How to Grow Dracaena Marginata or Madagascar Dragon Tree
Dracaena Marginata , often called the madagascar dragon tree, is a popular indoor plant originally from East Africa that is often used to adorn homes and offices. Easy to care for because of its low light and water needs, it features green, thin leaves with red and yellow strips along the edges; these grow from a thin cane that can reach heights of 15 feet (or 5 meters). The best way to grow dracaenas is to buy a small one from a nursery and plant it in a simple pot. After that, the necessary care is very simple. As the plant ages, it will continue to grow and sprout new branches and leaves up to 2 feet or 2/3 of a meter long, while lower leaves may fall off naturally.
General approach to planting
1. Buy or find a baby dracaena marginata or madagascar dragon tree.
2. Fill appropriate size pot for the size plant with standard potting soil. Do not over-pot.
3. Transplant the dracaena marginata into the new pot.
4. Place the pot in an area low in natural light.
• Dracaenas flourish with constant, low-intensity light. Do not place them in an area where the sun strikes directly, especially in the afternoon, but keep them out of dark corners. Likewise, low-intensity fluorescent lighting is ideal for dracaenas; more intense, direct light can be damaging.
5. Water the dracaena approximately once a week.
• Because of their low water needs, it’s important not to over-water dracaenas. Soak the soil about once a week; wait until the top of the soil is dry to the touch before watering again. If you are in a dry or warm area, you may need to water more regularly. Do not let dracaenas sit in water.
6. Maintain a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (or 18 to 24 degrees Celsius) around the plant.
7. Maintain a relative humidity of 30 to 40 percent around the plant.
• Use a hygrometer to measure humidity. They can be purchased for around $15 at most hardware stores.
8. Regularly wipe the leaves with a damp cloth.
• This helps both to remove dust and to keep the leaves fresh. If the plant is in a particularly dry area, spraying the leaves with water mist can also help.