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Dracaena deremensis Dracaena

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


The upright, multiple, unbranched stems of dracaena, with rosettes of arching, broad evergreen leaves, form a heavy but graceful tropical clump, suitable for low-maintenance container culture or specimen planting in the shaded landscape. Leaf color ranges from green to grey-green with various white striped patterns available. The white striped and variegated cultivars can brighten a shaded yard or dark corner.

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


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

General Information

Scientific name: Dracaena deremensis

Pronunciation: druh-SEE-nuh dair-rem-MEN-sis

Common name(s): dracaena

Family: Agavaceae

Plant type: shrub

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; container or above-ground planter; border; suitable for growing indoors

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 12 feet

Spread: 2 to 5 feet

Plant habit: upright

Plant density: open

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: coarse


Leaf arrangement: spiral

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: undulate

Leaf shape: linear

Leaf venation: parallel

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: 8 to 12 inches

Leaf color: variegated

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: yellow

Flower characteristic: flowers periodically throughout the year


Fruit shape: round

Fruit length: less than .5 inch

Fruit cover: fleshy

Fruit color: red

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

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

Current year stem/twig color: green

Current year stem/twig thickness: very thick


Light requirement: plant grows in the shade

Soil tolerances: slightly alkaline; clay; sand; acidic; occasionally wet; loam

Drought tolerance: moderate

Soil salt tolerances: poor

Plant spacing: 24 to 36 inches


Roots: usually not a problem

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding

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

Use and Management

Dracaena looks best in shade and is tolerant of drought and a wide variety of soil types, though preferring an organic soil. Plant on one to two-foot centers in a mass planting. Shade tolerance makes this a good house plant.

The cultivar 'Warneckii' has a broad stripe along each margin and is commonly available.

Propagation is by tip cuttings.

Pests and Diseases

Mites, thrips, and chewing insects are a problem.

Dracaenas are sensitive to leaf spot diseases.

Publication #FPS183

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 FPS183, 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