How to prepare the soil for dracaena with your own hands and what should be the composition?
Before those who grow dracaena at home, they periodically need to transplant it, so the question of choosing soil for breeding is very important. From this article you will learn how to cook it yourself or choose in a store.
Features of Dracaena Care
Dracaena (lat. Dracaena) is an evergreen plant that lives in Africa, Asia and America. About 100 species are known under this name, many of them are successfully grown as houseplants.
Dracaena care is characterized by such features:
- The temperature should be in the range + 15 ... + 25 ° С.
- The plant needs fresh air without drafts.
- Dracaenas with variegated leaves need good lighting, with dark ones it is rather small. In any case, you need to protect them from direct sunlight.
- It is necessary to spray the plant from the spray twice a day, regularly wipe the leaves from dust, and occasionally wash in the shower.
- In the intervals between watering, the ground should dry for 2-3 cm.
- Fertilize the soil twice a month from March to August, 1 time a month in the remaining time.
Important! If you want a big dracaena - rearrange it in a well-lit place, if you want a small one - put it away from the window.
The roots of dracaena grow rapidly, which is why the pot soon becomes small, and the soil in it is depleted.
To ensure the normal functioning of the flower, it must be regularly transplanted:
- up to 5 years - every year;
- after 5 years - every 3 years.
The most suitable time for this is the beginning of spring.
Suitable composition and soil requirements
Soil for dracaena must meet the following requirements:
- For a long time to maintain its structure.
- It should be loose, it is good to pass air, but at the same time it is good to keep the plant.
- Evenly pass moisture, prevent stagnation of water or drying out in certain places.
- Possess a rich mineral and organic composition.
- Weakly respond to temperature changes.
- Acidity should be at a level of 6–6.5 pH (checked with a litmus test).
- It should not be too heavy.
- It should not contain pests, weed seeds, toxic substances.
- For him, it is impossible to collect land in the garden, greenhouses, greenhouses, near roads and industrial enterprises, from under old indoor plants, so as not to bring pathogens or harmful substances.
Did you know? In America, there is a legend according to which the high priest, not wanting to give his daughter in marriage to a warrior, stuck a stick in the ground and ordered him to water it for 5 days until the leaves appear, otherwise the groom will be executed. When the warrior complied with the order, a dracaena, which has since been called the "tree of happiness, " has grown out of a stick.
The composition of the soil for dracaena may include:
- Sod land - located under grasses or cereals.
- Leafy land - located near deciduous trees.
- Coarse sand .
- Peat - increases acidity.
- Agroperlite is a special type of volcanic glass that improves soil properties.
- Limestone or dolomite flour - ground limestone or dolomite enriching the soil reduces acidity.
- Ceramic crumb - improves drainage.
- Vermiculite is a mineral that improves moisture absorption of the soil and its structure.
- Charcoal - burnt wood, improving looseness and moisture absorption of the soil, reduces acidity.
- Biohumus (vermicompost) is a vital product of earthworms, which provides nutrition to dracaena, reduces acidity and improves soil structure.
- Humus - rotted manure, increases acidity.
- Compost - rotted plant residues, increases acidity.
- Double superphosphate is a mineral fertilizer.
- Potassium sulfate is a type of fertilizer.
- Sapropel - sediments at the bottom of reservoirs, a type of organic fertilizer.
- Humates are substances from dying organisms that stimulate plant growth, improve its immunity, and cleanse the soil.
- Micronutrient fertilizers are substances that dracene needs in small quantities.
Types of land for dracaena
To plant any kind of dracaena in a pot, you can use the following types of land:
- Sod land, humus, sand . This type is obtained by mixing these components in equal proportions.
- Earth mixture . For this species, it is necessary to mix in equal proportions turf and leafy soil, humus, peat, sand.
- According to another variant, the sand should be as much as the sheet land, and the turf land - 3 times more . Here add charcoal at the rate of 1 tbsp. spoon per 2 liters of soil obtained.
Did you know? Due to the characteristic color, the juice of some species of dracaenas was nicknamed “Dragon Blood” and began to be used for the production of varnishes for metal, hair dyes and fabrics, dyes in winemaking, giving a golden hue.
How to prepare the soil with your own hands at home
To prepare the soil yourself, you must first collect all the components:
- Leafy ground can be taken from birch, maple, walnut . It is necessary to remove loose leaves and remove the top 5 cm of the earth. Harvested soil is piled up, watered with nitrogen-containing fertilizers and left alone for 2 years.
