Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dracaena Reflexa – Song Of India

With its shiny, lemon and lime striped leaves, this native of Madagascar and other nearby islands is one of the most dazzling members of the Dracaena clan. In ideal conditions the Dracaena reflexa may reach a height of 6 feet or more indoors and deserves a prominent position with its attractive foliage and unique form.


Like all Dracaenas, reflexa will tolerate low light conditions but will not be at its best unless it receives ample light. Place this plant near a window where it can receive bright, indirect light or some early morning sun. Protection against summer’s midday sun is recommended to avoid damaging the leaves. Use a fast-draining, porous soil, keep it slightly moist and do not water until it’s fairly dry. Be careful with that watering can; Dracaenas are highly-susceptible to root rot. This is a prime candidate for the hydroculture system; consider switching to eliminate water problems.

Place this plant in a warm location and protect it from chilly drafts. Dracaenas are very cold-sensitive; any situation that has the potential to cause cold damage should be corrected immediately or the plant will deteriorate rapidly. Tolerance to dry air is impressive but a little extra moisture in the air is preferred; increase humidity to provide a healthier environment.


  1. Now that we're on another dracaena post...I took a picture of my dracaena that is having some problems.

    The brown spots seem to spread and as you can see in the picture, eventually the leaf dies off.
    It is about 12 feet back from a South-East facing window. I water it less than once a week and this problem came up once before, left, and now it's back again.

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks for your help!

  2. What a beautiful plant! I lost my dark dracaena last winter, it was so wet and cold.

  3. Hi Jesska, from the picture it looks to me like a watering problem. The yellow is probably from over-watering and the brown is usually from under-watering. It’s probably a combination of both at different times. Dracaenas are very sensitive to being under or over-watered and won’t hesitate to let you know.

    I’m going to make a suggestion:

    First, remove your plant from its pot and check its roots. If you find mushy, smelly, dying roots, get rid of them. Trim them off or cut them. Then repot your plant in fresh soil that is airy and fast-draining. If you buy a pre-mixed package of soil, add some perlite to the mix to lighten it up and maybe even some sphagnum peat and pine bark.

    (Here is a link about soil discussion that you might find interesting: It’s very long, so you might want to read it a little at a time)

    Once it’s in fresh soil, place it in a bright location where it will be out of the direct path of southern sunshine. A little morning sun from an east location is okay. Water thoroughly and don’t water again until the soil is fairly dry. Give your plant some time to adjust to the new soil and wait for the results. Hopefully, the plant will improve.

    Other things to watch out for are: Cold drafts, cold temperatures, over-fertilizing and fluoride in tap water – all of which Dracaenas are sensitive to. If your plant is exposed to any of these detrimental situations, correct them.

    Hope the above helps!

    (Oh, and here is another terrific blog about houseplants that you might find interesting: Plants Are The Strangest People)

  4. Hey Tatyana, this is truly one of the nicest Dracaenas. I love the colours on this plant.

    It’s too bad about your plant! A Cold and wet environment will easily kill a Dracaena; they’re so sensitive to that.