Dracaena, or spike plant, was traditionally considered a houseplant for years. However, it is finding favor in annual container gardens where the spiky upright leaves provide height and textural contrast to bushy and cascading annual flowers.

Description of dracaena: Dracaenas have lance-shaped, sharp tipped leaves, sometimes marked with colorful margins of white or pink.

How to grow dracaena: Interplant dracaenas in containers of peat-based mix enriched with extra compost. They can tolerate full sun when the weather is cool and the soil is kept moist but do better in light shade during hot and dry weather. Keep the potting soil evenly moist and fertilize frequently with a water-soluble product to encourage healthy growth.

Propagating dracaena: Propagating of colored leaf forms is by cuttings of stem sections, probably best left to professional growers. You can find a variety of suitable dracaenas in the houseplant section of garden centers and department stores.

Uses for dracaena: Place taller dracaenas in the back of a mixed container garden that will be viewed from the front or in the center of a garden that will be viewed from all sides. Use mound-shaped and cascading annuals to fill out the foreground.

Dracaena related species: D. marginata has narrow red-edged leaves to 24 inches long, handsome to highlight red or pink flower colors. D. deremensis 'Warneckei' has white stripes on narrow leaves produced in spiral whorls similar to a corn plant.

Scientific name for dracaena: Dracaena species

Dracaena, or spike plant, can also be grown indoors. Keep reading to learn about dracaena as a house plant.

Want more gardening information? Try:

  • Annual Flowers: Learn more about annuals and their glorious, must-have summer colors.
  • Annuals: Find out how annuals can enhance your garden.
  • Perennial Flowers: Find out more about how to grow and care for perennial flowers, which come in all thinkable shapes, sizes and colors.
  • Gardening: Read our helpful articles and get tips and ideas for your garden.