A long-standing staple of interior landscapers, members of the Dracaena are hardy, low-light tolerant tropical office plants. Their long arching leaves add a simple elegance to groupings, mass plantings, or as a single specimen in a modern container. One of the newest varieties is the Limelight Dracaena. The Limelight Dracaena is characterized by its unique, vibrant colour. The leaves are bright neon green, and they stand out beautifully against plants with more traditional dark green foliage.
Limelight Dracaena plants are available in many sizes. Sizes range from small, young plants ideal for use in table-top planters, to bushes up to 5 feet in height that usually consist of 4-5 stalks in the pot.
This plant’s popularity has grown in recent years. This may be due to several studies that have demonstrated the ability of plants to remove harmful chemicals from indoor air. Dracaena species, including ‘Limelight’ rank high on this list. Specifically, they can remove significant amounts of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene are three common VOC’s. This chemicals are released into the air from flooring and furniture. High levels of these chemicals are linked to ‘Sick Building Syndrome’.
Care of a Limelight Dracaena is straightforward. This plant requires very little water. It should be watered only when the top 2-3 inches of soil feels dry. It prefers to be watered from the bottom, as the roots are concentrated at the bottom of the pot. Overwatering will cause the ends of the leaves to turn black, and the stems to root. The soil should be porous and well drained.
The Limelight, as are all varieties of Dracaenas, are resistant to most pests. Occasionally they may become infested with mealy bug. This can easily be removed by thoroughly wiping the leaves to remove all traces of the insect. Regular cleaning of the foliage and proper watering will prevent mealy bug issues. Tropical plants are more susceptible to insects and disease when they are stressed.
This plant prefers medium light, but will tolerate low light if watered sparingly. The stems can be pruned when they get tall. New shoots will form from the site of the cut. The cuttings can be rooted in water, or directly in soil. Dipping the end of the cutting in rooting hormone before placing in the soil will increase the chance of success.