Dracaena: Houseplant of the Month for January
The perfect kick-start to the year offers rugged trunks, fabulous leaves and trendy colours: Dracaena is a real statement plant with an exotic look.
Living room classic
Looking for a successor to the Christmas tree? Dracaena is a flamboyant living room classic which keeps things nice and green in your home. With a hint of yellow, gold, pink or red if required, because there’s a wide range of different eye-catching leaf markings available. What all Dracaenas have in common is that they’re fabulous plants that range from indoor tree to tabletop size, so that you can always find a home for them. Do wrap them up nice and warm when you’re bringing them home, because as a native of the tropics Dracaena finds it chilly if the temperature drops below 10°C.
Dracaena? Do it!
Easy companion Dracaena stores water in its trunk, and can therefore cope if you forget to water it occasionally.
Clean type According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Dracaena is one of the plants that help improve the quality of the air in your home.
Tropical look Fat, thin, bushy, woven: the combination of exciting trunks and fabulous leaves lends Dracaena a contemporary botanical look.
In the wild, Dracaena is particularly found in Africa and adjacent islands such as Madeira, the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands, although there are also a few species in southern Asia, and one in Central America. There are varieties that really do resemble a tree with a trunk, but there are also robust bushy forms which are used for hedges. They can live for a long time, and some species develop a very distinctive shape in the wild which seems to come straight out of primaeval times.
- Very Game of Thrones: the name Dracaena is derived from the Greek word ‘drákaina’ which means female dragon, making it the perfect gift for a potential Mother (or Father) of Dragons.
- The name refers to the resin of the draco variety, which is bright red, giving rise to names such as dragon plant or dragon blood tree. The resin is used in the paint industry.
- The plant is the symbol of Tenerife. The world’s largest and oldest Dragon tree can be found in Icod de los Vinos: it’s called El Drago Milenario (the thousand-year-old dragon). That’s a bit of an exaggeration: the tree is probably between 250 and 350 years old.
- Dracaena prefers a light spot in order to keep the leaf markings looking good, but preferably not in full sun.
- Only water when the soil has dried out somewhat, and preferably avoid leaving standing water in the pot.
- Give house plant food once every six weeks in spring and summer. Do not feed in autumn and winter.
- Dracaena cannot tolerate cold. Do not allow the temperature to drop below 10-13°C.
For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk
Published on: 4 January 2018