Botanical name: Dracaena reflexa
Synonym: Pleomele reflexa Family: Asparagaceae
Common names: Song of India Plant, Pleomele, Song of Jamaica
Song of India Plant (Dracaena reflexa) also called Pleomele or Song of Jamaica is a spectacular plant which bears yellow-banded, short, narrow, pointed, green leaves, arranged spirally and are tufted at the end of the branches.
The stems are weak and are about 3 ft high. This plant requires moist air inorder to thrive.
Pleomele is easy to grow and can survive in low light but the variegation develops best when under bright light.
Song of Jamaica is a spectacular plant which is ideal as a specimen plant or as a table-top plant on account of its compact size.
Dracaena reflexa is native to Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius and other nearby islands of the Indian Ocean.
Beautiful and healthy Song of India Plants are readily available online at Etsy. Purchase Dracaena Plants online from Etsy.
Photo Credit: Toronto Bulk Flowers
Song of India Plant (Dracaena reflexa) thrives in bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with fortnightly feeding.
Pleomele has no need for frequent repotting as it grows best when slightly root-bound. Frequent pruning is necessary to keep the plant neat as well as encourage a bushy growth. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Song of India Plant grows best in bright, indirect light. Where natural lighting is not adequate use a grow light to supplement it. In low light the plant will lose its variegation.
Avoid direct sunlight as it can burn the leaves causing the Song of Jamaica to wilt. Turn the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water song of India Plant thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep soil consistently moist.
Reduce watering in the cold season and maintain the soil slightly moist but never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Avoid soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease and death of the plant. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid soggy soil.
Use water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking the plant. Ensure that the water is free of chlorine, flourides and other chemicals to prevent brown leaf tips. Read more on how to water houseplants.
The best temperature for growing Pleomele is an average warmth with a minumum of 130C. Check this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.
Song of India Plant requires high humidity inorder to thrive. Brown leaf tips is an indication of low humidity.
Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust. Read more on how to clean houseplants.
Feed Song of India Plant every 2-3 weeks during the growing period with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn.
Regularly flush out accumulated salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainage hole. Allow it to run for a few minutes and repeat several times. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Song of India Plant at the beginning of the growing season when the roots begin to grow through the drainage holes as the plant prefers to be slightly root-bound.
Use a pot 1 size larger than the current one. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Never allow the roots to sit in soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease.
The best soil for Song of India Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients. Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal. Buy quality Potting Mix for Pleomele from Etsy.
Pruning Song of India Plant involves removal of dead and yellow leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.
To encourage a bushy and compact growth, cutback the stems. New stems will sprout below the cut.
The foliage emanating from the pruning, can be used to propagate new plants. Read more on how to prune houseplants.
Song of India Plant (Dracaena reflexa) can be propagated by stem-tip cuttings at the beginning of the growing season.
Take 2-3 in. long stem-tip cuttings from a healthy Song of India Plant. Ensure each cutting has some leaf nodes as this is where new growth will come from.
Dip the lower cut-end of the cuttings in a rooting hormone.
Fill a rooting container with free-draining rooting soil. Lightly moisten the rooting mix.
With a pencil or similar object, make a hole in the moist rooting mix. The hole should be slightly wider than the diameter of the cutting.
Insert the cutting in the previously made hole in the moist rooting mix.
Cover the container with clear polythene sheet. Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place.
Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Pleomele plants are well established after which you can begin routine care.
Photo Credit: PlantVine
Song of India Plant (Dracaena reflexa) problems indoors are brought about by cultural faults. They include brown leaf tips and edges, yellow leaves, leaf spots, plant death, pests and diseases. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.
There are four possible reasons for brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Song of India Plant. One possible reason is too dry air.
The second possible reason for brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Pleomele is underwatering. Maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
The third possible reason for brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Song of India Plant is chemical accumulation in the soil.
Use only chemical free water to water the plant and regularly flush out salts from the soil.
The fourth possible reason for brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Song of India Plant is cold draughts. Protect the plant from cold draughts or place it away from cold draughts.
Song of India Plant is prone to root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil. The disease causes the plant to die. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid soggy soil.
Reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time.
Another possible cause of the death of Song of India Plant is keeping it too cold. Maintain an average room temperature and protect the plant from cold draughts.
Pleomele could also be dying from accumulation of salts in the soil.
Regularly flush out accumulated salts in the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainage hole. Allow it to run for a few minutes and repeat several times.
Song of India Plant will develop brown leaf spots if it is underwatered. Maintain the soil moist at all times and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.
Direct sunlight will cause bleached dry patches on the leaves of Song of India Plant. Move the plant to a shadier spot or protect it from direct sunlight.
Yellowing of the lower leaves is a natural process in Song of India Plant. As the plant matures, it sheds the lower leaves. Each lower leaf turns yellow and dries leaving a crown of leaves on top of the cane-like stem.
If the temperature is too low for Song of India Plant leaves become soft and curled and the edges turn brown. Maintain an average room temperature and protect Pleomele from cold draughts.
Song of India Plant (Dracaena reflexa) is toxic to both humans and pets as outlined by ASPCA. The leaves contain a substance which is toxic. If ingested they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, loss of appetite and depression.