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House Plant Index

DRACAENA
Dracaena and Cordyline species

Flowers Very rarely in the house
Potting or re-potting time Late Dec. or Jan.
Position in garden during summer Semi-shade
Potting Mixture 3

Species and varieties of dracaena and cordyline are usually sold by florists under the one name, Dramena. The genera Dracaena and Cordyline are so closely related that names have been intermixed. It makes little difference, except to a botanist, for the culture of both is similar.

All are handsome foliage plants from tropical regions. Leaves are long and sword-shaped, or wider with a characteristic channeled stalk; leaf tips in many varieties are arched.

Dracaena fragrans: a common house plant. The leaves are about 3 feet long and up to 4 inches wide, often striped in white or margined with yel low. When flowers appear, which they never do in the house, they are yellowish-white and very fragrant.

Dracaena godsefflana: similar to D. fragrans, but the leaves are much shorter (10 inches) and about one half as wide. Flowers are greenish yellow not borne in the house.

Cordyline terminalis: the oval green leaves are i to 2 feet long and 2y2 to 5 inches wide, with narrow, channeled stalks; they taper to a point at either end. Horticultural vari eties of this species have widely variegated leaves: red, white, purple, and metallic shades make unusual specimens.

These fountains of foliage have long been popular houseplants, and rightly so. Scale, mealybugs, and red spider are the enemies to be guarded against.

Propagation is accomplished by cutting the main stalk in late December and dividing it into pieces 2 or 3 inches long, after removing the leaves. The pieces are buried, or rather, half-buried in warm, damp sand. When the ensuing new growth reaches a height of 4 or 5 inches, it should be cut from the stalk section, with a heel attached, and rooted in sand. You may -expect some failures in propagating dracaena in this manner, yet several tries will bring success in most instances.


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