Dracaena Sanderiana (Ribbon Dracaena)- How to Grow Care

Hi Judy,

I have looked and looked online and have been unable to ID one of my houseplants. A photo is attached. I would also like to know if it will eventually start it’s own new stems? It just seems to get taller and taller. I started it from 2 stem cuttings that were propagated in water. I’m thinking of transplanting it to a larger pot. Any advice?
Thank you every so much for your help.

Hi Lenni,


Your plant is a Dracaena sanderiana, also known as a Ribbon Dracaena. It is the plant used to make the Lucky Bamboo plant. It will not produce new stems, only get taller. You need to cut the existing stems to get the plant to branch out. Do not move this dracaena to a new pot until the roots have filled the existing pot.

Here are some care tips on how to grow a Dracaena sanderiana in soil (when used as a Lucky Bamboo plant it is grown in water).

Light: This plant can grow very slowly in low lightWhen you select “Low Light” a list of the most adaptive plants in our database appears. These plants can live in lighting conditions too low to support any other plants in our database, but will grow faster in medium and high light. Variegation (color) in the leaves is often lost in low light. A plant in low light needs less water and fertilizer than the same plant in better light. Place a low-light plant within 2-3 ft. of a window with a northern exposure, 3-5 ft. of a window with an eastern exposure, 4-10 ft. of a window with a western exposure, and 10-18ft. of a window with a southern exposure. A low light area has between 50-150 ft. candles of light. The best low light house plants are: Chinese Evergreen, Dracaena Janet Craig, Peace Lily, Heart leaf Philodendron., but prefers medium light. No direct sun or the leaves burn.

Water: Keep the soil barely moist, never soggy. When in doubt, do not water. The top few inches of soil in a 6″ pot should be dry. The chlorine in household  water can damage the leaves. Either use distilled water or leave tap water sit out overnight to allow the chlorine to evaporate.​

Temperature: Plant does better in warm temperatures above  60° F (15.5°C) .

fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.  : Feed every other month when plant is actively growing. Alway dilute the food to 1/2 the recommended strength.