"Hawaiian Sunshine" (Dracaena "Hawaiian Sunshine") is a green dracaena (D. deremensis) cultivar that was developed from the "Lisa" (D. "Lisa") cultivar. The plant is characterized by dark green, downward facing leaves that are marked with clean, bold chartreuse variegation. It is notable for its strong, consistent color and durability as a house plant. Like other Dracaena plants, "Hawaiian Sunshine" is fairly low maintenance and adaptable.
"Hawaiian Sunshine" is grown easily as a houseplant, accepting a variety of lighting conditions. Bright, indirect light is ideal, though "Hawaiian Sunshine" will tolerate dimmer light. Dracaenas prefer daytime house temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and nighttime temperatures that are about 10 degrees cooler. These tropical plants can grow outdoors only in frost-free conditions. Any climate zones lower than U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10B and 11 probably will be too cold for "Hawaiian Sunshine."
"Hawaiian Sunshine" is tolerant of slightly alkaline to acidic soil, and will grow well in a moist general purpose, well draining houseplant potting mix. The plant can benefit from a dose of liquid foliage plant fertilizer or time release granular pellets, applied once a month in the spring and summer as per the label recommendations. In the winter, when indoor air is drier, mist the leaves occasionally to add humidity. Outdoor plants will tolerate most soils so long as they are not salty. If planting multiple dracaenas, provide at least 24 inches of space between plants.
Dracaenas are susceptible to pests, such as mites, thrips and mealybugs, though the University of Florida Extension notes that long term health rarely is affected by pests. Mites usually are most active in dry conditions, so keep "Hawaiian Sunshine" well irrigated, especially during the hot summer months. Pests often can be dislodged with a direct stream of water. Heavily infested leaves may be clipped off and destroyed. The University of California Integrated Pest Management Program comments that thrips usually do not warrant insecticide.
Dracaenas are sensitive to fluoride and may develop scorched or brittle leaves if overexposed. Penn State Extension recommends avoiding potting mixtures that contain high amounts of perlite and fertilizers that contain superphosphate. If tapwater has high fluoride levels, use rainwater or demineralized water. If yellowish or tan leaf spots occur at the base of leaves, then take extra care not to splash the foliage with water. Clemson Cooperative Extension states that dracaenas rarely develop disease, though watering to the point of flooding can cause root rot.
- Greenhouse Grower: Fabulous Foliage
- Foremostco Foliage: Deremensis ‘Hawaiian Sunshine’
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Dracaena
- University of Florida Extension: Dracaena Deremensis Dracaena
- Penn State Extension: Dracaena Diseases
- University of California Integrated Pest Management Program: Dracaena, Corn plant, Dragon tree, Ti tree—Cordyline, Dracaena spp.*
Michelle Wishhart is a writer based in Portland, Ore. She has been writing professionally since 2005, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for City on a Hill Press, an alternative weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif. An avid gardener, Wishhart worked as a Wholesale Nursery Grower at Encinal Nursery for two years. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.