How To Plant And Care For Dracaena Reflexa

Dracaena reflexa, commonly known as the Song of India or Pleomele, is an elegant and adaptable houseplant renowned for its arching, variegated leaves.

Native to Madagascar, Dracaena reflexa is a popular choice for indoor and outdoor landscaping due to its striking appearance and relatively low-maintenance requirements.

The plant’s distinctive foliage, featuring green and yellow stripes, adds a touch of tropical elegance to any space.

No schema found.

This comprehensive guide aims to provide valuable insights into cultivating, nurturing, and maintaining Dracaena reflexa, catering to both novice gardeners and experienced plant enthusiasts.

What You Will Learn?

Dracaena Reflexa Quick Guide

Song of India
Dracaena Reflexa
Common NameSong of India, Pleomele, Dracaena reflexa
Botanical NameDracaena reflexa
Plant TypeEvergreen ornamental shrub
Native toMadagascar, Mauritius, and other Indian Ocean islands
Soil NeedsWell-draining, fertile soil
Sunlight NeedsBright, indirect light, can tolerate some direct sunlight
Growing ZonesSuited for USDA zones 10-12
Height/SpreadCan grow up to 6 feet in height, with a spread of 3 feet
Pot Type NeedsWell-suited for containers, both indoor and outdoor
Soil pH NeedsSlightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.0-7.0)
ColorsGreen, yellow, and cream variegated leaves
Where to PlantIndoors or in sheltered outdoor locations
PestsOccasionally susceptible to spider mites or scale insects
DiseasesVulnerable to root rot in excessively wet conditions
Growth HabitUpright, with arching, lance-shaped leaves in a rosette
ToxicityMildly toxic to pets if ingested
PropagationStem cuttings, air layering
MaintenanceModerate watering, occasional pruning for shape
Drought TolerantModerate drought tolerance
LifespanLong-lived, thriving for many years with proper care
Watering NeedsAllow the top inch of soil to dry between waterings
Feeding NeedsLight feeding with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season
FlowersRarely flowers indoors, inconspicuous blooms
Flowering SeasonSpring, if grown outdoors in suitable conditions
Leaf ShapeArching, lance-shaped leaves in a rosette
Leaf Size6-18 inches in length, depending on the age of the plant
Dracaena reflexa, with its arching lance-shaped leaves, is known for its attractive variegation. While it rarely flowers indoors, it may produce inconspicuous blooms during the spring if grown outdoors in suitable conditions.

Dracaena Reflexa Varieties

Dracaena reflexa, commonly known as the Song of India or Pleomele, is a popular ornamental plant known for its striking foliage and air-purifying qualities.

Several distinct varieties of Dracaena reflexa showcase diverse leaf patterns and colors, contributing to their widespread appeal among indoor plant enthusiasts.

Here, we explore some notable varieties:

Dracaena Reflexa ‘Song of India’:

This classic variety features long, arching leaves with a central yellow-green stripe bordered by darker green edges. The vibrant yellow hue provides a captivating contrast, making it a standout choice for both indoor and outdoor settings.

Dracaena Reflexa ‘Variegata’:

Recognized for its variegated foliage, this variety boasts leaves with irregular patterns of green and cream, creating a visually dynamic and appealing display. The variegation adds a touch of elegance to any space.

Dracaena Reflexa ‘Pleomele Song of Jamaica’:

With its distinctive green and yellow-striped leaves, the Song of Jamaica variety showcases a tropical aesthetic. Its upright growth habit and vibrant coloration make it a preferred choice for those seeking a lively and tropical ambiance.

Dracaena Reflexa ‘Song of Jamaica Compacta’:

A more compact version of the Song of Jamaica, this variety maintains the attractive green and yellow-striped leaves but in a smaller, bushier form. It’s an excellent option for smaller spaces or as a tabletop accent.

Dracaena Reflexa ‘Riki’:

The ‘Riki’ variety is characterized by its rich, dark green leaves with creamy white edges. This cultivar adds a touch of sophistication to interior spaces and is often chosen for its refined appearance.

