Son of India (Dracaena)


Dracaena reflexa (commonly called son of India) is a tree native to Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, and other nearby islands of the Indian Ocean. It is widely grown as an ornamental plant and houseplant, valued for its richly colored, evergreen leaves, and thick, irregular stems.


A few specifics:

You most often see these for sale as smaller plants in 6″ or 8″ grow pots which are tabletop plants. When you get into the 10″, 12″ & 14″ grow pot size, those are floor plants. The tallest I’ve seen a Son Of India as a houseplant is 6′.

Growth Rate
Slow to moderate. The more light it gets, the faster it’ll grow.

Like many houseplants, this is a tabletop plant as well as a floor plant. Mine is 18″ tall right now & sits on a small chest. Over the years it’ll grow into a floor plant as long as it gets strong natural light & is repotted every 2-3 years.


The Son Of India is a medium to a high light houseplant. Mine is in my kitchen in an east/south exposure where a sliding patio door & a frosted skylight gives it a good amount of bright natural light all day.

I rotate it every couple of months so it gets the light evenly all the way around. Don’t let it get too much direct, hot sun or it’ll burn. And, don’t even try this plant in low light – it’ll be a no go.

If you’re in a less sunny climate, an east or west exposure is fine. Just keep it away from hot, sunny windows & direct afternoon sun. In the darker winter months, you might have to move yours to a location with more light to keep it happy.

I water mine & then let it dry out by at least 1/2 before watering again. Mine is currently in a 6″ pot & I water it every week (I’m in Tucson – a sunny, dry climate). In the winter months it’s every 2 weeks. Adjust this for your climate & the exposure, the size pot yours is in, & the soil mix.

If your home is comfortable for you, it’ll be so for your houseplants too. Just be sure to keep your Dracaena Son Of India away from any cold drafts as well as air conditioning or heating vents.

I’ve found that Son Of Indians aren’t that needy when it comes to feeding. Right now I feed all my houseplants with a light application of worm compost followed by a light layer of compost over that every spring. Easy does it – 1/4 to 1/2″ layer of each for a smaller sized plant. Read about my worm compost/compost feeding right here.

I can’t recommend a specific fertilizer because I’ve never used 1 for my Son Of India. Mine looks just fine so I have no need at the moment. That could change!

Whatever you use, don’t fertilize houseplants in late fall or winter – that’s their time for rest. Over fertilizing your Son Of India will cause salts to build up & can burn the roots of the plant. Be sure to avoid fertilizing a houseplant which is stressed, ie. bone dry or soaking wet.

Use a good organic potting soil when reporting this plant. You want it to be enriched with good stuff but also to drain well.

I’m partial to Ocean Forest & Happy Frog because of their high-quality ingredients. I use 1 & then the next time the other. Sometimes I combine them. They’re great for container planting, including houseplants.

I usually mix in a handful or 2 of pumice or perlite, & local organic compost. I do a good amount of planting & repotting so I keep a varied amount of soil materials on hand in my garage. The pumice & perlite aid in drainage & aeration & the compost enriches the mix.


I’m repotting my Dracaena Son Of India this Spring. When I lift the plant up & look into the drain holes I can see the roots. It’s now in a 6″ pot & I’m transplanting it into an 8″ pot. I’ll be doing a post & video on this soon so stay tuned for that.

Yours will probably need repotting every 2 or so years depending on how it’s growing.

*Note :- Pot not included

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