Dracaena sanderiana

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Dracaena sanderiana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Ruscaceae
Genus: Dracaena
Species: D. sanderiana
Binomial name
Dracaena sanderiana
Sander ex Mast.[1]

Dracaena sanderiana, known as Ribbon Dracaena, Lucky Bamboo, Belgian Evergreen or sometimes Ribbon Plant, is a species of Dracaena. It is native to Cameroon in tropical west Africa. It is one of a group of small, shrubby species with slender stems and flexible strap-shaped leaves that grow as understory plants in rainforests. It is an upright shrub growing to 1.5 m tall. Its leaves are 15-25 cm long and 1.5-4 cm broad at the base. It is marketed in the developed world as a Chinese decorative plant "Lucky Bamboo". This name is bad though, as the plant is neither related to bamboo nor native to Asia. It is propagated from short cuttings, usually in water.

Cultivation and uses[change | change source]

Dracaena sanderiana and related species are popular houseplants. There are many cultivars. The plant can survive in many indoor conditions, but indirect lighting is best as direct sunlight can cause the leaves to turn yellow and burn.

Although it grows better in soil, it often is sold with the roots in water. The water should be completely changed every two weeks. The water should be bottled water, soft tap water with very little fluoride, or even water from a filtered, established aquarium. It does best in bright, indirect lighting and temperatures between 15 °C and 25 °C.

Often in large chain pet shops it will be sold in black slitted pots rooted in rockwool submerged, stating it is an aquatic plant. While it will live for months like this, it will eventually rot unless the sprouts are allowed to grow above the surface.

Yellow or brown leaf edges may be caused by too much direct light, crowded roots, or fluoridated or chlorinated water. The problem with water can be prevented by leaving tap water exposed to the air for a day before plant use. Salty or softened water can also cause this.

Twisted shapes can be produced by rotating the plant with respect to gravity and directed light sources. This is difficult to achieve for most home users, but not impossible with a lot of spare time and a lot of patience.

Other useful information[change | change source]

Dracaena sanderiana in a more natural form, in this case at Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta, Indonesia.

References[change | change source]