The dracaena Anita is also known as the Anita cane or simply as the Anita plant. It is a cultivar of the reflexed dracaena or pleomele (Dracaena refkexa "Anita"). As a group, dracaenas are a rugged group of tropical plants that tolerate most growing conditions, and Anita is no different. It is a hardy plant that rarely suffers from problems with disease or pests.
Things You'll Need
- Potting soil
- Distilled water
- Liquid plant fertilizer
Grow dracaena Anita inside unless you live in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 10b or 11. In other zones, you can place your plant outside in the summer provided the temperatures do not get below 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Use a well-draining commercial houseplant potting soil that has very little perlite in it. Poor-draining potting soil can result in root rot. The soil's pH should be between 6.0 and 6.5.
Set the plant within four feet of a window that faces south, east or west. Anita needs bright, direct sunlight that is at least 300 foot candles or higher.
Keep the dracaena in a room where the daytime temperature remains above 65 degrees Fahrenheit and the nighttime temperatures are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically, dracaena does better if there is at least a 10 degree difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures.
Water dracaena Anita infrequently. Wait to water until the top 1 to 2 inches of soil is dry. When watering, water thoroughly until the water drains out the bottom of the pot. Because dracaenas are sensitive to fluoride, using distilled water is better than tap water. Fluoride can cause yellowing leaf tips or margins or dead, scorched areas on the plant's leaves.
Fertilize Anita canes once a month in the spring and summer with a liquid plant fertilizer. Don't use fertilizer that has superphosphate because these also contain high levels of fluoride.
Mist the plant or keep the humidity in the room above 30 percent. If you notice dry tips or edges on the leaves, then the humidity level is too low.
Watch for signs of insects or mites. Check both sides of the leaves using a 10-power magnifying lens for signs of insects, eggs or discoloration. A sudden loss of leaves is also a sign of an insect problem. However, it can also be caused by temperature changes, drafts, overwatering and poor soil drainage. Diseases are rarely a problem with Anita plants.
Tips & Warnings
- Overwatering is one of the main things you need to protect your dracaena from.
- Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service; Dracaena; Karen Russ; March 1999
- University of Florida IFAS Extension; Dracaena Reflexa; Edward F. Gilman
- Cornell Cooperative Extension; Growing Conditions for Indoor Plants; Russell C. Mott
- University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension; Houseplant Insect Control; Jeffrey Hahn; 2005
- Plantscape: Anita Cane