- Sod land is harvested in a meadow or field of clover or cereals . The layers are removed with a thickness of about 10 cm and a size of 20–25 by 25–35 cm, stacked on top of each other, watered with liquid manure and left for 2 years in a shaded place alone, avoiding drying out. In the summer you need to shovel them 1 time.
- Sand is collected near a lake or river and must be disinfected with potassium permanganate or high temperature .
- Peat sods are dug up and stacked in low wide piles for 3 years, periodically shoveling .
- To get humus, in the compost pit, the manure of cows, horses, rabbits, sheep, pigs, or bird droppings must be re-aged for 1-2 years . As a result, about ¼ of the original mass will remain, it will have a loose earthy structure.
All components can be purchased at the horticulture or agriculture store; various impurities are sold there to improve soil structure.
Important! Fresh, not overripe manure is not used as fertilizer, as it burns the roots of dracaena.
The technology of preparation of the substrate looks like this:
- All components are mixed.
- Disinfection is carried out.
- The soil mixture is laid in pots on a layer of disinfected drainage (pieces of ceramics, brick, small stones, expanded clay, crushed stone).
- After landing of dracaena, watering is carried out.
- Mulch of expanded clay or vermiculite is placed on top.
- Wood ash - 1 teaspoon per 3 l of the mixture.
- Potassium permanganate - one percent solution.
- Boiling water - fall asleep in a basin, pour over boiling water, cover with polyethylene and allow to cool.
- In the oven - in foil or a sleeve for baking, moistened soil is baked for 40 minutes at a temperature of + 180 ° C.
- In the microwave - place in a suitable dish with a lid, lightly pour, set the average power, leave for 10-20 minutes.
- In a pan - fry for 20 minutes, stirring and spraying with water.
- In a water bath - a sieve is installed over boiling water, a soil wrapped in gauze is placed in it, covered with a lid, left for 20–90 minutes (time depends on the amount of soil mix).
- Freezing - place in the freezer for several days, then transfer to a room, pour warm water, leave for 5 days and freeze again.
- Biological fungicides are substances of natural origin, purchased in a store that water the earth.
- Chemical fungicides - this method is not recommended due to toxic effects.
Video: Preparing a suitable substrate for transplanting adult dracaena
What to choose ready-made purchased soil
When buying soil, you need to pay attention to such indicators:
- Structure - It must meet the requirements for dracaena.
- Acidity - above.
- Purpose - for indoor plants, universal, for dracaena.
- Correspondence of the purpose of the soil to its composition and acidity.
- The presence of fertilizers.
- Date of manufacture and shelf life.
- Availability of information about the manufacturer.
- Missing typos and grammatical errors.
- Benefits of purchased soil:
- The composition is selected taking into account the characteristics of indoor plants.
- Protection from pests and diseases, sterility.
- No harmful chemical impurities.
- Control of friability, density, structure, moisture absorption, aerability, flowability.
- Balance of macro- and microelements.
- Save cooking time.
- The convenience of use.
- Disadvantages of purchased substrates:
- The presence of low-quality mixtures from individual manufacturers.
- The ability to harm the plant when buying low-quality soil or its improper selection.
- Improper care is detrimental to them.
- They are impoverished in the absence of transplantation and top dressing.
What supplements are needed dracaena
Additives include fertilizers and structure enhancers:
- dolomite flour;
- ceramic chips;
- compost and others
For top dressing, fertilizers with complex composition are used, which are sold in specialized stores or supermarkets. If we are talking about species with variegated leaves, then fertilizers should indicate that they are suitable for this species.
You can mix on your own 0.5 g of potassium nitrate, 0.3 g of ammonium sulfate, 0.4 g of potassium phosphate, add 1.2 l of warm water and spray the leaves.
Important! When choosing fertilizers, stop at those in which the fluorine content is minimal - its excess causes the dracaena leaves to dry out.
Useful tips from experienced gardeners
To dracaena grow well, use these tips:
- When choosing a pot for a plant, proceed from the fact that you need a pot with a diameter of 15 cm for a 40-cm dracaena.
- When transplanting, do not take pots exceeding the diameter of the old ones by more than 3 cm.
- You can get an unusually beautiful interior decoration if you plant several cuttings in one pot and insert wooden struts between the side cuttings and the central one.
- Do not forget to periodically transplant the plant, completely replacing the soil, and fertilize it.
- It is better to buy the substrate in stores (or departments) specializing in crop products.
Thus, the selection of the right soil for growing dracaena is an important condition for its health and beauty. You can buy or make the soil yourself, but in any case, you need to take into account the requirements that are put forward to it. Given these recommendations, you can get a luxurious decoration for your interior in the form of dracaena.