Dracaena – Why use Dracaena


is a genus of approximately 40 species of trees as well as succulent shrubs. That simply means you will be spoilt for choice if you are searching for a house plant in this genus. But did you know that these plants offer more than ornamental benefits? Here are some of the reasons why you should consider using these plants.

Ornamental benefits

The obvious reason for adopting a houseplant is for the ornamental benefits. The shrubby species such as D. fragrans, D. godseffiana, D. braunii and D. deremensis make perfect choices. Most of these species are toxic to pets but not to humans. Other than that, these houseplants will surely brighten up your room and create a relaxing atmosphere. Other than that, most people use dracaena mostly for the health benefits they offer.

Air purification

Plant leaves absorb and destroy various organic chemicals through a process known as metabolic breakdown. A group of German scientists were able to prove this by demonstrating the absorption and metabolic destruction of formaldehyde. The plant converts the organic chemicals to sugars, organic acid and amino acids.

  • Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a chemical used in construction sites. It is in the form of urea-formaldehyde foam insulation. It is also common in wood fitted furniture such as kitchen cupboards, bedroom wardrobes and counters. Most household cleaning products also produce this chemical. Dracaena can help reduce the concentration of formaldehyde from your house thereby reducing the irritation of the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, throat and the respiratory system.

  • Benzene

This is a chemical found mostly in tobacco smoke. It is also used as a solvent and is found in various products like rubber, paints, oils, inks, household cleaning products, gasoline and plastics. Chronic exposure to this chemical leads to headaches, drowsiness, loss of appetite, psychological disturbance, nervousness and blood system diseases such as marrow disease and anemia. Dracaena houseplants are considered among the best for removing benzene.

  • Trichloroethylene

This is a common industrial solvent found in paints, varnishes, adhesives and printing inks. It can cause dizziness, headaches and confusion. The chemical can also cause kidney and liver problems in the case of prolonged exposure. There are a variety of dracaena plants you can use to remove trichloroethylene.

  • Carbon dioxide

This is produced from various sources of combustion including heating boilers and gas stoves. Low level exposure can cause headaches and dizziness. Acute exposure can cause death. Again, there are various dracaena houseplants that will effectively remove carbon monoxide.

Humidity control

A study conducted in the University of Agriculture in Norway concluded that houseplants can actually reduce fatigue, sore throats, coughs and a range of other illnesses related to cold. They achieve this by increasing the levels of humidity in a room and reducing dust. In addition to that, the interior plant will regulate humidity in the house by releasing moisture.

The above are just the main benefits of using dracaena. There are also options for landscaping and other outdoor uses. Go through the assortment of plants. There is definitely a plant for everyone.


Dracaena – What Type of Plant is Dracaena?


is a common species of plants commonly used as houseplants and in landscaping. They offer an assortment of health benefits. However, with extreme popularity comes concern. The question you might be asking at this time is this; what type of plant is Dracaena? The short answer is a genus of about 40 species of succulent shrubs and trees. But there is more to these plants.

Dracaena is relative to the agave; the succulent plants with rosettes of narrow spiny leaves and tall flower spikes that are native to south US and tropical America. This is a large genus that includes the poplar house plants and some striking xeric and massive trees used mostly in outdoor landscaping. There are more than 100 accepted species. Some of them are virtually unknown in cultivation and are continually being reclassified.


It is not easy to pinpoint the characteristics of the Dracaena. However, there are various similarities that seem to distinguish these plants from the rest. The main similarities or generalities are that they are solitary plants with a single stem/ trunk/ cane. They can be branched or not. They tend to branch as they age but they start as palm-like plants. They are hence commonly mistaken for palms. Some can be quite tall and massive; for example the Dracaena dracos in the Canary Islands. Some are very drought tolerant and can survive without water for months. Some are tropical and can grow with their stems immersed in water. A good example is the ‘Lucky Bamboo’. Other than that, most of these plants are listed under the toxic plant list though none of them are very toxic.

The main characteristic is that the Dracaena grows like typical monocots with leaves erupting from a meristem and then forming circular rosette of leaves that hang along the stem and fall off with time. This is a characteristic that makes it easy to prune or remove. Pruning creates a neat, tidy look.

Common Names

  • Dragon Tree

The most common name given to the Dracaena is the Dragon Tree. However, most of these plants do not develop into trees; they are smaller, shrubby plants. The plants also produce a reddish sap when cut hence the name. Myths have it that after killing the dragon, Hercules shed blood which led to the growth of the dragon trees. In ancient Greek, the name Dracaena means ‘female dragon’.

  • Corn Plant

This is yet another common name given to one of the most common houseplant; Dracaena fragrans. The plant has a vague similarity to the corn plant.


The dragon trees are mostly grown in desert and Mediterranean climates because they are very tolerant to heat, drought and wind. They are very slow growing. It can take several lifetimes for a Dracaena plant to achieve the landscaping tree size. However, when grown in well-draining soil and given plenty of water during summer, their growth rate can be maximized. When grown from seed, the plants can achieve several feet within 10 years.



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