Dracaena Compacta is among Dracaena that are widely used as houseplants. This plant is highly distinguishable from most other interior Dracaena, having a green stem and very tightly compacted clumping leaves that are only 2 to 4 inches in length from the base of the cane. It has a very distinct shapely look that is very popular in contemporary designs similarly to Pleo Reflexa.

Dracaena are generally slow growing indoor plants, Compacta is possibly the slowest growing of common indoor Dracaena. Due to this very slow growth these speciamens are slow to change. This plant is also one of the most expensive indoor Dracaena.

Frequently found to be a bit more difficult to care for than some of the other Dracaena like; Mass Cane, Lisa, Warnekii, Rikki, and Reflexa. It seems that the difficulty is compounded by the added delay in reaction to trauma.

Finding a Space 

Compacta is often touted as being a low light tolerant plant, but experience has shown that the degree of tolerance lower light is not much, it is best to stay within the range the low end of moderate light for best results indoors. Productivity can slow to a near stall for a Compacta in low light, watering must be adjusted to match the condition.

In low light it will begin to loose foliage from the bottom to the top. A common problem is brown tipped leaves that can frequently appear in mass quatities, if too many of these leaves are removed at once the cane is often found to shrivel where the leaves are removed, and the remaining foliage head becomes top heavy and tips over. Symptoms such as these are typically attributed to over watering but Compacta are prone to exhibit these symptoms as side effects of acclimation.

High indoor light is acceptable for Compacta. In high light Compacta will use water at a more regular rate, so it may dry out over a weeks time and need watering as frequently as once a week.


Watering Compacta can be a challenge since it is most often potted in lava rock, and has incredibly slow productivity.

Lava rock is a difficult soil medium for checking moisture, when watered the water rushes through to the liner. If Lava rock is the soil medium it is often best to put your plant on a watering schedule. For a Compacta in moderate light conditions watering every other week, just to the point that water starts to trickle into the liner should be sufficient. In higher light increase the frequency, in lower light decrease the frequency and or amount.

General Maintenance Tips

There are some very common issues associated with Compacta that should be tended to regularly.

Yellow Leaves or full brown leaves should be completely removed. This is commonly a symptom of under watering at some point.
Brown crunchy, or yellow leaf tips are one of the most prevalent issues. The tips can be trimmed back to the green area of the leaf if needed, or if it is severe enough the entire leaf can be removed. If this problem becomes persistent and severe there is either an issue of over watering or inadequate.
No need to fertilize in most interior situations. Even in high light it is rare to find a Compacta that is active enough indoors to process nutrients sufficiently from the soil, adding nutrient will most likely cause leaf spots and chemical burn. Even more rare is to find that this plant has been active enough and lasted long enough to have used it's pots nutrients
Remove dead canes if they are to die out.
Rotate to maintain balance and distribute light evenly around the entire plant.
Dust your plant to keep it looking green and shiny.Start from the top and go down the foliage with a duster, a bit of detailed dusting may be needed to get into the tight leaf bases.


60 - 140 cm
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Partial shade, Full shade
Needs protection