Plants A to Z

How to Grow and Care for Song of India Plant

Every person who develops a passion for houseplants must begin somewhere. Dracaena reflexa, often known as Song of India, is a rewarding and forgiving plant for beginners.

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Song of India Plant Profile

This broadleaf evergreen, native to the Indian Ocean islands, can reach heights of 18 to 20 feet in the wild but is a versatile indoor plant. It will meet your needs as either a tabletop or floor specimen. Look for it to reach a maximum height of three to six feet as a home plant.

The eye-pleasing foliage of the Song of India, in addition to its comparatively easy care, is what attracts fans. It features remarkable alternating dark green and chartreuse stripes on narrow-lanceolate leaves with veins that run parallel down their length. These leaves are arranged in a whorled pattern and will eventually die off, leaving an attractive design on the stem.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a famous French scientist, first described Dracaena reflexa in 1786. Since various name changes, the genus name Dracaena is derived from the Greek word drakaina, which means "female dragon."

The majority of the 120 species in the genus are native to Africa, and many of them are cultivated as house plants due to their tolerance for low light and infrequent watering.

Your efforts will pay off with a stunning, slow-growing plant that is simple to care for and propagate from cuttings if you choose the Song of India as your plant.

Plant Care for India's Song

This plant can be grown and cared for is one of its main attractions. This is true of most plants in the genus, which is why they make beautiful houseplants. The key to ensuring Dracaena reflexa's success is to maintain a healthy equilibrium.

If you're happy with the temperature in your room, your plant will be as well. It will be delightful if you do not overwater it. It is like bright sunshine, yet it will become sunburned just like you.


The Song of India requires at least four hours of bright indirect sunshine per day. In these conditions, you'll obtain the most vibrant leaf coloration, but keep in mind that too much sun is hazardous. It can produce burn, resulting in browning of the leaf tips and margins.


Dracaena reflexa isn't fussy about its soil. It's ideal to use a peaty, well-drained potting mix. It's essential to remember that the more peat in the mix, the quicker the soil decomposes.

To solve this problem, you'll need to re-pot your plants and alter the ground. If this is a problem, check it every year in the spring. Making your potting mix with bark, peat, pumice, vermiculite, and perlite is one approach to solve this problem.


From spring until fall, keep your plant's soil damp but not drenched. In the winter, you should water it less. Overwatering this plant might lead to root rot. The genus' sensitivity to fluoride is one thing to keep in mind. Watering your plants with bottled or filtered water is a good idea. Yellow withering on the leaf margins is a sign of fluoride damage.

Humidity and Temperature

The Song of India thrives in average room temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit when kept inside. It's crucial to realize that it doesn't take cold well, and even a tiny draught near a cold window can be fatal to this plant from the Indian Ocean's tropical climates. You can grow it outdoors in partial shade if you live in one of the USDA Zones 9b-11.


A 10-10-10 water-soluble fertilizer diluted by half should be fed bi-weekly to the Song of India in the spring and summer. During the winter, no feeding is required.

Varieties of Indian Songs

There are various varieties of this particular species. The word ‘variegata' is frequently used. The leaf margins are vivid lime yellow, which contrasts with the dark green of the center of the leaf. The pale tint of the leaf fades to a creamy white with age, emphasizing the contrast.

Propagating Song of India Plants

Cuttings are an easy way to reproduce this plant. Place the cuttings (typically many) in a fresh container filled with moist potting soil. You have the option of using rooting hormone or not.

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Elissa Sanci
Elissa Sanci
Elissa Sanci, the owner of the website, and senior writer of New York Garden; graduated from Santa Barbara City College – a famous public school in California with many diverse training professions, and she majored in horticulture.