Dracaena Reflexa ‘Anita’:

‘Anita’ is recognized for its gracefully arching leaves that display a beautiful combination of green and yellow tones. This variety is prized for its ornamental value and ability to thrive in various light conditions.

Dracaena Reflexa ‘Malaika’:

Featuring broad, lance-shaped leaves, the ‘Malaika’ variety showcases a distinctive dark green coloration. Its upright growth habit and resilience make it a resilient choice for both indoor and outdoor landscaping.

Dracaena Reflexa ‘Pleomele Song of India Lemon Lime’:

This variety is a vibrant and eye-catching cultivar with leaves that display a unique combination of lemon and lime colors. The bright hues add a cheerful and refreshing touch to indoor spaces, making it a popular choice for those seeking lively decor.

Dracaena Reflexa ‘Kiwi’:

‘Kiwi’ is celebrated for its attractive foliage, featuring shades of green and cream with a hint of pink. The unique color palette creates a visually appealing and tropical atmosphere, making it a sought-after variety for both homes and offices.

Dracaena Reflexa ‘Magenta’:

The ‘Magenta’ variety is known for its striking magenta-colored edges on its green leaves. This bold and vibrant cultivar adds a touch of drama to any setting, making it a favorite for those who appreciate plants with a pop of intense color.

Dracaena Reflexa ‘Red Edge Compacta’:

This compact variety of Dracaena Reflexa features dark green leaves with distinctive red edges. Its compact growth habit makes it suitable for smaller spaces, while the red edges provide an element of visual interest and elegance.

These Dracaena reflexa varieties offer a diverse range of choices for plant enthusiasts, allowing them to select specimens that complement their preferences and the aesthetics of their living spaces.

Whether seeking bold variegation, vibrant colors, or elegant simplicity, the Dracaena reflexa varieties cater to a wide array of design preferences.

Why You Should Grow Dracaena Reflexa

Grow Dracaena Reflexa
Grow Dracaena Reflexa

Growing Dracaena reflexa, commonly known as the Song of India or Pleomele, offers numerous benefits for both indoor and outdoor environments.

Here are compelling reasons to consider cultivating Dracaena reflexa:

  1. Aesthetic Appeal:
    • Dracaena reflexa is admired for its lush, tropical appearance with vibrant green foliage.
    • Variegated varieties add a touch of elegance and visual interest to indoor and outdoor spaces.
  2. Adaptability:
    • Well-suited for both indoor and outdoor cultivation, making it a versatile choice for various environments.
    • Can thrive in a range of light conditions, including bright indirect light and partial shade.
  3. Air Purification:
    • Known for its air-purifying qualities, helping to remove indoor pollutants and improve air quality.
    • Contributes to creating a healthier and more breathable living or working environment.
  4. Low Maintenance:
    • Requires minimal care and attention, making it suitable for beginners or individuals with busy lifestyles.
    • Tolerant of occasional neglect and can withstand fluctuations in watering.
  5. Versatility:
    • Available in different varieties, each offering unique features such as variegation, spiral growth, or distinctive color patterns.
    • Can be grown as a houseplant, accent plant, or used in landscaping for a tropical touch.
  6. Adaptable to Container Gardening:
    • Thrives in containers, making it an ideal choice for patio, balcony, or indoor gardening.
    • Container cultivation allows for easy movement and placement in various settings.
  7. Indoor Decor Enhancement:
    • Adds a touch of greenery and natural beauty to indoor spaces, enhancing the overall décor.
    • Well-suited for offices, living rooms, bedrooms, or any area that benefits from a decorative plant.
  8. Resilience:
    • Demonstrates resilience to common pests and diseases when provided with proper care.
    • Sturdy and robust, with the ability to withstand occasional environmental stress.
  9. Natural Screen or Divider:
    • Can be used to create natural screens or dividers in both indoor and outdoor settings.
    • Provides a visually appealing way to define spaces or add privacy.
  10. Positive Impact on Well-being:
    • Growing plants, including Dracaena reflexa, has been linked to positive effects on mental well-being and stress reduction.
    • Taking care of plants can be a calming and fulfilling activity.

