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Caring for Dracaena Lisa; Corn Plant, Deremensis

Updated on May 19, 2016

Lisa Leaves Close Up

Draceana Lisa Arguably the most hardy indoor Dracaena.

Dracaena Lisa is a very widely used interior floor plant, it's dark green leaves and stems are it's defining characteristic's. Unlike the very similar Janet Craig Lisa has much thicker stalks that can be solid green or blended green and tan. Lisa's foliage in comparison to JC is more narrow, compact, shorter in length, and stands more upright.

Lisa is very easy to keep healthy, and highly tolerant to many indoor lighting conditions, including lower light. Lisa like most Dracaena is slow growing so it can maintain it's size and shape for some time without much maintenance.

Due to Lisa's high durability, and versatility it is one of the more pricey houseplants one will come across in a local greenhouse or nursery, but the price is well worth it for such a sturdy plant.

Having a bit of knowledge about your Lisa is definitely of benefit in protecting your investment in fabulous indoor foliage for the long haul.

Selecting a Space for Dracaena Lisa

Dracaena Lisa can tolerate a wide variety of indoor conditions. Idealy best results will be had by a Lisa in moderate, direct diffused, or significant beneficial artificial light. In these conditions Lisa should be able to get everything it needs for stable growth, production, and water use.

Dracaena Lisa can tolerate low light (not no light) conditions much better than other interior Dracaena varieties like Mass Cane, Compacta, Marginata, Warnekii, Rikki, and more. Lisa can also tolerate low light condition much better than many other houseplants in general. If a Lisa is placed in a low light area much care much be taken when watering. Over watering can happen very easily in low light since a plants productivity slows as it's light decreases, since Lisa operates on the slow side anyway the plant can become nearly dormant in low light. Moisture soil or lava moisture should be carefully checked before watering.

Dracaena Lisa can survive well in high light but has the tendency to loose it's deep green look. High light conditions will increase the amount of water that Lisa will need, and it can also increase growth, and opportunity for the development of Mealy Bug.

Native Habitat Southeast Africa


Like most Dracaena, the Lisa requires moderate moisture followed by a brief period of drying for best results.

When watering Lisa check the that the soil surface is dry before watering. Checking for moisture can be a bit tricky with Lisa as many of them are potted in lava rock, which can be a very difficult soil medium for detecting moisture. For Lisa's in Lava rock it may be best to put them on a watering schedule, and keep a close eye that there is not excess water left in the plants liner between watering's.

  • Using an ideal moderate light and temperature condition model a watering schedule should be something like; water once every other week and give enough that water begins to trickle into the liner. Do not leave excessive water in the liner, give just enough that you know the water has reached thouroughly through the pot.

For Lisa that are potted in soil merely check that the soil surface is dry to the touch before watering. Then water it just enough to moisten the soil through the pot.

What's going on under the soil?

Understanding how a Lisa is potted is helpful in troubleshooting watering issues.

Lisa like most other cane Dracaena are arranged in a tapering height fashion. For example a very popular Lisa is called the 5,4,3,2,1. The number refer to the height, above the soil surface, in feet, of the canes in a single pot. The canes, as they are tapered in height above the pot are also tapered below the soil surface, with the shortest cane having the most shallow roots and the tallest cane having the deepest roots.

For example with this knowledge you can determine that if symptoms of under watering may be showing up repeatedly on the shortest cane but not the tallest cane, this may indicate that your dracaena is not being watered frequently enough, or that water distribution may not be uniform across the soil surface, since only one cane is reacting and it is the cane with the most shallow roots.

Conversely in a scenario in which the tallest cane has been showing signs of over watering but the shorter canes are unaffected, it could be concluded that the amount of water being given is too much leaving the most deeply rooted cane sitting in standing water while the others are fine.

Draceana Lisa & Mealy Bug

The most typical indoor pest found on Lisa is Mealy Bug. Mealy bug love the tight crowns of new growth on the tips of Dracaena, Lisa are no exception. If you see mealy bug wipe them off with baby wipes or a damp paper towel. It can also be helpful in some cases to cut the crown out of the Lisa tip's. The plant will generate new healthy growth in time if the crown is cut away, as long as an infested crown is left the new growth will grow out damaged, and stunted.

The best defense for Mealy bug is keeping your plant clean and healthy, healthy plants are less susceptable to infestation, and clean plants are less likely to harbor pests.

For more information on identifying and treating Mealy Bug check the link to the right.

Pruning Leaf Tips.

Added Maintenance

Overtime there are some common issues experienced with Dracaena that deserve a heads up:

  • Brown spots throughout Lisa foliage, especially on new growth are very common, there are a couple possible causes for this. Roots can sometimes grow outside the bottom of the pot these roots should be cut back to the pot. Soluble Salts left over from water with high mineral content can build up overtime burning the plant.
  • Brown Tips caused by over watering or inconsistent watering are typical even in the presence of highly experienced plant professionals. Lisa is a plant that can have the brown tips successfully trimmed away to restore a healthy look.
  • Blooms occasionally appear on Dracaena. These blooms should always be cut away in interior conditions, the blooms are messy and take much of the vital energy from the rest of the plants functions while they exist.
  • Pruning back crown's is a good way to keep your Lisa shapely and maintain a good height. When a crown is cut back on a Dracaeana it will soon re foliate many times with multiple heads.
  • Rotate your Dracaena to avoid a leaning or lopsided plant. Also be sure to distribute water in a uniform way across the soil surface to avoid leaning canes. If a cane is leaning it can be pushed back into it's full upright position and soil packed on the side of the lean to act a stabilizing back fill.
  • Dust or Wipe clean the leaves of your Dracaena regularly to keep it looking lush and vibrant.

Over all enjoy your Dracaena Lisa, go ahead and get lost, gazing into the deep green abyss of it's dark strappy leaves.

Questions and Comments Welcome!!!

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