Plants in Profile: the Dracaena Species

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The introduction of office plants into modern office buildings has grown significantly in recent years with many companies employing the services of professional office plant and office plant maintenance companies.  While most interior landscaping companies will provide advice and assistance when it comes to picking the right plants for your office, is may also be useful to try and understand a little more about the types of plants you may soon have in your offices.

The Dracaena species are a very important group of plants when it comes to making business premises ‘green’ in both an environmental and aesthetic manner.  There are approximately 40 different types or sub-species of Dracaena although only around 8 of these are typically used indoors. Due to their versatile nature the Dracaena species have become very popular within interior landscaping and are among the top ten most popular office plants to date.

One reason for the Dracaena’s increased popularity is that most Dracaena sub-species are capable of surviving in dimly lit office environments. The Dracaena family as a whole have also been credited for their ability to help reduce or remove the potentially harmful toxic gases or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that pollute indoor environments.

During the research for his book “Eco Friendly House Plants” (1996) Dr. Bill Wolverton found that members of the Dracaena family were in fact among the most useful home and indoor office plants when it came to reducing the levels of indoor VOC’s.  Among the plants tested one plant in particular, the Dracaena Janet Craig, proved to be excellent for actively removing trichloroethylene from the air.

The Dracaena Janet Craig is a beautiful office plant with wide dark green foliage and can make a perfect addition to any contemporary office building.  The Dracaena Janet Craig’s ability to survive and grow in low light and dry conditions is perhaps the reason why it is now one of, if not the, most popular Dracaena plants for offices.

Like its older sister the Dracaena Compacta is a very robust and can tolerate dimly lit environments.  The Compacta is a slow growing plant and often looks very architectural making it an ideal option for reception areas or modern office areas where design and architecture are integral to the style and finish of the building. Another two members of the Dracaena family that do their bit for office plants everywhere are the Dracaena Marginata and the Dracaena Massangeana.

Perhaps the most impressive and colorful of the family is the Marginata which has a distinct red or purple coloured stripe around the edge of its leaves. Sometimes referred to as the Madagascan Dragon Tree or Red-Edge Dracaena, the Marginata is a popular choice when it comes to office plants as it is particularly good at removing levels of formaldehyde indoors.

The Dracaena Massangeana is less tolerant to colder climates but more than compensates for this through its wonderful yellow and green coloured foliage. Like the Dracaena Janet Craig this office plant is very effective when it comes to the removal of toxins that can be found in indoor climates.

The vibrant yellow leaves of the Dracaena Golden Coast make it an excellent office plant for both planted areas or as a feature to break up large otherwise unused areas of an office building or showroom. This office plant fits in very nicely with the Dracaena Steudnerii, another Janet Craig lookalike with slightly paler green foliage.

Other key members of the Dracaena family include the yellow striped Dracaena Lemon and Lime and the Dracaena Rikki extremely popular tapered lime green and green specimen which makes a vibrant addition to any office, home or even roof terrace.

When positioned in plant beds all of the Dracaena species compliment each other in some way, for instance, the vivid yellow foliage of the Dracaena Golden Coast compliments the very dark green foliage of the Dracaena Janet Craig when used in planted office beds together.

There are many other species of plants that are suitable for indoor climates but the Dracaena species is a favorite that will continue to bring a touch of green and whole lot of other benefits to office buildings for years to come.  For more information on Dracaenas, other office plants, or to inquire about  a free consultation for plants in your facility just email us at

Categories : Office Plants


  1. alysia says:

    i would like to know how may plants are in the dracaena family.

  2. interiorofficeplants says:


    There are many plants in the dracaena (liliaceae) family but the ones most used in interiorplantscaping are: Dracaena Massangeana, Janet Craig, Dracaena Marginata, and Dracaena Fragrans I hope this is helpful.


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