How To Propagate Dracaena Reflexa

Propagate Dracaena Reflexa
Propagate Dracaena Reflexa

Propagating Dracaena reflexa, commonly known as the Song of India or Pleomele, can be achieved through several methods.

Here are common propagation techniques:

  1. Air Layering
  2. Stem Cuttings
  3. Offshoot Division

Dracaena reflexa propagation through Air Layering

Materials Needed:

  1. Sharp knife or pruning shears
  2. Sphagnum moss
  3. Plastic wrap
  4. Plastic or foil
  5. Twist ties or string
  6. Rooting hormone (optional)
  7. Moisture-retaining material (e.g., plastic bag or aluminum foil)
Air Layering

Air layering is a way to make new plants by helping roots grow on a branch while it’s still connected to the main plant.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on air layering for Dracaena Reflexa:

Total Time: 90 days

Select a Healthy Stem:

Choose a healthy, mature stem with several leaves. Ideally, select a stem that is not too woody but has sufficient flexibility.

Identify a Node:

Locate a node on the stem – this is where leaves and branches emerge. This is the area where roots will be encouraged to grow.

Make a Cut:

Using a sharp knife or pruning shears, make a diagonal cut through the stem just below a node. Ensure the cut is clean and at least 1-2 inches long.

Remove a Portion of Bark:

Gently remove a small section of bark (about 1 inch) from the cut area to expose the inner wood.

Apply Rooting Hormone (Optional):

Optionally, you can apply rooting hormone to the exposed area to encourage root development. This step is not mandatory but can expedite the process.

Prepare Sphagnum Moss:

Make the sphagnum moss wet all the way through and press out extra water. Make sure it’s a bit wet, but not so wet that water is dripping from it.

Wrap with Moss:

Place the damp sphagnum moss around the cut section, covering it completely. Make sure the moss is secured firmly in place.

Wrap with Plastic:

Cover the moss with plastic wrap or foil to create a sealed environment. Ensure it is wrapped tightly to retain moisture.

Secure with Twist Ties or String:

Secure the plastic or foil in place with twist ties or string at both ends. This helps to maintain a humid environment.

Monitor and Wait:

Regularly see if the moss is still a bit wet. You should notice roots starting to grow within a few weeks to a couple of months.

Separate and Plant:

Once sufficient roots have developed (several inches long), carefully cut the stem below the rooted section. Plant the rooted portion in a suitable pot with well-draining soil.

Dracaena reflexa propagation through Stem Cuttings

  1. Select a healthy, mature stem with several inches of growth.
  2. Use a sharp, clean pair of pruning shears or scissors to cut a section of the stem just below a node (where leaves emerge).
  3. Remove the lower leaves to expose the node.
  4. Allow the cutting to dry for a few hours to reduce the risk of rot.
  5. Plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix, burying the node and leaving the upper portion exposed.
  6. Give the cutting a little water and put it in a spot with lots of light, but not directly from the sun.
  7. Keep the soil consistently moist until roots develop, which may take several weeks.

Dracaena reflexa propagation through Offshoot Division

  1. Identify natural offshoots or side shoots growing from the base of the parent plant.
  2. Using a sharp, clean tool, carefully separate the offshoot from the main plant.
  3. Ensure that the offshoot has some roots attached.
  4. Plant the offshoot in a new container with fresh potting mix.
  5. Water the new plant and place it in a location with bright, indirect light.
  6. Continue caring for the new plant as you would for an established Dracaena reflexa.

Tips for Successful Dracaena Reflexa Propagation

  1. Propagate during the plant’s active growth phase, typically in spring or early summer.
  2. Provide a warm and humid environment for the propagated plant.
  3. Use a well-draining potting mix to prevent waterlogged conditions.
  4. Make sure the soil stays a bit wet, but not so wet that it’s completely soaked.

Remember that not all propagation attempts guarantee success, and patience is key. Each method has its advantages, so you can choose the one that best suits your preferences and conditions.

