How to grow and care for Gold Dust Dracaeana Indoors

houseplant, Gold Dust Dracaeana

Botanical name: Dracaena godseffiana
Synonym: Dracaena surculosa
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae

Gold Dust Dracaena also called Spotted-Leaf Dracaeana, Japanese Bamboo, Gold Dust Plant is the odd one among the Dracaenas. It is distinctly shrubby rather than palm-like and the leaves are broadly oval not long and grassy. It grows to a height of about 2 ft and the leaves are bright green and spotted with yellow speckles. It is easy to care for and highly tolerant to a wide range of growing conditions. However, it does not like to be exposed to intense sunlight. The plant is very hardy and tolerates heavy pruning and neglect.

Several varieties of Dracaeana godseffiana are available. They include Dracaena godseffiana Florida Beauty which is more cream than green, Dracaena godseffiana kelleri which bears more thicker leaves and Dracaena godseffiana Milky Way which has a creamish stripe in the middle of the leaf among many others.

How to Grow Gold Dust Dracaena

Light

Gold Dust Dracaena prefers bright filtered light; close to an east- or a west-facing window. In low light the plant will lose its variegation. Keep the plant away from direct sunlight as it leads to sun burn on leaves. Learn more on how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water

Water Gold Dust Dracaena thoroughly and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering in the cold months and maintain the soil slightly moist. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot. Use water that is at room temperature that is free of chlorine, flourides and other chemicals to prevent brown leaf tips. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Cool to average warmth with a minumum of 100C is ideal for Gold Dust Dracaena. Protect the plant from cold draughts. Find out more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Gold Dust Dracaena requires high humidity. Mist the leaves regularly or set pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity. Brown leaf tips is an indication of low humidity. Clean the leaves by damp-wiping to get rid of dust.

Feeding

Feed Gold Dust Dracaena every 4 weeks during the growing period with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn. Regularly flush out accumulated salts in the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainage hole. Allow it to run for a few minutes and repeat several times. Find out more on feeding houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Gold Dust Dracaena at the beginning of the growing season when roots begin to grow through the drainage holes; the plant prefers to be slightly root-bound. Use a pot one-size larger than the current one and one that has drainage holes. The soil should be free-draining and rich in organic matter. Never allow the roots to sit in waterlogged soil as it may lead to root-rot.

How to Prune Gold Dust Dracaena

Pruning Gold Dust Dracaena involves removal of dead and yellow leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. Regularly cut back the stems to encourage a bushy and compact growth.The foliage emanating from the pruning, can be used to propagate new plants. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Gold Dust Dracaena

Gold Dust Dracaena can be propagated at beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings or by division.

Gold Dust Dracaena propagation from stem cuttings
Take 2-3 in. long stem cuttings, dip the lower cut-end in a rooting hormone and stick it in moist free draining rooting soil. Cover the pot with clear polythene sheet. Place the set up in a warm shaded place. Maintain the soil moist until the plants are well established.

Gold Dust Dracaena propagation by division
Remove Gold Dust Dracaeana from its pot and carefully divide the plant into sections by pulling apart the roots. Pot up the sections in moist in individual pots. Place the set up in a cool shaded place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges. Allow the plants to be well established before transplanting.

Common Problems in Growing Gold Dust Dracaena

  • Leaves with brown tips and yellow edges
  • There are four reasons for these in Gold Dust Dracaena. One is dry air; raise humidity, by more frequent misting or set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Two is underwatering; maintain the soil fairly moist and do not let the soil to dry out. Three is chemical accumulation in the soil; use chemical free water and regularly flush out salts from the soil. Four is cold draughts; place the plant away from draughts.

  • Soft and curled leaves with brown edges
  • If the temperature is too low Gold Dust Dracaena leaves become soft and curled and the edges turn brown. Maintain a cool to average room temperature and protect the plant from cold draughts.

  • Brown leaf spots
  • Gold Dust Dracaena will form brown leaf spots if it is underwatered. Maintain the soil slightly moist at all times and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

  • Bleached dry patches on the leaves
  • Direct sunlight will cause bleached dry patches on the leaves of Gold Dust Dracaena Move the plant to a shadier spot or protect it from direct sunlight.

  • Plant death
  • Gold Dust Dracaena is prone to Root-rot disease if allowed to sit in waterlogged soil for long. Ensure there is free drainage of both the soil and the pot and also reduce watering in the cold season. Keeping Gold Dust Dracaena too cold will also kill it; maintain a cool to average room temperature and protect it from cold draughts. Another reason for the death of Gold Dust Dracaena is accumulation of salts in the soil; regularly flush out salts from the soil.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Gold Dust Dracaena are Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects and Spider Mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other plants.

Toxicity

Gold Dust Dracaena (Dracaena godseffiana) is toxic to both humans and pets. The leaves and fruits contain a substance which is toxic. If ingested they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, loss of appetite and depression.

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