DRACEANA “Dragon tree”
Having just taken delivery of a lovely selection of draceanas I thought it a good time to refresh your memories on their upkeep.They make great candidates for the home or office and come a wide variety of leaf shapes and colour.
Draceana is the Greek word for female dragon and the “dragons blood” is said to seep from this plant when the stems are cut. In actual fact it is a red resin which exudes from the cut stems but if you wish to believe the former explanation who am I to spoil a good story! Anyway that explains how the common name of “Dragon tree” came about.
There are many species of Draceana but the common ones to look out for are D. marginata, D. fragrans and D. sanderiana.
Draceana marginata is probably the more readily available variety and the one that is very tolerant of our centrally heated houses. The foliage is glossy, long and narrow and comes in variegated varieties as well as the plain green. Although generally sold as a plant with a woody stem, giving a false palm appearance, you may also find tip cuttings which are ideal for sitting on the windowsill until they start to develop the characteristic woody stem.
Draceana fragrans and D. sanderiana both have much broader foliage and are available with lovely lemon, lime or white variation.
Place your Draceana in a well-lit spot with protection from strong summer sun. The plain green leaved D. marginata will even tolerate quite low levels of light. Be careful not to over water your draceana, drooping leaves being one of the first signs that this is the case.
Draceanas can be pruned back if they become too leggy and they will produce new shoots. The cuttings can be dried off a little,then potted up into a well drained compost and you have yourself another plant.