How To Buy Dracaena Reflexa Plant From Nursey

Buy Dracaena Reflexa
Buy Dracaena Reflexa Plant

When buying a Dracaena reflexa plant from a nursery, consider the following steps:

  1. Research Nurseries: Look for reputable nurseries or garden centers that specialize in indoor plants. You can visit local nurseries or explore online options.
  2. Verify Plant Quality: Inspect the overall health of the Dracaena reflexa plants available. Choose plants with vibrant green leaves, free from discoloration, pests, or diseases.
  3. Check Root Health: If possible, check the root system of the plant. Healthy roots should be firm, white, and well-established in the soil. Avoid plants with root rot or mushy roots.
  4. Examine Leaves: Ensure that the leaves are evenly spaced, without signs of wilting or drooping. Look for consistent coloring and avoid plants with yellowing or browning leaves.
  5. Inspect for Pests: Check both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves for any signs of pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, or scale insects. Avoid plants with visible pest infestations.
  6. Consider Plant Size: Choose a Dracaena reflexa plant that suits your space. Consider both the height and spread of the plant, keeping in mind the available space in your home.
  7. Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask nursery staff or sellers about the care requirements, ideal growing conditions, and any specific information related to Dracaena reflexa. This will help you provide the best care for your plant.
  8. Inspect the Pot: Ensure that the plant is potted in a container with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Check for any signs of damage or cracks in the pot.
  9. Check Soil Quality: Assess the quality of the potting mix. It should be well-draining and provide a good balance of nutrients for the Dracaena reflexa.
  10. Compare Prices: Compare prices of Dracaena reflexa plants across different nurseries. Consider factors such as plant size, overall health, and additional services provided by the nursery.
  11. Ask for Care Instructions: Request care instructions or guidelines from the nursery staff. Knowing how to care for your Dracaena reflexa properly will contribute to its long-term health and well-being.

Once you’ve selected a healthy Dracaena reflexa plant that meets your criteria, bring it home carefully, and acclimate it to its new environment.

Follow the recommended care instructions to ensure the plant thrives in its new home.

How To Plant Dracaena Reflexa Plant

Planting a Dracaena reflexa, commonly known as the Song of India or Pleomele, involves a straightforward process.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Materials Needed:

  1. Dracaena reflexa plant
  2. Well-draining potting mix
  3. Suitable container with drainage holes
  4. Watering can
  5. Fertilizer (optional)


  1. Choose a Suitable Container:
    • Choose a pot that has holes at the bottom for water to drain out. Ensure that the pot is large enough to accommodate the root ball of the Dracaena reflexa with some room for growth.
  2. Prepare the Potting Mix:
    • Use a well-draining potting mix suitable for tropical plants. You can add perlite or sand to enhance drainage.
  3. Fill the Pot:
    • Fill the chosen container with the potting mix, leaving enough space for the Dracaena reflexa’s root ball.
  4. Remove the Plant from the Nursery Pot:
    • Gently remove the Dracaena reflexa from its nursery pot. You can tap the bottom and sides of the pot to loosen the soil.
  5. Inspect the Roots:
    • Inspect the roots to see if there are any signs of decay or harm. Trim any dead or rotting roots using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears.
  6. Place the Plant in the Pot:
    • Position the Dracaena reflexa in the center of the pot, making sure the top of the root ball is level with the rim of the container.
  7. Backfill with Soil:
    • Fill the remaining space in the pot with the prepared potting mix, ensuring the roots are covered. Press the soil down gently to make sure the plant is stable.
  8. Water the Plant:
    • Water the Dracaena reflexa thoroughly after planting to settle the soil and provide initial moisture. Make sure that water can easily flow out from the bottom of the pot.
  9. Optional: Fertilize:
    • If desired, you can apply a balanced liquid fertilizer according to the product’s instructions. Fertilize sparingly, especially during the growing season.
  10. Place in Suitable Light Conditions:
    • Dracaena reflexa prefers bright, indirect light. Place the newly potted plant in a location with filtered sunlight to promote healthy growth.
  11. Monitor and Adjust:
    • Keep an eye on the plant’s moisture levels and adjust your watering routine accordingly. Let the upper part of the soil get dry before you water it again.

