The Dracaena Plant is an Easy Care Palm Tree Lookalike

The long, broad tropical leaves of the Dracaena plant fall from the lower stems as the plant ages giving it a palm-like appearance. This is why many people refer to a mature fragrans or deremensis as a Dracaena palm.



Dracaena deremensis growing in a pot inside Central Florida Regional Hospital.

The Dracaena palm, D. deremensis thrives in a bright room.

Like the ponytail palm and the sago palm , this is another palm tree that really isn't a palm at all.

To my eye, Dracaena deremensis 'Janet Craig' and Dracaena fragrans are the only two members of the Dracaena plant family that look like palms.

The dragon trees, Dracaena marginata and Dracaena draco more closely resemble yuccas or cordylines.


Dracaena House Plant Advice

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All varieties--with the exception of D. draco, the Canary Island dragon tree--make excellent house plants. D. draco grows into a tall tree and its leaves have needle-sharp tips. Pot them in loose, fast-draining soil which is high in organic matter. Feed them any balanced liquid house plant food every three months, year round, to encourage fast growth.

They will not wilt if you forget to water them but the lower leaves will fall sooner if their soil becomes too dry. They may also become vulnerable to spider mites. Wipe the bugs from the leaves with a damp rag and keep the soil barely moist.

Keep plants with variegated leaves in very bright light, but keep direct sun off them. Green-leaved cultivars don't need quite so much light.


Dracaena Propagation Tips

Dracaena shoot emerging from the cane.

A new shoot emerging from the cane.


If plants become too tall or leggy, cut off the top few inches of cane. A new tuft of leaves will grow from the cut stem and you can use the part you cut off for Dracaena propagation.

You can plant the leafy top with as little as 2 inches of cane attached to it. Just stick it into a pot of soil and keep it moist and shaded until it roots. I stuck one into the same pot the mother plant was growing in. It rooted in about a month.

Dracaena sprout emerging from the soil.

The remainder of the cane can be cut into 3 inch segments and laid horizontally onto potting mix.

Push them in until they are half covered by soil.

Three shoots in a large pot will make a more pleasing Dracaena house plant than one.

Some cane pieces will make two sprouts, forming a double-stemmed Dracaena plant. These are pretty, so leave both stems in place.

Related Pages on This Site:

Growing Orchids Indoors

Favorite Indoor Palms and Palm-like Plants

Go from Dracaena Plant back to The Best Types of Tropical House Plants

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