

If you are concerned about your dracaena frost surviving over winter, monitoring the temperature outside is the best thing to do.

If the temperature approaches freezing, take steps to protect the plant, like mulching the base, and if the temperature drops below freezing for an extended period, the best thing to do is to bring it inside.

Check out some of our other dracaena articles below:

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About Me

Hi, I'm Joe! I'm the head of SEO and content management at Bloom and Bumble. I'm a huge plant lover and over the years my home has become more like an indoor rainforest. It has taken a lot of trial and error to keep my plants healthy and so I'm here to share my knowledge to the rest of the world.

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