Remember to acclimate the plant to its new environment gradually, especially if it’s transitioning from a nursery setting.

Following these steps will help ensure a successful and healthy start for your Dracaena reflexa.

How To Care For Dracaena Reflexa Plant

Dracaena reflexa Plant
Dracaena Reflexa Plant

Caring for Dracaena reflexa, commonly known as the Song of India or Pleomele, involves providing the right conditions for its growth.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to care for this beautiful plant:


Use a well-draining potting mix designed for tropical plants. Putting perlite or sand in the soil can make water flow away better, improving drainage.


Dracaena reflexa prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower light conditions. Don’t let the plant be in direct sunlight for too long, as it can burn the leaves.


Keep the plant in a warm environment. Dracaena reflexa thrives in temperatures between 65-80°F (18-27°C). Shield it from breezes and quick temperature changes.


Water the plant moderately and wait until the upper part of the soil is dry before watering it again. Ensure proper drainage to prevent waterlogged soil which can lead to root rot.


Dracaena reflexa appreciates moderate to high humidity. If the air is dry, consider misting the plant or placing a tray of water nearby. Grouping plants together can also create a more humid microclimate.


Give the plant a special liquid food that has a balance of nutrients every 2-4 weeks when it’s growing a lot, like in spring and summer. Reduce or stop fertilizing in the fall and winter when growth slows down.


Trim the plant to keep it in a good shape and get rid of any yellow or damaged leaves. You can also cut back leggy stems to encourage bushier growth.


Repot Dracaena reflexa when it outgrows its current container, typically every 2-3 years. Spring is the perfect time to move the plant to a new pot.


Wipe the leaves regularly with a damp cloth to remove dust and enhance the plant’s ability to photosynthesize.

Toxic to Pets:

Keep in mind that Dracaena reflexa is toxic to pets if ingested. Place it in a location that is out of reach of curious pets.

Dracaena Reflexa Plant Pests and Diseases

Common Pests:

  1. Spider Mites:
    • Identification: Tiny red or brown mites that create webbing on the plant.
    • Treatment: Rinse the plant with water, use insecticidal soap, or neem oil.
  2. Scale Insects:
    • Identification: Small, oval, or round insects that attach to stems and leaves.
    • Treatment: Remove scales manually or use insecticidal soap.
  3. Mealybugs:
    • Identification: White, cotton-like insects that gather in leaf joints and along stems.
    • Treatment: Wipe with a damp cloth, use insecticidal soap, or introduce natural predators.
  4. Thrips:
    • Identification: Tiny, slender insects causing stippling on leaves.
    • Treatment: Remove affected leaves, use insecticidal soap, or neem oil.

Common Diseases:

  1. Root Rot:
    • Signs: Yellowing leaves, wilting, and a foul odor from the soil.
    • Prevention: Ensure well-draining soil and avoid overwatering.
  2. Leaf Spot:
    • Signs: Dark brown or black spots on leaves.
    • Prevention: Avoid overhead watering, ensure good air circulation, and remove affected leaves.
  3. Powdery Mildew:
    • Signs: White powdery substance on leaves.
    • Prevention: Maintain proper spacing between plants, provide good ventilation, and treat with fungicidal sprays.
  4. Bacterial Leaf Spot:
    • Signs: Water-soaked lesions that may ooze fluid.
    • Prevention: Avoid overhead watering, provide good air circulation, and remove affected leaves.

Preventive Tips:

  1. Isolation: Keep new plants separate for a while before adding them to your plant group.
  2. Proper Watering: Allow the soil to dry between waterings to prevent root issues.
  3. Regular Inspection: Check your plant regularly for any signs of pests or diseases.
  4. Humidity Control: Maintain moderate to high humidity levels to discourage pests.

