Dracaena : Greenhouse Plants

C – cool, minimum of 7°C (45°F) / W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)

Family: Liliaceae

A large and versatile group of plants, they prefer a minimum of 15°C (60°F) but are still worth growing in warm conditions. Dracaena deremensis varieties are among the most attractive. They will reach 1.2 m (4 ft) in height before becoming leggy and unattractive. The leaves are all deep green in the species but there is a wide white stripe down the middle of the leaf in D. d. ‘Bausei’ and two stripes in D. d. ‘Warneckei’. D. d. ‘Souvenir de Augustus Shryer’ has leaves edged with creamy bands. D. marginata from Madagascar can reach heights of 3 m (10 ft) but becomes very bare at the bottom of the stem. D. m. ‘Tricolor’ is particularly attractive, the narrow leaves being striped with cream, pink and green. D. draco is the Dragon Tree which is endemic to the Canary Islands. Although natural sources of this are quite rare it is commonly found in cultivation. This one can withstand cool conditions. More difficult to grow is D. sanderiana which is the Ribbon Plant from Cameroon. Growing to 90 cm (3 ft) it is more upright and in less of a rosette than the others. D. godseffiana is also more difficult. In structure it is more informal than the others. A speckling of creamy-yellow over the leaves gives it the name of Gold-Dust Dracaena.

Propagation is usually by sections of stem each with at least two nodes and about 2.5-5 cm (1—2 in) long. These should be laid on some cutting compost either upright or horizontal but with some stem under the surface. Kept moist and warm they will produce roots and shoots. It is possible to obtain plants as stems or ‘logs’. These are usually waxed at either end. Scrape off the wax on the bottom and stand it in water until roots appear. Once the roots are growing the ‘log’ can be potted and a shoot will grow out and develop into a plant. Seed can also be sown in March at 24-26°C (75-80°F).

14. July 2013 by admin
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