The dracaenas are shrubby plants, which often resemble palms with arching leaves and bare, woody stems. They are grown for their striking leaves, which are usually long and lance-shaped, and striped or blotched with white, cream, and/or red. Some mature dracaenas can grow to heights of 4 ft. (1.2 m) or more and are ideal within arrangements of other plants or as single specimens.
D. cincta ‘Tricolor’ comes from Africa and the variety ‘Tricolor’ is also known as rainbow plant because of its dramatic leaf coloration — green, striped cream, and edged red. As the plant ages, the lower leaves turn down and fall, leaving a tuft of leaves at the top of a gradually lengthening, thin, bare stem.
It will ultimately reach a height of about 5 ft. (1.5 m). The plants in D. fragrans Deremensis Group have long, arching, lance shaped leaves overlapping each other all the way up and around the stem. They are slow-growing, and ultimately reach 4 ft. (1.2 m) or more high. The species originates in tropical East Africa.
Recommended varieties: D.f. ‘Lemon Lime,’ with leaves of lime-green with pale yellow edges and a central stripe; D.f. ‘Warneckei, with green leaves that have two white stripes near the edge; and D. f. ‘Yellow Stripe,’ which has green leaves with rich yellow edges and a central stripe. There is some confusion over the naming of different plants within the Dracaena genus arid D. marginata ‘Colorama’ bears a strong resemblance to D. cincta ‘Tricolor,’ differing in that the leaves are broadly red edged. The species is from Africa.
D. reflexa ‘Variegata’ is also known as song of India and needs a warm position with high humidity to grow well. Originating from Madagascar and Mauritius, it is less woody and more graceful than most of its relatives and is beautifully marked with deep cream edges to the leaves.
Light: Indirect sunlight.
Temperature: Warm; minimum 65°F (18°C).
Moisture: Keep thoroughly moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply only enough water to prevent the soil from drying out.
Feeding: Give standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks from spring to fall.
Propagation: Take tip cuttings 4-6 in. (10—15 cm) long, from the soft basal shoots in spring or early summer. Alternatively, longer pieces o’ mature woody stem can be inserted upright (the same way up as they were growing originally) into pots of soil, providing an instant “tree’ effect, or 2 in. (5 cm) pieces of mature stem, each with at least one growth bud (a slight swelling under the bark), can be laid horizontally onto the soil, with the bud facing up.
Special needs: High humidity is important, so place the pot on a tray of moist pebbles.