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Songs of India

Songs of India

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The Song of India variety of dracaena (Dracaena reflexa ‘Variegata’), also known as pleomele, is native to islands in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. In the wild or in a garden with the right conditions, this dracaena will grow as tall as 18 feet (5.5 m.), with a spread out to eight feet (2.5 m.). Indoors, as a houseplant, you can keep this variety much smaller, and, in fact, they generally only grow to about three feet (1 m.) tall in containers. Song of India plants are described as variegated because the leaves are multicolored with bright green centers and yellow margins. The colors fade to lighter green and cream as individual leaves age. The leaves are lance-shaped and grow spirally around branches, up to one foot (30 cm.) long.

Notoriously difficult to kill, dracaena will look best and be healthiest if you provide it with the right conditions and minimal care. These plants need indirect light and warm temperatures. They prefer humidity, so you can set the container on top of a dish of rocks in water, or you can mist your plant regularly. Make sure the pot drains well and keep the soil moist but not wet. Provide a balanced fertilizer once or twice a year. As with all dracaena varieties, the pretty leaves of Song of India will turn yellow as they age. As the bottom leaves on the plant yellow, simply trim them off to keep the plant looking neat and tidy. You can also trim and shape as needed, and you may find that the plant need staking for support as it grows taller.