Lemon Lime Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis 'Lemon Lime')
Standing 4’-7’ tall (but super easy to prune smaller, if desired) and shaped not unlike a mini palm tree, Lemon Lime Dracaena would be striking even if its foliage was simple, classic green. After all, that approach works for its popular sibling, Dracaena Deremensis ‘Janet Craig’ … but Lemon Lime takes it to the next level.
Lemon Lime Dracaena’s leaves have the usual dracaena shape—12”-24” long and a mere 1”-2” wide—but their coloring is anything but typical. The centers are a dark, rich, lime green. But next to that center comes the thinnest imaginable pinstripe of white, and next to that, a chunky outside stripe of vivid, almost fluorescent chartreuse. It’s a color rarely seen in the plant world, and if you’re like us, you won’t be able to take your eyes off of it.
Lemon Lime Dracaena isn’t just easy to look at, it’s easy to care for, too. Like most dracaenas, it actually requires less light than many tropical houseplants, and shows its colors the best in medium indirect light. However, also like most dracaenas, it’s not terribly fussy about it. Got bright indirect, medium-low, or even strong fluorescent light? Lemon Lime Dracaena can work with that, too. It doesn’t need a ton of extra fertilizer or humidity and its watering requirements are minimal (though it is sensitive to excess fluoride). It’s even easy to prune and propagate.
Whether you want a pop of color in your collection, a showpiece plant that can even thrive in your bathroom, or just something easy to care for, this day-glow dragon is the plant for you.
Characteristics and traits of a Lemon Lime Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis 'Lemon Lime')
- Scientific Name: Dracaena Deremensis 'Lemon Lime', also Dracaena Fragrans 'Lemon Lime'
- Genus: Dracaena
- Family: Asparagaceae
- Common Name: Lemon Lime Dracaena, Ribbon Plant, Dragon Blood Tree, Lemon Lime Warneckii, Dragon Tree (one of many), Striped Dracaena
- Indoor: Year round above 60F
- Outdoor Zones: 10-12
- Type: Perennial broadleaf evergreen; propagated via stem cuttings
- Mature Height: 4’-7’
- Mature Width: 2’-3’
- Plant Height when Shipped: XXXXXX
- Growth Rate: Slow
- Flower: Rare - tiny, easy-to-miss white flowers.
- Foliage: Long, straight, pointed leaves up to 2’ long. Leaves are dark green in the center, with a thin white pinstripe and thick, bright chartreuse edges.
Plant Care and Advice for Lemon Lime Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis 'Lemon Lime')
- Grown In: Inside: all zones year round, Outside: zones 10-12
- Light Requirements: Medium indirect is best, but can survive bright to medium-low light
- Water Requirements: Allow top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.
- Drought Tolerance: Great
- Temperature: Prefers indoor room temp. 60F-80F, but can survive small bouts of cooler air. Outside, may handle warmer temps if kept shaded.
- Air Purification: Excellent - removes pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
- Toxicity: Contains saponins, toxic to dogs, cats, and livestock when ingested—but tastes terrible, so animals rarely bother it.
- Fertilizer: Time-release or liquid at half strength once per month in spring and summer.
- Container Friendly: Yes - Be sure it drains well
- Planting: Like most houseplants, Lemon Lime Dracaena prefers a loose, well-aerated soil that drains quickly. Unlike most houseplants, Lemon Lime Dracaena is completely comfortable in a soil mix that includes a healthy portion of lava rock. Toss in a bit of peat and/or loam for richness and moisture retention, and you’re all set. Lemon Lime Dracaena is best transplanted in the spring, right as the growing season begins. It also grows slowly and doesn’t mind being a bit pot-bound, so feel free to wait until next year if the roots aren’t yet peeking through its pot’s drainage hole.
- Plant Care: As long as its water is pure, Lemon Lime Dracaena is remarkably easy to maintain. The plant does best in medium indirect light, so there’s no need to rearrange furniture so it can have the sunniest spot. It can also get along in bright or medium-low light if need be. Just keep it out of direct sunlight, which can scorch those magnificent leaves. It even does well under strong fluorescents, making it an ideal plant for the bathroom. Lemon Lime Dracaena is most comfortable in temperatures between 65F-80F, though the occasional brief dip to 50F won’t do permanent harm. It needs little fertilizer. Giving it a shot of liquid food at half strength (or a reliable slow-release fertilizer) once a month during the spring and summer is plenty. It’s not finicky about humidity, though it won’t turn down a light misting here or there. The only significant sensitivity Lemon Lime Dracaena has is to impurities in its water. Tap water tends to come with additives such as chlorine, and fluoride, which Lemon Lime Dracaena dislikes (fluoride in particular). Fortunately, these additives tend to dissipate out if the water is allowed to sit uncovered for 24 hours before use. If that’s too much hassle, you can also use captured rainwater or distilled water, which are typically free from impurities. Dracaena Deremensis 'Lemon Lime', like most dracaenas, often discards its lower leaves as it grows. So there’s no reason to worry if a leaf or two drops. If the plant gets too tall or “leggy”, simply chop it off anywhere along the stem/trunk and a new stalk (or two) of leaves will soon bud just below the cut line.
- Expert Advice: The leaves of Dracaena Deremensis 'Lemon Lime' offer a wealth of care information. As mentioned previously, the leaves will scorch in direct sunlight, giving you a clear signal to move the plant. But there’s more. If the leaves fade more evenly, the plant isn’t scorching, but would still prefer less light. If new leaves are thin, wrinkled, or notably more narrow than older growth, the plant is asking for more light. Drooping or yellowed leaves usually indicate too much water (or inadequate drainage). Brown leaf tips are another sign of too much water, but can on rare occasions indicate impure water, or possibly low humidity. Speaking of impure water, additional symptoms of fluoride toxicity include brown spots (especially in the chartreuse part of the leaf), yellow staining, and general dullness of the leaf’s usually glossy surface. Dracaena Deremensis 'Lemon Lime' has no specific pest vulnerabilities, but can contract spider mites, thrips, and mealybugs. All can be controlled by keeping the leaves clean, or with neem oil or insecticidal soap. Finally, Fusarium Leaf Spot disease causes new growth to develop spots (surprise!) of reddish tan rimmed in yellow. Propagating your Dracaena Deremensis 'Lemon Lime' is as easy as caring for it. Simply cut a piece of stem 4”-6” long (green stems are better than older, woodier stems), strip off the leaves, leaving only a few at the tip, dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and insert it gently in moist, quick-draining soil. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy—covering it with plastic can help—and new roots should sprout in 3-6 weeks.