A happy, healthy, prosperous 2015 to all! We kick off the new year with the lovely Dracaena aletriformis which is one of our few indigenous plants that grows very well indoors.

This is an evergreen, usually single stemmed tree that has large showy leaves that reach up to 1 m in length. The leaves are a glossy green with a narrow, white margin. The tree normally grows to a height of between 2 and 5 m, and easily tolerates poor light conditions, making it ideal for shady positions.

The Large-leaved Dragon tree produces tiny, sweet scented flowers during summer. These greenish – white flowers normally open towards late afternoon and blooms through the night, attracting night active pollinator moths that feast on the nectar. The blooms are followed by orange berries which are popular with many birds, making it a wonderful specimen for a bird friendly garden.

The tree is relatively fast growing, and requires fertile, well-drained soil to thrive. Dracaena is sensitive to frost and drought, and care should be taken during the Highveld winter months to protect the tree. It can withstand short periods without watering, but is definitely not a tree to be planted in direct sun as the leaves will burn. This tree with its’ striking foliage is often used to fill shady spots under existing trees and makes for an attractive focal plant in low light offices or covered verandas.