Keeping Dracaena Spikes As Outdoor Perennials

fall decos 014 225x300 Keeping Dracaena Spikes As Outdoor PerennialsDracaena Spikes are often sold as annuals in nurseries, but just because the summer is over doesn’t mean you need to pull this plant and discard it. Spikes are actually a cold hardy plant in USDA planting zones 7-11, and can grow up to 2 feet in height, returning year after year when left outdoors. If you live in one of these zones there’s no need to move your spikes indoors for the winter months, or toss the plant in the trash.

Spikes are sold initially in small sizes for easy use in container gardens. After 4 or 5 months in a pot Dracaena Spikes may begin to take over valuable space, and hide your lower growing plants. If you want to reclaim space in your outdoor containers for new plants, you can dig out this plant and move it to your main garden. Use the cooler fall and winter months to create a plan that incorporates these heat and cold tolerant plants into one of your garden beds.

I saved a few spikes from planters to fill in the space between a brick wall and a seasonally rotating planting section, and they have become a stable perennial in that area. After two years the spikes are large and soften the appearance of the brick wall beautifully.

Try incorporating spikes into your yard, and let me know how you like to display yours!

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  1. Denise says:

    I have planted those dracaena spikes in my garden here in PEI, Canada (zones 5a-5b – Canada Ministry of Agriculture)& they spent the winter in the ground successfully with no special protection other than the snow. Some websites mention that they’re hardy to zone 3 – they certainly are hardy to zone 5!

  2. Amy says:


    I didn’t realize Dracaena’s were hardy up and into half of Canada, that’s great news! Apparently they are a sturdier plant than the US Dept. of Agriculture gives them credit for. Thanks for the gardening tip!

  3. Sherry says:

    Wow Denise that is great news regarding the plant being able to withstand our cold winters. I live in Nova Scotia and I just bought some Dracaena Spikes today and wanted to find out what I do with them come Fall. It is refreshing to know you left them in the ground through Fall and Winter and they were fine for the following Summer. Hope it will work for me.

  4. Sharon says:

    We had Dracaena Spikes for two winter out in the yard then had .ea real cold on and they died so just use them as annuals now. I live in the Fraser Valley so winters can vary.

  5. Hi! Thanks for the tips I just bought around 20 of these at Lowes on clearance becuase they were listed on annuals. 15 cents each, normally around $2.00!

  6. norm bazinet says:

    hi i bought two plants last year . at fall i left plants in ground and put fall leaves about over the top of them. they came up now are about 1 foot tall its may now. hope hey continue like this for this year and always norm bazinet

  7. Amy says:


    It sounds like you did a great job protecting your Dracaena Spikes. I think you’ll find that they grow larger and more beautiful every year after they establish themselves!

    Happy Gardening!

  8. Davis says:

    I live in a downtown loft so I don’t have a yard to plant my Dracaena Spikes. I just bought about 40 of them and planted them in clay pots and put them on my balconies. I am in Des Moines, IA. Any suggestions on care through the winter?

  9. Norma says:

    I live in zone 3 in Saskatchewan, Canada. Do you have any tips on moving dracenas indoors for the winter. They have grown quite large outside and I hate to lose them to winter. I wondered if these roots could be dried, like some do geraniums, then reppotted in the early spring? Look forward to hearing from you. Thankyou.

  10. grant says:

    My friends dad brings his in every winter and returns them to the outdoors every summer. Im not exagerating when i say his 3-4 year old spike plant comes up to my chest (im 6′ tall). I dont know if its a fluke that it got this big so far but maybe its because he gives miracle grow like all the time. pretty cool plants when they are put in massive pots and go from plants to “trees”.

  11. Maggie44 says:

    I planted about fifteen draceana plants in my backyard last spring. I live in eastern North Carolina. I left them in the ground for the winter as they were marketed as perennials. The leaves are brown now. Will they put out new growth? Should I cut them back?

  12. Michelle says:

    I have a few planters with draceana spikes in them. The spikes have gotten taller then I would like. Is it possible to cut them back to keep them size approiate for my flower pots, and how much do I cut down.

  13. Richards says:

    I have spikes in the ground, covered with egg sized rocks and along a rock wall that are 4′ tall. A freeze just hit them and the tops wilted. What should I do now, cut them back and hope for the best.? Or trash them? Birmingham AL.

  14. DL says:

    I have had mine since it came to us in a very small floral arrangement when our daughter was born 34 years ago. When it gets too tall I cut it off at the base and news shoots soon pop out. That has created a very knarly and interesting base. I maintain mine at about six feet.
    I used to repot occasionally to a larger pot to accommodate root growth. When it got up to an eighteen inch pot I started root pruning to maintain pot size. Every three or four years I take it out side and pull the plant out of the pot. There is usually little to no soil left. Its just a mass of roots. Standing it up on t the grass, I use a carpenters saw I cut four sides on the round pot shaped root mass. I put it back in the same pot and wash in new potting soil until the pot is full.
    It is beautiful healthy plant.

  15. micah mcdaniel says:

    I planted 6 of mine outside this summer. In previous years I have had some growing outside successfully for 4 years until the last 2 winters, which I attribute to global warming. We have had unusually warm temps in N.E. OK and then out of nowhere in late December to mid-January an arctic blast will come down and knock the temps down to -4′ F. Usually our lowest temps in winter average and stay at the mid 20′s in Oklahoma. Not anymore. It is very warm all winter and then one or 2 arctic blasts come down and kill off many plants, grasses and trees that used to make it just fine.
    The last 2 years I’ve seen early migration of geese, early fall colors, and very extra early blooming of trees. These blooms hang on for a month instead of falling to the ground after a week to 10 days. I am anxious to see if it happens again this year. I am taking specific notes of all changes I notice since I majored in science and am a Master Gardner for my area. If it happens 3 years running I am going to definitely attribute this to global warming.
    We will need funding if things are dying out, and will need to study the considerations of preservation and the far reaching effects these weather patterns are having on our environment.

  16. Can I bring my dracenia spikes inside as a houseplant over the winter or do they go dormant over the winter ? I live in Pennsylvania. I have my plants in containers . I am having my yard landscaped into rock garden next spring a d plan to use the draceni
    a’s in the rock garden.

  17. Beverly says:

    I have so many i call spike plants that i hate to see them die over the winter here in Rochester ny i don’t have room for them in the house or i would but have so many other plants here can i cover them with something to save or should i plant them close to my house they are in pots now gorgeous and so healthy looking. Thank you

  18. Michelle says:

    I have a dracenia that is about 2.5 feet high that has always been indoors, it’s trunk is about 1.5 high with the rest of it taking up the height with it’s leaves – I live in Victoria, BC – can I plant this outside or is it too used to being indoors for about 2 years ?

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