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Song of Jamaica is an easy to grow succulent plant belonging to the Dracaena family and is mainly found in the tropical regions of Asia.
Song of Jamaica is an evergreen tree native to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius. Scientifically it is known as Dracaena Reflexa.
The plant does not require much attention; it can be easily grown in both indoor and outdoor areas. Use a large container.
The plant requires filtered sunlight. They can do quite well in low-lit areas and in full shade with artificial light. They should be protected from hot direct sunlight as it may burn the leaves. Morning sun is good for the plants.
The main attraction is the foliage. Glossy bright dark or lime green variegated leaves whorl around the multiple thick irregular stems of the shrub-like plant. The flowers appear mid-winter. They are small, clustered, usually white in colour and extremely fragrant.
Although it can weather small dry spells, for good performance the plant requires an evenly moist soil at all times. Water when the topsoil starts to feel dry. Do not over-water however. Waterlogged soil can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases.
It can grow quite well in all kinds of soil including chalky, sandy, clayey and loamy. However, a well-drained, moist soil should be used. The soil could be slightly acidic or neutral. It does not do well in saline soils.
A mature Song of Jamaica plant can reach about 8 feet in height and spreads about 6 feet in width when grown indoors.
The plant is not a big feeder. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer like 10:10:10 once a month during the growing season. Fertilize more frequently if the foliage seems dull. You can also enrich the soil with organic content like farmyard manure or compost.
The plant can get infested by spider mites and aphids especially when it is grown in dry indoor air. To prevent this from happening, take proper care of the plant, water cautiously and make sure the soil is well-drained. Use organic fungicides and pesticides.
It is great option for a houseplant. It is mainly grown for its ornamental beauty however the plant has medicinal benefits too. The leaves and the bark are mixed into herbal teas and are traditionally used to cure malaria symptoms including poisoning, dysentery, diarrhoea etc.