Plant Guide

Dracaena thalioides

Pronunciation: druh-SEE-nuh thal-ee-OY-deez
Family: Dracaenaceae
Common Name: Lance Dracaena, Dwarf Dracaena
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs

Height to: 2'
Width to: 2'


Plant habit: upright

Plant density: dense       

Growth rate: slow       

Texture: coarse   


Leaf arrangement: alternate       

Leaf type: simple       

Leaf margin: entire       

Leaf shape: linear       

Leaf venation: parallel       

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen       

Leaf blade length: 8 to 12 inches       

Leaf color: green       

Fall color: no fall color change       

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: pink       

Flower characteristic: unpleasant fragrance; year-round flowering   


Fruit shape: round       

Fruit cover: fleshy      

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches 

Trunk/bark/branches: not particularly showy; typically multi-trunked or clumping stems       

Current year stem/twig color: not applicable       

Current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable   


Light requirement: plant grows in the shade       

Soil tolerances: acidic; slightly alkaline; sand; loam; clay       

Plant spacing: 24 to 36 inches   

Roots: sprouts from roots or lower trunk

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive 

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management: Lance Dracaena is one of the most shade tolerant plants used in south Florida landscapes. It is frequently utilized as a tall ground cover for shady areas of the landscape and also makes a nice indoor container plant. It is used like Cast Iron Plant is in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 9.    This plant will flourish in partial to full shade on rich, moist soils of good drainage. It performs well in acidic soils and will thrive on two applications of fertilizer per summer.    Pests and Diseases    No known pests are associated with Dracaena thalioides.    

    Origin: not native to North America

    Uses: mass planting; ground cover; suitable for growing indoors

Dracaena thalioides is a plant that finds its native habitat in tropical Africa. This 1- to 2-foot-tall species has an upright growth habit and is used in the landscape for its attractive foliage. The dark green leaves are 12 inches long and sit atop a 10-inch-long petiole. The leaf blades are lanceolate in shape and have prominent parallel veins. Small, pink, star-shaped flowers occur in 10-inch-long spikes that appear at various times throughout the year. The flowers and small, fleshy fruits of this plant are inconspicuous.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS

Submitted by: iris
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