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Dragon Tree

SCENTIFIC NAME: Dracaena marginata, Dracaena draco

KNOWN AS: Dracaena, Madagascar Dragon Tree

CLIMATE (LOCATION): Madagascar | Subtropical

DESCRIPTION: These indoor trees have grass-like blades that come out from the top of their branches. They are very eye-catching. People sometimes mistake them for palm trees. But they are actually related to Snake Plants and Yucca!

Easy difficulty & pet toxic

Dragon Tree Plant Care

Lighting

Light Requirement: Medium Light (Medium Indirect Light) to High Light (Bright Indirect Light); Low Light Tolerant

Dragon trees, scientifically known as Dracaena marginata, can withstand lower light levels but prefer bright, indirect light. They can adapt to a range of lighting situations, however direct sunlight can cause their leaves to burn. Placing Dragon tree plants close to a north or east-facing window or 5 to 10 feet away from a south or west-facing window is an excellent approach to provide them the perfect illumination. Also, you can use LED grow lights to augment the natural illumination, especially in the winter or in places with little natural illumination.

Watering

Quick Tip: Water until water comes out of drainage holes. Allow soil to completely dry between waterings. This plant prefers distilled water.

Dragon trees prefer to be kept on the slightly drier side, with soil that is allowed to dry out between waterings. Water the plant deeply when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, using room temperature water. Be sure to allow any excess water to drain out of the bottom of the pot, and avoid letting the plant sit in standing water, as this can cause root rot. During the winter months, reduce watering but do not let the soil dry out completely. It's important not to overwater the plant, as this can cause yellowing or dropping of the leaves. In general, maintaining slightly drier soil and avoiding extremes of wet or dry soil will help your Dragon tree grow and stay healthy. They are sensitive to fluoride, so it is best to water them with distilled or filtered water.

Temperature

Preferred Temperature: 65º - 80º

Dragon trees, also known as Dracaena marginata, thrive in warm temperatures, ideally between 65 to 80°F (18 to 27°C). They are sensitive to cold and should be kept away from any cold drafts or sudden temperature drops. In cooler temperatures, dragon tree may become dormant and stop growing. In hotter temperatures, they may become susceptible to pests and diseases or experience leaf burn. It's essential to maintain a consistent temperature range for dragon tree by avoiding placing them near air conditioning units, heaters, or windows that receive direct sunlight.

Humidity

Preferred Humidity: 40 - 60%; Moderate Humidity

Dragon tree prefer a relatively humid environment, anywhere from 40% to 60%. To optimize the humidity for your dragon tree, start by keeping them away from drafty areas, which can cause fluctuations in humidity levels. You can also consider placing a humidifier near your Dracaena or grouping several plants together to create a microclimate of increased humidity. Another effective way to increase humidity is to mist your dragon trees leaves regularly with a spray bottle filled with water.

Additional Plant Care

Propagation
Dragon trees can be propagated through stem cuttings. Choose a healthy stem and cut it just below a node. Remove the lower leaves and place the cutting in moist soil or water until roots develop. Once the cutting has established roots, repot it into its own pot with fresh soil and water thoroughly.
Toxicity
Dragon trees are toxic to both humans and animals. The toxic compounds in these plants are saponins, which can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. Additionally, the plant's sap contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause irritation, burning, and swelling of the mouth, throat, and lips. In severe cases, ingesting the plant can cause difficulty swallowing and breathing. These symptoms can be especially dangerous for small children and pets, so it is important to keep dragon trees out of reach and to seek medical attention if ingestion occurs.
Repotting
Dragon trees should be repotted every two to three years to ensure healthy growth. Choose a pot that is slightly larger than the current one and has good drainage holes. Fill the bottom of the pot with a layer of small rocks or gravel to improve drainage. Then, fill the pot with a well-draining potting mix that is appropriate for the type of dracaena plant you have. Gently remove the plant from its old pot and loosen any tangled or circling roots before placing it in the new pot. Fill in around the plant with additional potting mix, leaving about an inch of space at the top of the pot. Water the plant thoroughly and allow excess water to drain out of the bottom.
Pruning
Dragon trees are generally easy to care for, and pruning is a crucial aspect of keeping them healthy and attractive. When pruning your dragon tree, it's essential to have sharp and clean tools to avoid damaging the plant. First, remove any dead, damaged, or yellow leaves. Use pruning shears to cut the stem back to the base of the plant, just above a node or where the leaves meet the stem. If you want to reduce the plant's height or make it more compact, you can cut the stem back to any height. Be careful not to cut into the woody part of the stem, as this can cause damage to the plant. If your dracaena is bushy, you can also thin it out by removing some of the stems at their base. It's best to prune in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. After pruning, make sure to water the plant thoroughly and keep it away from direct sunlight for a few days.
Fertilizing
Dragon trees should be fertilized during the growing season, which is typically spring and summer. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 20-20-20 or 10-10-10. You can also use a slow-release fertilizer, which will release nutrients gradually over a period of several months. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the recommended amount to use. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can burn the roots and damage the plant. Always water the plant before and after fertilizing to prevent fertilizer burn. During the dormant season, typically fall and winter, reduce the amount of fertilizer or stop fertilizing altogether.
Soil
Dragon trees prefer well-draining, slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 6.5. A good potting mix for dragon trees is a be a blend of peat moss, perlite, and sand. It's important to avoid compacted soil, as it can cause root rot. Additionally, dragon trees prefer soil that is rich in nutrients, so adding organic matter such as compost or worm castings can be beneficial. Avoid using soil that is heavy in clay, as it can hold onto moisture and lead to root rot. Overall, a well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix that is slightly acidic is ideal for dragon trees.
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Hanging Heights

Dragon Tree Lighting Requirements: Medium Light (Medium Indirect Light) to High Light (Bright Indirect Light); Low Light Tolerant

Similar Lighting Requirements