Dracaena Reflexa Plant Care

Table of Contents

Dracaena reflexa is an ornamental plant you can add to your collection of indoor plants.

It has an irregular-shaped growth that grows into a tree. You find them in protected landscapes growing up to 20-feet tall. Another name is the Song of India with yellow striped leaves.

Or the Song of Jamaica with off-white stripes. Both species have narrow pointed leaves around the stem while tufted on the ends of branches.

What is the Song of India?

song of india plant

Dracaena reflexa originates from Madagascar, Mauritius, and islands in the Indian Ocean. Jean-Baptist Lamarck introduced the plant in 1786. Since then, it has become a common ornamental houseplant. The Dracaena song is famous for growing indoors and outdoors.

Interestingly, the genus name comes from Greece ‘drakaina,’ meaning female dragon. Another intriguing thing is NASA used the plant in their Clean Air Study plan. During the study, they showed how effective it is in eliminating formaldehyde.

Yet, the biggest appeal of the song of India is the leaves with yellow lines. Even better, the plant adapts well to thrive on your patio into your home. Fascinating hey! But that is not all! Check out the Dracaena reflexa song below to learn more about this interesting plant:

Scientific Name: Dracaena reflexa

Common Name: Song of India, song of Jamaica, reflexed dracaena

Plant Type: Evergreen tree

Native to: Madagascar, Mauritius, islands in the Indian Ocean

Shape: Pointed parallel lanceolate evergreen with yellow stripes

Maximum Size: 8 to 15 feet (2.44 to 4.57 meters)

Watering Requirements: High drought tolerance

Light Requirements: Part shade/part sun

Preferred Humidity: High

Preferred Temperature: 65-78oF (18-25.5oC)

Soil or Potting Medium: Acidic, alkaline, sand, loam, clay

Fertilizer: Houseplant fertilizer every two weeks

Propagation Method: Stem cuttings

Toxicity: Toxic to pets

Song of India Plant Care Basics

The song of India plant can grow high and wide, so it is best to provide it with enough space to grow indoors. While the size might be overwhelming growing up to 15-feet, there is no need to worry as caring for it is easy. Once you learn to provide it with the best growing conditions, you’ll notice it thrives well. So keep reading to find out how to care for this beautiful plant.

The Best Soil Mix for Your Houseplant

The secret with the soil mix for your reflexa song of India all comes down to using a high organic matter. The material improves fertility while enhances the structure. Using loamy organic well-drained soil helps the roots aerate and penetrate well.


Some great organic matter to use is peat moss or compost. The container needs proper drainage allowing the water to drain well. So grab one part peat moss, one part houseplant soil, and one part perlite for the best soil mix for your plant.

Dracaena Song of India Watering Needs

Remember your song of India needs watering only when you feel the topsoil is dry to the touch. Great news, right, as you need not water it every day. You can give it some misting to keep it hydrated with the soil moist. Yet, do not overwater your reflexa plant as it can lead to root rot.

Your plant has a high drought tolerance compared to other indoor plants. So how do you know you’re overwatering this plant? If you notice yellow leaves, the water might not be draining out well. But as they mature, they can also dump the leaves to produce new ones.

Another important thing is that this plant does not like tap water as it is sensitive to fluoride. Hence, we recommend using filtered water instead.

Dracaena Reflexa Lighting Need

The good news is that when it comes to your Dracaena reflexa care, it fits well into your living space. It can withstand medium, low, to extreme light conditions. Yet, if placed in direct sunlight, you may find the blade ends scorch. Still to little light can lead to curled or faded leaves. We recommend placing the Dracaena song in moderate light. If you do put it in high light, you may need to increase the watering. So a few hours of bright light will provide it with the growth it needs.

Temperature Needs

One thing the Dracaena plants prefer is temperatures from 65° to 78° F (18° to 25.5°C) during the day. Yet, when the evenings get cooler, it helps with flower growth. Still, temperatures below 55° F (12.5°C) can cause damage. The best is not to place your plant close to an AC or heating unit.

Best Humidity Levels

Your reflexa song of India needs more humidity when placed inside the home. The reason is that it is indigenous to a subtropical climate. Keeping that in mind, you can adapt the room humidity in your home.

If you live in warm regions, your plant grows healthier outside where it gets enough humidity. So the best is to plant it in areas where the moisture is not too low. Doing this results in brown leaves. Yet, you can elevate the humidity inside using a humidifier.

plant humidifier

Another method is using a pebble tray with water to place your plant on. As the water evaporates, it adds the moisture your foliage needs. You can mist the leaves every few days.

Fertilizer Requirement

One thing that will make you happy is the fertilization needs. Pleomele, yes, another name for your plant needs not much fertilizing. If you plant it in peaty soil and organic matter, it needs fertilizing less. You can use a thin layer of compost (half-inch) around the plant in spring. Or you can use a houseplant fertilizer every two weeks in spring and summer. During fall, you can reduce the feeding, and in winter, you can stop.


