Dracaenas – Cultivars Sensitive to Boron and Flouride

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Greek for dragon, the genus Draceana got its name for the first Dracaena introduced to the West, —- Dracaena draco, so named for its thick red sap which was likened to dragons blood.

Dracaenas are members the Agave family, with the majority of the 40-some species originating in Africa, a handful from Asia, and one from the Americas.

Dracaena Janet Craig

In their native habitat, they thrive in the understory of tropical rainforests, which goes a long way toward explaining their preference to low light and warm humid conditions.


Most Dracaenas, particularly the Warneckii and Janet Craig cultivars are sensitive to boron and flouride. Flouride may be good to help stop cavities, but dracaenas aren’t to keen on it. Many cities now add flouride to the water. Too much flouride shows itself in many different ways, but, generally, what to look for is elongated, brownish leaf spots, orange blotches and tip burn. Flouride damage also shows up more when the plant is allowed to completely dryout.

Fighting Flouride on Dracaenas


Find a source of good "clean" water in your area to water your plants or if you are watering directly from the tap, and your water is flouridated, you should add some lime to the potting mix to achieve a pH of about 6.5.

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