Dracaena surculosa is a gorgeous plant. It has glossy green leaves and white and yellow splotches over the leaf surface. One can easily see from this photo why it has the common name Dracaena Gold Dust.
Botanical facts about Dracaena Surculosa
Dracaena surculosa is native to the western tropical Africa rain forest region.
Common Names: Dracaena Gold dust, Japanese Bamboo, Gold Dust Plant, Spotted Leaf Dracaena.
Dracaena Gold Dust Makes a Great Indoor Plant
Dracaena plants are commonly used as indoor plants, especially for those that have limited light in their homes. There are about 40 dracaena plant types (mainly shrubs and small trees) in the family and they are known as rugged, low maintenance house plants.
Dracaena Surculosa Plant Care.
This sturdy houseplant easy to care for. It is a slow-growing evergreen plant that is normally grown for its beautiful variegated foliage. Keep these tips in mind for its care.
Sunlight Needs for dracaena
This house plant likes bright, filtered light, which makes it a great indoor plant. But it can also tolerate lower light conditions. The more light the plant receives, the better the variegation of the foliage there will be.
However, keep out of direct sunlight. Too little or too much light will result in leaf drop.
Outdoors, the plant can tolerate a bit more shade and loves to spend the summer outside in a shady sheltered spot.
When to water gold dust house plant
Water dracaena gold dust 1-2 times a week, or when the soil is dry down to about the first knuckle. Don’t over water. A well draining potting soil is essential for the plant.
Dracaena does not like wet feet. Water less in the winter months when the plant is in a dormant period and does not grow much.
Fertilization needs for Japanese bamboo
Use an all purpose plant food once a month during the growing season. Stop fertilizing during the winter months.
Flowers and Leaves of Spotted Leaf Dracaena
The foliage of this variety of dracaena is glossy green with pointed leaf tips on bamboo like stems. If your light conditions are good, the leaves of the plant will be covered in yellow spots, giving it the common name “gold dust.”
It is very hard to get dracaena surculosa to flower indoors. If you are in the warmer zones, where it will over winter outdoors, you may be rewarded with fragrant white flowers and red berries.
Temperature needs for gold dust dracaena
Dracaena can tolerate temperatures that range from 55-90 degrees F. Ideal house temperatures are 65-70 degrees F. It can take a low temperature down to 50 degrees F.
When to re-pot Japanese bamboo
In the spring, check to see if your plant is pot bound. Gently tip the root ball out of its container and see if it is a mass of roots. If so, it is time to re-pot into a larger pot.
Outdoors, roots will continue to grow into the surrounding soil, but plants grown in pots only have the soil that is in the container. Once it starts to form a circle of roots on the bottom of the soil, it’s getting pot bound.
Gently pry the roots out and pot in a new container about 1/3 larger. Add fresh potting soil and water lightly. This will allow for new growth in spring which is the beginning of the growing season.
Is it necessary to prune my Japanese Bamboo?
Generally it is not necessary to prune the plant. If you have it in a lower light situation, the plant may get tall and spindly as it reaches for light.
If this is the case, you can prune off about 1/3 of of the main stem. This will make it sprout new growth at the area of the cut and will make the plant more bushy.
Remove any discolored leaves to keep the plant healthy and pest free. Be on the lookout for spider mites, aphids and scale.
For more general information on pruning plants, see my pruning tips here.
You can use tender stem cuttings from the plant to propagate to get new plants for free. The plant can also be propagated by division of there is more than one crown.
Is dracaena surculosa toxic to pets?
Like most dracaena varieties, surculosa is mildly toxic to pets. The ASPCA lists in their list of plants poisonous to cats and dogs. The problems with toxicity come from ingestion and reports indicate that it takes moderate to large amount of ingestion for symptoms to occur.
Dracaena surculosa contains saponins. These can cause drooling, vomiting, weakness and a lack of coordination in pets when ingested.
Be on the look out for indications of abdominal pain, increased heart rate and weakness. With cats, look for dilated pupils and drooling. All parts of the plant, including the flowers and berries, are mildly poisonous.
One plant that is highly poisonous to pets is dieffenbachia. Read about the toxicity here.
Pin these dracaena gold dust plant care tips for later
Would you like a reminder of these tips for growing spotted leaf dracaena? Just pin this image to one of your gardening boards on Pinterest.
Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in August of 2013. I have updated the post to add more information and new photos as well as a printable growing tips card.
- 1 Dracaena surculosa plant
- Well draining potting soil
- Indoor plant food
- watering can
- Plant dracaena in a pot with well draining potting soil
- Place it in a location where it will receive bright light. It can tolerate partial shade but the coloring will not be as pretty on the leaves.
- Water once or twice a week during the growing season. Water less in the winter when it is dormant.
- Fertilize once a month in the growing season with an all purpose indoor plant food.
- Repot in the spring if the plant is pot bound.
- Place outside in the summer months but bring it indoors if the temperatures will be below 55 degrees F. It is only cold hardy in zones 10a and above.
- Take stem cuttings to produce more plants.
- Prune if the plant gets leggy.
- Watch out for spider mites, scale and aphids.
Dracaena surculosa is considered mildly toxic to pets.
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