Care Instuctions


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Care instructions

1Dracaena Marginata - Madagascar Dragon Tree2Dracaena-marginata-Costa-Farms-Houseplant

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The Madagascar Dragon Tree or Dracaena marginata is one of the most beautiful, stiff-leaved plant with colorful foliage. Most of the time it’s sold as “Dracaena marginata” or “Dracaena.” These are drought-tolerant plants with aggressive root systems — so they are an attractive house plants. The red edges of dracaena marginata bring a pop of color, and they can grow to your up to the ceiling. This plant is best for removing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

The Growing Conditions:

Light: Relatively bright light, not to direct sun light.
Water: Allow the plants to dry, but not completely and  be very careful never to allow them to sit in water.
Temperature:  Between 65ºF and 80ºF. They cannot tolerate freezing.
Soil: Loose, well-drained potting mix.
Fertilizer: Fertilizer lightly at the beginning of spring or twice a year with controlled-release fertilizer.

Culture

Easily grown as an indoor plant Tolerates a wide range of indoor temperatures. For best results, place in bright indirect light locations protected from direct sun. Tolerates low light, but foliage loses best color in shade. Pot may be placed on a bed of wet pebbles to increase humidity. Keep the soil moist during the growing season, but reduce watering from fall to late winter. Its foliage is near vertical to horizontal mass of narrow pointed green leaves with red to purple stripes along the outer edge. The Dracaena marginata can be grown straight to produce a tall plant or be trained to curve, creating unique character plants.

Environment

Dracaena Marginata or The Madagascar Dragon Tree can grow in shade or sun, it can withstand almost any kind of soil. Because it can tolerate low light and is so frost-tender. Many people grows the Dracaena Marginata as indoor plant. Outdoors, it needs some shelter from the hot afternoon sun. Multiple plants need 36 to 60 inches of space between them.

Problems

Dracaena Marginata or The Madagascar Dragon Tree grows best at temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees F. One week of 55-degree temperatures will damage it. Protect it from the wind if the temperature drops to 50 degrees F. If the plant is subjected for several hours at temperatures of 32 to 37 degrees F without wind, bands of discoloration. Scattered white or yellow spots will form on the plant if you grow it in low temperatures in high light. It grows best in 63 percent to 73 percent shade. If you grow it in full sunlight, it will often develop spots on the leaves.If leaves start dying and coming away at the bottom of the plant(don’t worry), you can remove them once they are deteriorating in look.

Poisonous

This plant is toxic to both cats and dogs.More about the effect toxins and pets  please see here at the ASPCA.

Tips

Dracaena Marginata or The Madagascar Dragon Tree is not a difficult plant to care for indoors. Keep it on the dry and warm side, and give it plenty of light. Dracaena Marginata or The Madagascar Dragon Tree is sensitive to fluoride, which can cause discoloration. Water with distilled or nonfluoridated water.

Considerations

These  jungle plants appreciate higher humidity levels. Some owners report success in placing their plants in bathrooms or laundry rooms to take advantage of the higher humidity. You can also use a mister or humidifier nearby to increase the humidity, but it is not critical to the plant’s growth. Other varieties of dracaena do best with lower humidity, around 20 percent. As with ferns, these plants sometimes are infested with spider mites or mealy bugs, so watch for pests. Fertilizer is mostly not needed, but you can fertilize lightly, as little as once a year, or as often as once a month during the plant’s active growth period in the summer.

Propagation

There are three main ways to propagate an older Dragon Tree (excluding air layering which none of us have ever had success with), and typically you can do all three methods at once to create multiple plants. In time the canes of your plant will become leggy as the leaf area shifts higher and higher up the plant which means you can:

  • Remove the crown and pot it up in potting compost to start a new plant, use a rooting hormone and to increase your chances further, provide bottom heat.
    Tip
    if you can’t provide bottom heat, only attempt this in Summer and keep it warm.
  • Once the crown has been removed you can cut the remaining cane back to about half the original length (or more or less depending what you are trying to achieve visually). New growths should eventually form at the cut edge.
    Tip
    because several new growths can form at the cut, you can create a multi caned plant. Look at the bottom two pictures in our gallery above right to see how this works.
  • Assuming you’ve done both things above, you will have a piece of cane left which can be cut into bits around 3 inches long and used to create a “Ti Tree“. Allow to dry slightly before sticking straight up in potting compost or a small container filled with water. If planted in soil keep warm and moist. If trying to root in water, when a reasonable number of roots have appeared plant up in potting compost.
    Tip
    the pieces need to face “up” in the direction they were growing when part of the parent plant so you may want to mark the cane before you get started.

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