Dracaena Cintho Care

The Dracaena “Cintho” is a relatively easy plant to grow as long as you get its placement right within your home and adopt the right watering schedule. The plant is a beautiful and vibrant type of Dracaena with its thick, ribbon-like variegated leaves.

The Dracaena Cintho is a rather forgiving plant when you forget to water it, and its care is fairly straightforward, even for beginners.

Dracaena fragrans Cintho. Photo by Hortology (hortology.co.uk).

If you’re an attentive plant parent, your Dracaena Cintho will thrive and may grow up to three feet tall in your home. Outside in their native Africa, Dracaena Cintho can grow up to a towering 15 feet tall.

Dracaena Cintho Quick Care Guide

Scientific NameDracaena Cintho
Common Name(s)Red-Edge Dracaena, Madagascar Dragon Tree, Corn Plant
Size15 feet high outside, 3 feet tall inside
LightBright indirect sunlight
SoilWell-draining soil high with a lot of organic matter
WaterWater when the top of the soil is dry
TemperaturePrefers 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit
HumidityAverage humidity
FertilizerOnce a month in the growing season, more often in low light
PropagationStem cuttings or cutting off the top
Pests and DiseasesScale, mealybugs, various sucking and piercing insects
ToxicityToxic to dogs and cats when ingested

The Dracaena Cintho is a forgiving plant with very simple care requirements. When you bring your Dracaena Cintho home, find a place in your home that gets bright light but no direct sunlight.

If necessary, the Dracaena Cintho can survive low light conditions.

Water the Dracaena Cintho whenever the top of the soil gets dry, and water it more frequently if you live in a dry climate. Ensure the soil is aerated and well-draining, and only fertilize the plant in the spring or summer.

Make sure to always dilute the fertilizer. Make new Dracaena Cintho through cuttings.

The Dracaena Cintho is toxic to dogs and cats, so it’s important to make sure the plant isn’t placed in an environment with curious pets. Keep a close eye on the plant by inspecting its leaves regularly for evidence of infestations like spider mites or mealybugs.

All About the Dracaena Cintho

The Dracaena Cintho originated in Africa and is a variant of the Dracaena fragans. The plant is sometimes referred to as a corn plant because its leaves sometimes look like cornstalk.

The Dracaena Cintho is popular as a houseplant because it’s easy to grow and won’t get too angry if you forget to water it for a few days.

One of the interesting features of the Dracaena Cintho is that it’s one of the best-known plants for removing harmful contaminants from the air and purifying it.

The Dracaena Cintho is an excellent option for those who haven’t cared for a houseplant before and want a forgiving plant for the home.

Dracaena Cintho Care


The Dracaena Cintho can tolerate low light, but it does best when it has some bright indirect sunlight.

You can put your Dracaena Cintho in a dark corner of your home, but it probably won’t be the happiest plant. With more light, the plant will appear more vibrant and perky than it would in a dark area.

One of the best ways to encourage the swift growth of your Dracaena Cintho is to place it just outside of direct sunlight.

The plant will grow very slowly when placed in a low-light situation, but its leaves will burn if the plant is placed in direct sunlight. Just outside direct sunlight is the way to go. 


The Dracaena Cintho is a rather drought-resistant Dracaena, but it can’t go without water indefinitely.

A simple way to know whether it’s time to water your Dracaena Cintho is to touch the soil. If the soil’s top is dry, then it’s time to water the plant. If the soil is moist, wait a few days.

The Dracaena Cintho is somewhat sensitive to chlorine, so water the plant carefully when using tap water. Purified water is usually the best option.

Avoid allowing the plant to sit in wet soil for too long, as it will start to drop its leaves.


The Dracaena Cintho fares best in soil that drains swiftly, but it can’t drain so fast that the plant is completely dry just a day after you water it.

Choose succulent or cactus soil with a little vermiculite added to help the soil drain well but not dry out too swiftly.

Any indoor potting soil should work, too, since indoor potting soils are designed to retain moisture but also drain at a good rate to keep plants moist but not waterlogged.

The Dracaena Cintho does very poorly when given too much water, so when in doubt, always wait to water the plant.


The Dracaena Cintho isn’t a particularly fast grower, but you can help it grow as much as possible by feeding it monthly in the spring and summer.

Make sure the fertilizer is diluted, and don’t bother to fertilize the plant in the fall or winter when it’s not actively growing.

It’s always best to hold off fertilizing the plant if you feel you’ve given it too much food.

The plant reacts worse to overfertilizing than it does when you don’t feed it enough food. Additionally, it’s always safer to dilute fertilizer too much than to give the plant fertilizer that’s too strong.


Propagation of Dracaena Cintho is handled by cutting from somewhere on the plant or by cutting the top off and using the top as the new plant.

When taking a cutting from a Dracaena Cintho, always make sure to include at least one node in the cutting because the new roots will come from the node.

After taking the cutting from the plant, you can house it in a cup of water until it starts to grow roots.

The roots should appear after about two weeks. You can wait to plant the cutting in a pot until the roots are somewhere between half an inch and an inch.


The Mystery of Yellow Leaves

One of the problems that Dracaena Cintho owners face is yellowing leaves, but it can be challenging to determine why the leaves are turning yellow.

Overwatering, underwatering, sun damage, and overfertilizing can all result in yellowing leaves.

If your Dracaena Cintho starts to turn yellow and the leaves begin to droop, you may need to examine all of the different and potential problems that can impact the plant.

Is the soil wet for too long? Maybe you’re watering too often.

Does the plant receive direct sunlight at any time? You might need to move your Dracaena Cintho out of the sun’s direct rays.

Bad Water Quality

Although the Dracaena Cintho is fairly forgiving when you forget to water it or don’t give it enough fertilizer, it can become annoyed if you use water that is too heavy in minerals.

You might notice brown tips on the leaves if the plant has a water quality problem. You can avoid this issue by giving the plant filtered or distilled water.

Not Enough Humidity

If you live in a particularly arid environment, like the desert of Arizona, your Dracaena Cintho might encounter problems with the humidity level.

Don’t assume that watering more frequently is the only way to keep the plant happy in a dry environment. 

Misting the leaves with a spray bottle filled with water is a great way to keep the environment on and around the plant moist enough for its liking.

The Dracaena Cintho is very forgiving when it comes to underwatering. Still, it can’t tolerate a particularly dry environment forever.

Too Much Water

Some people assume that the Dracaena Cintho does best with a lot of water because it is native to Africa, but the plant actually prefers an average amount of water. It’s not a tropical plant and won’t do well if it sits in water for a long time.

If you find that the soil isn’t drying out at a reasonable rate after you water it, the culprit could be the soil.

Make sure the soil is a well-draining variety, and try to aerate it occasionally when you notice that it’s not draining at a good rate.

Common Dracaena Cintho Pests

The most common pests that attack Dracaena Cintho plants are spider mites and thrips.

If you examine the leaves of your Dracaena Cintho and notice yellow or white spots on the leaves, you could have an infestation of thrips or spider mites. If you take a look at the underside of the leaves, you might see them.

You can fight an invasion of spider mites or thrips by washing the leaves with dish soap, but you can also employ natural insecticides.

It’s important to catch infestations early when they’re easy to fight. Once they overwhelm the plant, getting rid of them is difficult, and the infestation can spread to other plants.

Author: Stanislav Lem


Stanislav Lem is the founder of Big Time Living, where he provides tips for gardening, traveling and lifestyle. Stan is an entrepreneur, journalist and traveler.
His mission is to provide information to help people become better planters, travel more and live a happy life. His blog has been featured on Huffpost, Yahoo and MSN.