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Dracaena deremensis.

Dracaena marginata.

Dracaena Dracaenas are hard not to love. They come in a variety

of species and heights. Varieties such as dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ can grow up to six feet tall. Their strappy leaves are made even more beautiful by coloured variegation, usual- ly in reds and yellows, offering a tropical feel in terms of decor. Dracaena deremensis ‘Lemon Lime’ is a show stop- per with its electric yellow and green striped leaves. There are six common varieties of dracaena most often

found at greenhouses: marginata (tall, thin plants), sand- eriana (lucky bamboo plant), fragrans (corn plant), dere- mensis (green plant, e.g. Janet Craig), draco and cinnibari. Like our other die hard houseplant options these plants can tolerate low light levels and the odd missed watering.

Dracaena fragrans.

Dracaena sanderiana 'Celles'.

They do require a mix of sun and shade, so do not place them in direct sunlight. Lower leaves will yellow as the plant grows, remove

these, the truck will scar over. Of course another sign of yellow leaves could be over watering. Plants can be pruned at any height and two clusters of

leaves will sprout from near the top where the cane was cut. Canes can be propagated by placing them in moist soil. Most people are unaware that dracaenas can bloom, but

they can, up to three times per year. Their flowers emit a heady scent. These plants do not like being repotted, once every three years is probably fine. Repotting and relocat- ing the plant may stress it out and prevent blooming.

Saintpaulia ionantha 'Ballerina Fully'.

Saintpaulia ionantha 'Bells'.

African violet Saintpaulia ionantha Once a very popular plant, African violets were found on

almost every kitchen window sill. They are making a come- back and rightfully should. Given the right window (they prefer east or west facing windows), and watered properly (from underneath, they don’t like to get their leaves wet), they will thrive and flower for almost anyone. Saintpaulia ionan are one of the hardier varieties for

brown thumbs wanting to try their hand at a flowering plant. If you are having trouble getting them to bloom,

Saintpaulia ionantha 'Wendy'.

they may need more light. However, if the leaves look bleached out they are getting too much direct light. African violets prefer to be kept slightly moist but will

forgive a dry pot from time to time, over watering though can prove deadly. When watering, water below the leaves to prevent leaf spot. This plant’s leaves are slightly hairy, which helps it to

retain moisture but it does not like cold temperatures and the leaves will wrinkle in protest. There are a variety of colourful and lacy looking varieties to choose from that will suit your mood or decor.

Dreaming 2016 • 21

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