Taking care of your tree is like your other house plants. The best part is you can propagate it from cuttings. So you can provide family and friends with a gift to care for their song of India plant. Here is how you can do this:

  • Look for the highest point of your plant or the stem to take your cuttings.
  • Use your pruning shears to cut along the leaf line if using the top cuttings. Again, it helps to choose one with many stem nodes.
  • If doing stem cuttings, cut a large slice from the stem about 8-inches long with leaf nodes.
  • Use some rooting hormone and scrub the bottom side with it (obligatory) as it helps improve the propagation.
  • Take some fresh soil or use a container with fresh water and position the cutting in it.
  • Place it in a warm area with indirect sunlight.
  • Once it grows roots, you can transfer your cutting to a larger medium filled with potting mix.

Growing Zone

The plant enjoys tropical temperatures in regions under the USDA Zones 10B through to 11. Hence, you can plant your reflexa in these areas all year round.


The excellent news is you only need to transplant your Draceanea reflexa song every few years. When the time comes to repot your house plant, make sure to use fresh potting soil. At this time, it helps to provide it with some added sunlight for a couple of days.

When repotting, try not to overwater your plant. The best is to wait it out for seven days for the roots to settle. Another noticeable thing is as it grows big, you can give it a simple cut-off. Yet, do this in spring or summer when growing.

So grab your sterilized shears to remove wounded canes at a single point. Now is also the time to removed the infected or dead leaves.

Other Dracaena Species

You can find approximately 120 species of shrubs and trees in the Dracaena genus. Here are some gorgeous plants you may encounter along your way.

Dracaena marginata

dracaena marginata

The plant is also known as the dragon tree, a very popular houseplant. The plant has a tall skinny trunk with green sprouts of long red-tipped leaves. With its abstract silhouette, you can add height to your houseplant arrangement. Or, you can place it behind your sofa or against a blank wall.

Dracaena fragrans

dracaena fragrans

The Dracaena fragrans or cornstalk have multiple stems and a flowering shrub native to Africa. It resembles a corn crop with a thick stem and draped glossy green leaves. Occasionally it blooms small white flowers.

Dracaena deremensis

dracaena deremensis

All houseplant collectors love the corn plant for its lush deep-green leaves. The plant’s native to Africa, and you find it growing around the world in homes.

Dracaena surculosa

dracaena surculosa

Here is another plant you find in Africa’s tropical rainforests known as gold dust. It has more leaves than stems and sprouts white or yellow speckled green leaves. It looks as if someone dusted gold on the foliage hence the name.

Possible Diseases & Pests

The good news is that the song of India is, to some extent, pest-free. Yet, fungus gnats are more of a concern when you plant them in bark soil or compost. Here are some pests and diseases you may find on your plant:

  • Mealybugs is one insect you need to keep an eye on. You notice them with a fuzzy or as a cotton mass. You can use a strong spray of water at the sink or outside with a hose to spray them off. Or you can use cotton balls with rubbing alcohol to wipe them away. If you do this, wash your plant using clean water.
  • Aphids are black or green with a round shape. You will notice their presence if the leaves turn yellow and have a sticky discharge. To remove them, wash them off with a piece of fabric dipped in soap water.
  • Spider mites are another pest you find on this plant and are very tiny. However, if you notice brown or yellow pointed leaves, you know these critters are there. You can use a water spray to remove them or apply a miticide.
  • Thrips are winged insects that cause great harm to your plant. You can spray them off with water and removed the infected leaves. We recommend not using a high nitrogen feed as it leads to a lot of growth, inviting them to feast.
  • Common fungus disease is a fusarium with soft rot and leaf spot. It helps to water your plant from the foundation and not on the leaflets to prevent this from happening.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you prune Dracaena Reflexa?

If one of the Dracaena reflexa stems grows out to one side looking unattractive, you can cut it off. Use a pruning shear to cut it at the base, or you can remove the whole stem. Or you can cut the stem to a specific length as new branches will grow.

Is Dracaena Reflexa an indoor plant?

The song of India is recommended as an indoor plant but needs partial sunlight but not direct sunlight. You can leave it in direct sun for a few hours. You can also grow it outside in the part sun or filtered light from trees.

What are the Dracaena Reflexa benefits?

First, the plant provides you with air purifying to remove the toxic gases in your living space. The plant reduces air pollutants from carbon dioxide to benzene in the air. Further, it also enhances your concentration to sharpen your focus.

Where to buy Dracaena Reflexa?

You can find the Dracaena reflexa available at your local nursery or online. Here at Plantly, you can also find quality reflexa sold delivered to your front door. So think of it there is no hassle to pick it up.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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