Red dracaena, corn plant, and dragon tree are all common names for Cordyline Dracena, a tropical plant that is a member of the Agavaceae family of plants. While Cordyline is an invasive plant in its native habitats within Australia and southeastern Asia, it makes an attractive houseplant that can grow up to 10 feet tall. Like other tropical houseplants, Cordyline requires proper care to encourage optimal growth and health. This plant is grown primarily for its exotic, sword-shaped leaves.
It makes an excellent accent plant in a garden setting. It does especially well growing in a container. There are several other cultivars which are similar. This Cordyline can tolerate considerable cold.
It can be propagated from tip cuttings taken with three or four leaves attached. Insert the tip cuttings in 8cm (3inch) pots filled with a moistened rooting mixture consisting of equal parts peat and sand. Enclose the pots in a plastic bag and keep them in a temperature of 21-24 degrees C in partially shaded positions. Alternatively can be used a heated propagator case. No additional water will be needed for four to six weeks.
After rooting has occurred, remove the pot for plastic bag or propagator and begin to water the new plant moderately, moistening the potting mixture at each watering and allowing the top centimeter (0.4 inches) or so of the mixture to dry out before watering again. When roots appear on the surface of the mixture, move the young plant into a pot one size larger containing the standard potting mixture used for adult plants and treat them as mature Plant.
Special features: Dracaenas are evergreen palmlike trees and shrubs. Leaves are ribbonlike or sword-shaped, sometimes with white or yellowish-green stripes.
Culinary use: Vegetable
Ornamental use: Grow in containers in the St. Louis area for use as summer patio plants or as year round houseplants. Mature container plants can lend a tropical flavor to patios, decks and other locations around the home.
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