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Dracaena deremensis Dracaena

Edward F. Gilman


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 (Figure 1). 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.

Figure 1. Dracaena.
Figure 1.  Dracaena.


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 2)
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: specimen; container or above-ground planter; border; suitable for growing indoors
Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range
Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2.  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
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
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

Date: 5/26/2015

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS183, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman