Skip to main content

9 beautiful dracaena plants to add to your houseplant collection

Identify common dracaena plants and learn how to care for them

Chances are you’ve encountered the dracaena plant at your local nursery. You’ve also probably noticed arching dracaenas feature some of the lushest growth patterns and variegation in the plant world. Whether they’re single-stemmed shrubs or trees, these plants make exquisite additions to any home or office. Plus, they’re pretty low-maintenance plants — all they need is indirect light and non-fluoridated water to thrive. Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite types of dracaena plants. Let’s take a look.

Gold dust dracaena

1. Gold dust dracaena (Dracaena surculosa)

The beautiful gold dust dracaena features arching branches that push out lanced-shaped leaves with a dark green color and cream speckles. It grows relatively slowly and can handle neglect — that is, low-light conditions and periods of drought. That said, you’ll be rewarded with more variegation with bright indirect light.

Dracaena fragrans

2. Cornstalk plant (Dracaena deremensis)

Dracaena deremensis is colloquially known as the cornstalk plant because its large green arching leaves, of course, resemble cornstalks. Its thick arching leaves can grow up to 18 inches long, and its woody central stem makes it an attractive ornamental houseplant. Give it filtered water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch — ignoring your plant can lead to browning and wilted leaves that might not recover.

Dracaena marginata

3. Madagascar dragon tree (Dracaena marginata)

The Dracaena marginata features a central stem with branches that shoot out thin, arching leaves resembling grass blades. It’s one of the easiest dracaenas to care for, and it can easily reach 10 feet tall with plenty of indirect light. The tricolor variety shows off leaves with colorful pink, green, and white stripes. Don’t worry too much if lower leaves fall over time, as this creates the alluring triangular notches that the plant is known for.

Dracaena song of India

4. Song of India (Dracaena reflexa)

The song of India is a stunning plant with thick woody stems that put out whorls of thick, lance-shaped leaves with green or variegated color. The Dracaena reflexa can grow up to 20 feet tall outdoors, but it’s usually much more compact as a houseplant. You won’t need to water it often — just give it a deep drink of water when the soil dries out, as overwatering may cause leaves to drop. If you notice browning tips, you may be under-watering or giving it water that’s too hard, so give it a good drink of distilled water to keep it happy.

Lucky bamboo

5. Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

A stunning ornamental plant with distinct stem markings and widely spaced leaves, the lucky bamboo isn’t a true bamboo, but it can grow in water. It does best in non-chlorinated water or moist soil. If you grow it with the former technique, change the water every week and give your plant a diluted liquid fertilizer throughout spring and summer. You may find it arranged as swirls or braids in offices or workspaces, as it’s excellent for fostering good feng shui.

A snake plant in a window

6. Snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata)

Yes, a snake plant is now technically classified as a dracaena plant. As their name implies, snake plants typically have tall, sword-like leaves that look like slithering snakes. Even if you previously thought of snake plants and dracaenas as separate entities, their care requirements are similar — both will survive infrequent watering and low light levels. However, because snake plant leaves are more succulent than the ones on most dracaenas, you can get away with watering them less. They also tend not to be as picky as other dracaenas with tap water, so you won’t need to filter your water before pouring it into the soil.

Dracaena warneckii

7. Striped dracaena (dracaena fragrans warneckii)

The striped dracaena is one of the most common dracaena types found at garden centers, but that doesn’t make it unworthy of your attention. It features arching dark green leaves with sage and white stripes running down the center of each blade. It’s a great plant for dracaena beginners, as it’s accessible and easy to care for. To keep the leaves pristine and free of brown tips, water when the top inch of your soil dries out and use filtered water. This variety tends to stay compact, although it can shoot up with extra fertilizer during the growing season.

Dracaena arborea

8. Dracaena tree (Dracaena arborea)

This dracaena, known as the dracaena tree, will remind you of a smaller palm tree, and it adds a tropical feel to your indoor space. It has long leaves shaped like swords, a short stem, and coral roots. This low-maintenance tree requires well-draining soil and likes bright, indirect sunlight. The dracaena tree can grow up to 8 feet tall, especially if you feed it a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer monthly during the growing season. You must water it every week or two, depending on your indoor environment. When you water it, water it thoroughly, allowing the excess to drain.

Dracaena limelight

9. Limelight dracaena (Dracaena fragrant “limelight”)

The Dracaena fragrans limelight is similar in care to the warneckii, but instead of green and white stripes, it features bright, neon lime leaves. It’s great for adding a pop of color to your space, and it’ll complement other neon plants, such as the philodendron moonlight and the neon pothos. This plant grows slowly, but you can boost its growth with water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season.

With their beautiful colors and arching leaves, dracaenas can add a welcome personality to any home or office — without fuss or expensive price tags. Your options range from the elegant dragon tree to the sturdy lucky bamboo. Whichever dracaena you choose, you’ll have a stunning, low-maintenance pick to flaunt in your plant collection.

Editors' Recommendations

Stacey Nguyen
Stacey's work has appeared on sites such as POPSUGAR, HelloGiggles, Buzzfeed, The Balance, TripSavvy, and more. When she's…
Beyond basil and cilantro, add these unique plants to your indoor herb garden
Easy-to-find herbs that are unique and low maintenance
Lemongrass bundle

Look up spring indoor herb garden essentials, and you'll usually find the basics: parsley, basil, and cilantro. While you can't go wrong with these cooking staples, you can boost your go-to recipes with more unique indoor herbs. From Vietnamese coriander to winter savory, we've compiled a range of easy-to-grow kitchen herbs that will lend your cooking more intricate flavors. In most cases, all it takes is a quick search online to track down seeds or seedlings — you may even find these herbs at your local farmers market or nursery.

Vietnamese coriander (rau ram)
Vietnamese coriander, or rau ram, features inky, flat leaves that tend to grow quite quickly. It features a stronger taste than cilantro, flavoring foods like rice rolls, soups, and noodles with its lemony and peppery notes. With Vietnamese coriander, a single plant can go a long way, as it's a perennial with an aggressive growing habit.

Read more
Beautiful, low-maintenance pothos varieties to add to your plant collection
Different types of pothos plants and how to care for them
A golden pothos hanging in a container on a wooden wall

If you’re embarking on your houseplant journey, there’s a good chance that someone will recommend an easygoing pothos plant for you. Simple and low-maintenance plants as they may be, pothos are stunning to behold — these prolific trailing houseplants will grow in most home conditions, even if you’re forgetful about watering or have limited lighting. Once you have one, it’s tempting to collect even more pothos varieties. And lucky for you, there’s a wide variety of pothos out there.

What is a pothos plant?
Also known as Epipremnum aureum or devil’s ivy, pothos are native to the Solomon Islands, where they're commonly epiphytic plants that climb on tall trees. Pothos feature waxy, heart-shaped leaves that measure around 2 to 4 inches long.

Read more
5 easy-care spider plant varieties perfect for any home garden
Add these lush, productive spider plants to your collection
Spider plant on a table

Perhaps one of the most underrated plants out there, the spider plant is a foolproof pick for gardeners of any experience level. In addition to being incredibly accessible and inexpensive, it's also one of the most prolific houseplants out there, capable of producing many offshoots with proper care.

While it's not a prized Monstera albo, it deserves a spot in any indoor plant collection, as it makes for a striking hanging basket plant with its cascading offshoots, or spiderettes. If you're wondering how to care for a spider plant and how to shop for the perfect variety for your home, here's a guide to help you do just that.

Read more