Yes, my eyebrows arched as my eyes widened in surprise-my Dracaena Spike is a perennial?! The Dracaena Spike, sometimes called the Spike Plant, is usually used to add height and architectural interest to container arrangements. It’s long been considered a staple in annual gardens but we are now hearing reports of the Dracaena Spike being taken out of the container and moved right into the garden. What’s more, it survives unscathed throughout the winter in places like Prince Edward Island, Canada, which is in zones 5a and 5b. Some gardeners put protection over or around them, like fall leaves, mulch, or plant covers ;however the gardener from Prince Edward Island said that hers has had no protection, besides the insulation from the snow.
So, when you buy the Dracaena Spike plants, you are getting a two-fer! Use it in containers and surround it with lower-growing foliage or blooming plants. Add a cascading variety or two, and you have a beautiful, yet inexpensive artful arrangement. Or – plant it directly into the ground. In containers or in the ground, Dracaena plants can grow in full sun to shade.
How to Use Your Dramatic Dracaena Spike in Containers
Here’s our suggestion: start with your Spike Dracaena in the middle or the back of the planter. Then add a mid-height flower or foliage plant, such as Coreopsis or Geraniums, all of which have the same moisture requirements and sun requirements as the Dracaena. Finally, add some MiniFamous Calibrachoa or Lobelia plants o cascade over the edges. You can also use something like Dichondra to fill in the spaces or English Ivy as a non-blooming, yet cascading accent. The possibilities are endless and much better than succumbing to the average garden retailer’s idea of a fashion statement. As their container gardens all feature the same plants, over and over and over again, chances are that your neighbor next door or down the street will have one of these particular potted arrangements.
Where to Plant Your Dracaena Spike in the Ground
Your Spike Plant is not picky about its soil, as long as it drains well. You Dracaena Spike can be planted almost anywhere, as it will thrive in full sun or shade. Quite tropical looking, the Dracaena Spike plant, in addition to being remarkably cold-tolerant, is also relatively drought tolerant. Widely adaptable once they are well-established, watering deeply at the root level every 5 to 7 days when planted in full sun, will usually suffice. If they are mulched or planted with foliage plants that help to retain moisture, or are in a shaded area, its water requirement may be even less. A good way to know if your Spike Plant needs water, is if the top 2 to 4” of soil is dry or if you notice that the leaves are starting to wilt.
Now you know!
This amazing discovery is a game changer for those who love this tropical-like, spiky plant. You may want to think about planting it along the foundation of your home, right under your windows to deter bad actors from getting in…or teenagers from sneaking out. You can also spruce up that shady area that you’ve been wanting to plant but didn’t quite know what to plant there. This versatile perennial will be at home in the ground or in a pot, outdoors or in your home.