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Dracaena (druh-SEE-nuh) are woody members of the lily family. Along with their close relatives Cordylines and Pleomeles, they are popular as office and mall plants because of their ability to adapt to poorer growing conditions.
Dracaena needs warm temperatures and should be watered with day-old tap water, distilled water, or rainwater to avoid fluoride damage. Brown tipping at the ends of the leaves can be from drying or from a low pH level (correct by lightly dusting the surface of the soil with lime, then watering it in).
If over-watered or allowed to stand in water, leaves will develop yellow and brown patches, and the plant may eventually rot. As with all potted plants, feel the soil to determine when the plant needs watering, then water thoroughly, making sure there is adequate drainage.
Most dracaena prefers bright, indirect light, but many adapt to lower light levels (especially the ‘Janet Craig’ and ‘warneckii’ varieties). Some of the more colorful cordylines need some direct sun to keep their color.