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Dracaena reflexa Reflexed Dracaena

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


This irregularly-shaped, tall growing dracaena nearly grows into a tree. Specimens 15 to 20 feet tall are known to occur in protected landscapes and inside buildings. Leaves are unmistakably darker green than most other plants. They are arranged alternately around the thick stems.

Full Form - Dracaena reflexa: Reflexed Dracaena
Figure 1. Full Form - Dracaena reflexa: Reflexed Dracaena
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Leaf - Dracaena reflexa: Reflexed Dracaena
Figure 2. Leaf - Dracaena reflexa: Reflexed Dracaena
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


General Information

Scientific name: Dracaena reflexa

Pronunciation: druh-SEE-nuh ree-FLECKS-uh

Common name(s): reflexed dracaena

Family: Agavaceae

Plant type: tree

USDA hardiness zones: 10B through 11 (Figure 3)

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: specimen; border; accent; suitable for growing indoors; cut foliage/twigs

Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 3. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 8 to 15 feet

Spread: 6 to 10 feet

Plant habit: upright; oval

Plant density: open

Growth rate: slow

Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: alternate

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: lanceolate

Leaf venation: parallel

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: white

Flower characteristic: summer flowering


Fruit shape: unknown

Fruit length: unknown

Fruit cover: unknown

Fruit color: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: typically multi-trunked or clumping stems; showy

Current year stem/twig color: gray/silver

Current year stem/twig thickness: thick


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun

Soil tolerances: acidic; alkaline; sand; loam; clay

Drought tolerance: high

Soil salt tolerances: poor

Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches


Roots: usually not a problem

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Reflexed dracaena is not for every outdoor tropical landscape due to its unusual form. It is most often used as an interiorscape plant in malls and homes. Despite the irregular growth habit, it is probably best suited for the formal landscape.

Best growth is in partial sun outdoors or direct light indoors. Drought tolerance is good making it well suited for the non-irrigated landscape. Keep the plant away from direct coastal exposure since it is sensitive to salt spray.

Pests and Diseases

There are no major problems growing this dracaena.

Publication #FPS187

Release Date:October 18, 2023

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS187, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman