Most species of dracaena are native to Africa and are grown as outdoor landscape plants in more moderate areas of Florida and California. However, they are also among the most popular houseplants in the world due to how easy they are to care for and their beauty.
Dracaenas grow anywhere from 2 to 10 feet high and wide, depending on the species and the pot they are grown in. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight but most are adapted to moderate to low light levels. Dracaena require average irrigation. When the soil dries out moderately, irrigate the plant with lukewarm water. Fertilize from April to November with a good houseplant fertilizer. Keep in mind that when exposed to low light levels for a long period of time, many cultivars lose their variegation.
Several species and cultivars are available. Here are a few:
Corn Plant: The leaves look and are sized like those from a corn stock. Otherwise, this is not related to corn. It reaches 5 feet tall. A few common cultivars include: Janet Craig, Compacta, Warneckii and Massangeana. The species green dracaena is very similar in appearance. It and corn plant are often considered the same species.
Dragon Tree: This species has much narrower leaves. The most common selection is call Tricolor. Its leaves have red and cream-colored striping.
Lucky Bamboo: This has become popular over the last several years. The stems are easily trained into various shapes. Growing it is supposed to bring luck. However, in a botanical sense, calling this a bamboo is like calling a dog a cat.
Gold Dust: One of the more compact species. Cultivars commonly have gold spots on the leaves. Florida beauty is the most common.