This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V25", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This magnificent ornamental foliage plant is one of the very finest of its genus. It is a native of western tropical Africa. Figured in the Gardener's Monthly, October, 1881, page 300. This remarkable Dracaena is one of the most effective of decorative plants. For the stove and warm conservatory, or as a plant for contrast it is unrivaled. The habit of the plant is erect; the stems are closely set with stalked spreading leaves. The blade of the leaf is cordate:ovate acuminate, with a yellowish-green costa, banded with a dark green and silver gray upon a dark green foliage. The back of the unrolled leaves is a pale reddish or wine color.
" One of the most distinct and beautiful plants I have ever handled," once said Robert Buist.
I find it thrives best in two parts of loam to one of peat and sand, with good drainage. It loves shade, heat and moisture. It can be propagated from cuttings under the following treatment: use single eyes with the full leaf on, which support with a small stake. They are then inserted in a propagating bed under double glass, where there is a temperature of 85 to 900 bottom heat; then thoroughly watered and sprinkled three or four times a day. In about four weeks they are ready to pot off. Top cuttings make the best plants. Great care should be taken not to allow water to remain in the center of the cuttings while in this temperature, as they would be apt to rot out. When it becomes necessary to water or sprinkle they should be covered. Small pieces of paper, conveniently at hand, will answer the purpose. A batch of these cuttings, put in January 9th, 1883, and treated as above, were rooted February 9th and potted by the 20th. On April 16th they were put into three-inch pots, and by June 2nd were ready for another shift.