Dracaena species & cultivars
Corn Plant/Dragon Tree
Dracaena is a genus of around 120 species of trees and shrubs native to tropical regions of Africa, Madagascar, and parts of Asia. They are members of the Asparagaceae family, which also includes popular houseplants such as Sansevieria and Yucca. Some of the most commonly cultivated species of Dracaena include D. marginata, D. fragrans, D. deremensis, and D. reflexa.
In their native habitats, Dracaena plants are often found growing in forests or woodland areas with filtered sunlight. They can also be found in open grasslands and scrubland. In these environments, they are often exposed to dry, hot conditions, which means they have adapted to survive with minimal water.
There are numerous cultivars of Dracaena, each with their own unique characteristics. Some of the most popular varieties include:
1.Dracaena marginata: Also known as the Madagascar dragon tree, this species is native to Madagascar and is prized for its thin, upright stems and long, narrow leaves with red edges.
2. Dracaena fragrans: This species, also known as corn plant, is native to tropical Africa and is popular for its broad, glossy leaves and woody stem.
3. Dracaena deremensis: Native to tropical Africa, this species has broad leaves that are usually variegated with green and white.
4. Dracaena reflexa: Native to Madagascar and other parts of Africa, this species has long, arching stems and narrow, glossy leaves.
Habit: Medium to large semi-woody, single-stemmed or multi-stemmed perennials growing up to 3 m tall indoors producing from solid green to variously green, lime, white, yellow, cream to pink variegated grass-like to sword-shaped leaves usually crowded towards the ends of the stems. Flowers are rarely produced on indoor plants.
Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.
Light Exposure: Indoors, plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to direct light. If placed in too dark of a location, leaves will yellow rapidly and fall off.
Watering: Dracaena plants are relatively drought tolerant and can be watered only when the top 5 to 10 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once every two weeks in the rainy season, once a month in the cold dry season and once a week in the hot dry season.
Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once or twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).
Pruning/Repotting: Remove any yellowing leaves as necessary. Depending on the species or cultivar Dracaena may need repotting every three or four years depending on size; repot in spring as new growth is starting. Generally, the larger the plant, the greater the need for repotting.
Pest Control: Dracaena plants can be susceptible to spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Keep an eye out for signs of infestation, such as webbing or sticky residue on the leaves. If you notice any pests, isolate the plant and treat with an appropriate pesticide or insecticidal soap.
In addition dracena are an attrative addition to any garden or indoor decor scheme.