Treatment Tips:

  1. Natural Remedies: Neem oil, insecticidal soap, and homemade solutions can be effective.
  2. Pruning: Remove heavily infested or diseased parts promptly.
  3. Isolation: If an infestation is severe, consider isolating the affected plant to prevent it from spreading.

Pros and Cons of Growing Dracaena Reflexa Plant

Growing Dracaena Reflexa
Growing Dracaena Reflexa Plant
Pros of Growing Dracaena ReflexaCons of Growing Dracaena Reflexa
1. Air Purification: Dracaena Reflexa is known for its air-purifying qualities, helping to filter and improve indoor air quality.1. Toxicity: The plant is toxic to pets, and caution is advised if you have animals that may come in contact with it.
2. Low Maintenance: It is a low-maintenance plant, making it suitable for beginners or individuals with a busy lifestyle.2. Sensitive to Overwatering: Overwatering can lead to root rot, so careful watering practices are essential to prevent waterlogged soil.
3. Adaptable to Different Light Conditions: Dracaena Reflexa can tolerate a variety of light conditions, including lower light levels, making it versatile for various indoor settings.3. Susceptible to Pests: Like many indoor plants, it can be prone to pests such as spider mites and scale, requiring vigilant monitoring.
4. Attractive Foliage: The plant features attractive, arching, lance-shaped leaves that add a touch of tropical elegance to interiors.4. Slow Growth: Dracaena Reflexa is a slow-growing plant, and significant size may take several years to achieve.
5. Suitable for Different Settings: It can thrive both indoors and outdoors in suitable climates, providing flexibility in placement.5. Limited Cold Tolerance: It is sensitive to cold temperatures and may suffer damage if exposed to frost.
6. Versatile Varieties: There are various cultivars with different foliage colors, patterns, and sizes, allowing for personal preference in plant selection.6. Limited Flowering: While the plant can produce fragrant, small, white flowers, flowering is relatively uncommon indoors.
7. Drought Tolerance: Dracaena Reflexa can tolerate periods of drought, making it more forgiving for occasional lapses in watering.7. Height Consideration: Some varieties can grow quite tall, requiring sufficient space or occasional pruning.
Understanding these pros and cons can help individuals make informed decisions about incorporating Dracaena Reflexa into their homes or offices.


Dracaena reflexa, with its distinctive foliage and adaptability, is an excellent choice for individuals seeking a visually appealing and low-maintenance indoor or outdoor plant. With proper care, this tropical gem can thrive and enhance the ambiance of any space.


Can Dracaena reflexa tolerate low light conditions?

Yes, it can adapt to lower light conditions, but it thrives best in indirect light or partial shade.

How often should I water Dracaena reflexa?

Keep the soil moderately moist, allowing the top inch to dry out between waterings.

Is Dracaena reflexa safe for pets?

It is mildly toxic to pets if ingested, so it’s advisable to keep it out of their reach.

Can I grow Dracaena reflexa outdoors?

Yes, it can be grown outdoors in suitable climates, especially in partial shade.

What type of soil is best for Dracaena reflexa?

Use a well-draining potting mix to prevent waterlogging and ensure proper aeration for the roots.

How tall can Dracaena reflexa grow?

Indoors, it typically reaches heights of up to 6 feet, while it can grow taller outdoors.

How often should I fertilize Dracaena reflexa?

Give the plant liquid fertilizer that has a balance of nutrients every 4-6 weeks when it’s growing.

Author Profile

Leafy Lines
Leafy Lines
Step into the world of plants and flowers brought to you by Leafy Lines, a devoted gardening lover and someone who enjoys playing with words about all things botanical.
With a love for nature and a talent for growing things, Leafy Lines is here to be your companion in the vibrant world of plants and gardening.
Leafy Lines started a gardening adventure driven by a passion to create, nurture, and feel connected to the earth. From the initial steps into potting soil to the thriving garden today, the path has been filled with trying new things, gaining knowledge, and a profound recognition of the therapeutic joys that come with gardening.

Leave a Comment

What You Will Learn?

Lollipop Plant Care The Ultimate Guide to Palm Plants