Dracaena, Spike Plant

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Lawn & Garden

For many years, dracaena, also known as spike plant, was commonly grown indoors as a houseplant. However, it has now become a popular choice for annual container gardens due to its spiky upright leaves that provide height and textural contrast to bushy and cascading annual flowers.

Description of dracaena: Dracaena plants have lance-shaped leaves with sharp tips, which are sometimes adorned with colorful margins of white or pink.

How to grow dracaena: To grow dracaenas in containers, use a peat-based mix enriched with extra compost. They can tolerate full sun in cool weather when the soil is kept moist, but they prefer light shade in hot and dry weather. Keep the potting soil evenly moist and fertilize frequently with a water-soluble product to promote healthy growth.

Propagating dracaena: Propagating colored leaf forms is best left to professional growers who can use stem cuttings. However, you can find a variety of suitable dracaenas in the houseplant section of garden centers and department stores.

Uses for dracaena: In mixed container gardens, place taller dracaenas at the back so they can be viewed from the front, or use them in the center of a garden that will be viewed from all sides. Fill out the foreground with mound-shaped and cascading annuals.

Dracaena related species: D. marginata has narrow red-edged leaves that can grow up to 24 inches long, making it an attractive highlight for red or pink flower colors. D. deremensis ‘Warneckei’ has narrow leaves with white stripes produced in spiral whorls, similar to a corn plant.

Scientific name for dracaena: Dracaena species

Dracaena, or spike plant, can also be grown indoors as a houseplant. To learn more about growing dracaena indoors, keep reading.

Want to learn more about gardening? Check out these resources:

  • Annual Flowers: Discover the must-have summer colors of annuals.
  • Annuals: Learn how annuals can enhance your garden.
  • Perennial Flowers: Find out how to grow and care for perennial flowers of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
  • Gardening: Get tips and ideas for your garden with our helpful articles.

FAQ

1. What is Dracaena?

Dracaena is a genus of tropical plants that includes more than 120 different species. They are commonly grown as houseplants and are known for their attractive foliage.

2. How do I care for a Dracaena plant?

Dracaena plants require bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. They prefer to be watered once a week, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. They are sensitive to fluoride, so it’s best to use distilled water or rainwater when watering.

3. What are the benefits of having a Dracaena plant in my home?

Dracaena plants are not only attractive, but they also help to purify the air in your home. They are known for their ability to remove harmful toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air.

4. What is the Spike Plant?

The Spike Plant, also known as the Cordyline plant, is a tropical plant that is similar in appearance to the Dracaena plant. It has long, narrow leaves that come in a variety of colors, including green, red, and purple.

5. How do I care for a Spike Plant?

Spike Plants require bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. They prefer to be watered once a week, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. They are sensitive to fluoride, so it’s best to use distilled water or rainwater when watering.

6. Can I grow Dracaena and Spike Plants together?

Yes, Dracaena and Spike Plants can be grown together as they have similar care requirements. However, it’s important to make sure that they are both getting enough light and water.

7. How often should I fertilize my Dracaena and Spike Plants?

Dracaena and Spike Plants should be fertilized once a month during their growing season (spring and summer). Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength.

8. Can Dracaena and Spike Plants be propagated?

Yes, both Dracaena and Spike Plants can be propagated through stem cuttings. Cut a stem that is at least 6 inches long and remove the bottom leaves. Place the cutting in a pot with moist soil and keep it in a bright, warm location until roots form.

9. Are Dracaena and Spike Plants toxic to pets?

Yes, both Dracaena and Spike Plants are toxic to pets if ingested. They contain saponins, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling.

10. Can I prune my Dracaena and Spike Plants?

Yes, both Dracaena and Spike Plants can be pruned to control their size and shape. Use sharp, clean scissors to cut back the stems or leaves as desired.

11. How do I prevent my Dracaena and Spike Plants from getting pests?

To prevent pests, make sure your plants are in a bright, well-ventilated area and avoid overwatering. If you do notice pests, such as spider mites or mealybugs, use an insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat the plants.

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