Dracaena warnekii, like all dracaenas, are hardy, slow-growing plants that thrive on neglect. Sometimes referred to as a “striped dracaena”, the warnekii has long, pointed, narrow green and white striped leaves and can be used as a table plant, bushy floor plant, or tall cane plant for home and office. The “jumbo” variety has wider leaves and is a more compact plant. The “lemon lime” cultivar has yellow and green stripes. A dracaena warnekii is one of the few colorful indoor plants that can survive in low light conditions. NASA recommends the dracaena warnekii as a clean air plant, one of the top ten plants for removing formaldehyde from the air. Dracaena plants are considered to be slightly poisonous, especially to dogs and cats. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.
Cane plants such as a Dracaena Warnekii or Striped Dracaena naturally lose their bottom leaves. As long as new leaves are developing at the top of the Dracaena plant canes, there’s no need to worry about bottom leaves falling off.
Leaves of a Dracaena Warnekii HousePlants, or the Striped Dracaena Plant, get blotchy and have a reddish haze when they are being attacked by a houseplant pest called spider mites. Spray your Dracaena HousePlants with the green solution (recipe in the Glossary) every 10 days for a month.
Dark brown tips on the leaves of a Dracaena warnekii can be a sign of over- watering, too much fluoride in the water, too much fertilizer, or severe under-watering. Let at least 50% of the soil in your Striped Dracaena dry out before watering, fertilize monthly in the spring and summer and never in the fall and winter, and use water that does not have fluoride in it.
If your Dracaena Plant only has leaves at the top of the stalks and nothing the rest of the way down to the soil line, cut the canes back to where you would like them to branch out. All Dracaena Plants will start to send out several new stems from below the cut area very quickly. You can plant the tops of the Striped Dracaena stalks you cut off in the same pot or start a new plant; leave only 6” or less of stem connected to the sections you are planting.