Dracaena Lemon Lime Repotting: The Mix To Use & Steps To Take

This is one vibrant houseplant—Look at that pop of chartreuse! Here’s Dracaena Lemon Lime repotting including things good to know and the mix to use.

I repotted this Dracaena 9 years ago soon after I bought it at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market. They were 3  individual 2″ plants (yes, they were very small) and I combined all 3 into one pot. It’s time to do it again and I want to share this Dracaena Lemon Lime repotting adventure with you.

This was one of the plants I brought with me when I moved to Tucson. Although the air is very dry here, the plant wasn’t looking stressed but a few of the roots were coming out of the bottom. I was on a repotting spree this past Spring and decided this Lemon Lime was on the list.

RELATED: I’ve done a general Guide To Repotting Plants geared for beginning gardeners which you’ll find helpful.

a dracaena lemon lime in a 6" pot sits next to a dracaena lemon surprise in a 4" pot
My Dr. Lemon Lime next to my Dr. Lemon Surprise. My LL has lost some of its vibrancy over the years.

What Time Of Year Is Best For Dracaena Lemon Lime Repotting?

Spring, summer, and into early fall are good times for repotting Dracaenas. If you live in a climate where winter comes early, then spring and summer are best. Fall is mild here in Tucson so I repot through the end of October.

Avoid repotting indoor plants in winter if you can because they like to rest at this time.

FYI, I repotted this Lemon Lime in early May.

Pot size

With smaller plants, I go up a pot size or 2 depending on what type I’m repotting and how fast it grows.

My Dracaena Lemon Lime is a moderate grower so I went from a 6″ grow pot to an 8″ grow pot.

materials used for repotting a dracaena lemon lime sit on a work table
Everything all set for the repotting.

How Often Should You Repot Dracaena Lemon Lime?

It depends on the size of the plant and the pot it’s growing in. In general, every 3-5 years. I hadn’t repotted this one for many years because those 3 small plants had so much soil mass to grow into.

Here are the 2 reasons I repotted my Dracaena Lemon Lime: roots were appearing out of the drain holes, and it was long overdue for some fresh soil mix. 

Materials Used For The Soil Mix

In general, Dracaenas like a rich, somewhat chunky soil mix that drains well. You don’t want the roots to stay too wet otherwise they’ll rot out.

The mix I created was roughly 1/2 potting soil and 1/2 of a mixture of pumice and perlite. I prefer to use pumice only because it’s chunkier and has less dust and I’m trying to use the perlite up.

Use a potting soil that is peat-based and formulated for indoor plants. I alternate between Happy Frog and Ocean Forest, and sometimes I combine them. Both have lots of good stuff in them. 

I mixed in a couple of handfuls of compost into the mix. I topped it all with a 1/4″ layer of worm compost.

RELATED: How I Feed My Houseplants Naturally With Worm Compost & Compost

materials used for creating the soil mix for a dracaena lemon lime sit in a terra cotta saucer
The components of the mix.

I have many plants (both indoors and outdoors) and do a lot of repotting so I have a variety of materials on hand at all times. Plus, I have plenty of room in my garage cabinets to store all the bags and pails.

If you have limited space, I give you a few alternative mixes suitable for repotting Dracaenas down below which consist of only 2 materials.

Alternative soil mixes:

  • 1/2 potting soil, 1/4 pumice
  • 1/2 potting soil, 1/4 perlite
  • 1/2 potting soil, 1/4 clay pebbles (Dracaenas seem to love a bit of rock!)
  • 3/4 potting soil, 1/4 lava rock

Some Of Our General Houseplant Guides For Your Reference:

Here you can see how I repotted my Dracaena Lemon Lime:

Steps To Repotting Dracaena Lemon Lime 

I watered the plant the morning of the repotting. You don’t want to repot or transplant a plant that is dry and stressed. 

I put a single layer piece of paper bag over all the drain holes to keep the loose particles from washing out with the 1st few waterings. 

All soil ingredients were mixed up in my trusty Tub Trub. I find it easiest to do it this way so everything gets well blended.    

I pressed on the grow pot to get the plant out of the grow pot. It came out fairly easily.

I massaged the root ball to loosen the roots a bit. This helps the roots find their way out of the tangled root ball. They’ll grow out eventually but this gives them a head start.

I filled the pot with enough soil mix so the top of the rootball would be slightly below the top of the grow pot. I then watered so the bottom layer of mix was moistened.

Put the plant in the pot (usually in the center) and start to fill in with the mix around the sides. 

I topped it off with more mix and a light layer (1/4″) of worm compost.

I like to have the soil mix (including the worm compost) cap at 1/2″ to 1″ below the top of the pot. You want to leave a bit of space so that when you water the mix stays in the pot. This allows for watering without the mix spilling out.

a vibrant dracaena lemon lime sits on the floor of a greenhouse with other small plants
A Dracaena Lemon Lime fresh from the grower’s for sale in the greenhouse at Berridge’s Nursery.
looking down on the vibrant chartreuse new growth of a dracaena lemon lime
My Dracaena LL – you can see how the older growth is much less colorful than the 1 above.

Care After Repotting

I watered the plant and brought it back into the same spot in the bedroom. 

Right now it’s summer in Arizona and very hot. I water this plant every 7 or 8 days. In the winter it’ll be every 2-3 weeks, maybe even less frequently. I’ll see how fast it’s drying out. Just remember, even though the top of the soil is dry, it could be wet further down where the majority of the roots are.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the brown tips on my Lemon Lime, it’s in reaction to the dry air. Dracaenas are prone to this. Sometimes the humidity in tops out at Tucson is 7%!

Happy gardening,

Signed by Nell Foster

For more help on houseplant care, check out these guides!

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