Pleomele reflexa
Malaysian Dracaena

Ruscaceae

Pleomele reflexa

Pleomele reflexa, or Malaysian Dracaena, is native to India, Madagascar and Mauritius. In nature, they often reach about 30 feet tall (~9 m), but in containers they only reach 7 to 8 feet tall (2 to 2½ m). They have dark green leathery leaves about 6 inches long (15 cm). They are often grouped with the Dracaenas, but differ in that they have no midrib.

Blooming Time: In winter in the greenhouse, the ¾ inch long (2 cm) flowers appear at the tips of branches. They are white and not very showy.

Culture: Pleomele reflexa need partial shade or bright indirect light. We grow ours under 50% shade at all times. We use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The plants are kept moist, but are allowed to dry slightly between waterings. They should never be allowed to dry completely. They are fertilized on a monthly basis with a balanced fertilizer. As the plants get older, they tend to look scraggly and should be trimmed to keep a neat appearance. This is usually done in the spring after flowering.

Propagation: Pleomele reflexa are propagated by cuttings and by root layers. Cuttings are made from ripened stems cut into 2-4 inch lengths (5-10 cm) with the leaves removed. The stems are then laid in sand with bottom heat of 65 to 70° F (18 to 21°C).

Pleomele reflexa was featured as Plant of the Week January 24-30, 2003.

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