Dragon Tree, Marginate Dracaena

Latin name: Dracaena marginata
Common name: Dragon Tree, Marginate Dracaena
Plant group:
Green plants
Plant family:
Tropical rainforest climate
Minimal temperature: 16-18°C (60-64°F)
Optimal temperature: 26-28°C (78-82°F)
Recommended place:
bright, am or pm sunlight
Plant form:
tree-like, arboraceous
Height: 150 cm (58.5 in.)
Flower color:
Repotting: every 24 months (2 years)
Rarity: no
Schield louse (Coccoidea)
Pytium blight (Helminthosporium, Pythium, Fusarium)
Origin territory:
Eastern Africa
Eastern Asia
Flowering period            
Availability on market            

Dracaenas are generally rugged, carefree houseplants with a robust and tropical appearance. They are widely used for both home and office plantings. Many tolerate low light conditions.


Dracaena marginata can grow up to 10 feet (3 m) tall. Cut back the stems to force the plant to branch. Dracaena marginata is widely used in home, office and commercial decor because it tolerates low light. Is a favorite specimen plant in many countries. Its tall snake-like trunk branches with age and can grow up to ten feet high. The basic species has narrowed, arching leaves, which are edged with red. The green color predominates in the variety tricolor. A band of yellow separates the green and red stripes and the overall effect is greenish gold. In the modern variety Colorama the red banding is more prominent and the leaves appear distinctly reddish.


Dracaena marginata tolerant of lower light.

Allow dracaenas to dry slightly between waterings. Wait until the soil surface is dry to the touch, then water them thoroughly. Avoid watering with cold water.

Dracaenas are best grown in normal house temperatures of 60 to 75°F (16-24°C) during the day.

If the humidity in the house is below 30 to 40 percent (it probably is during winter), plants will benefit from an occasional misting of their foliage.

A standard commercial houseplant potting mix may be used. Feed dracaenas with liquid foliage plant fertilizer. Time release fertilizer pellets may be used also.

If the plant’s stems become too long and bare, cut them off at the desired height and new leaves will soon appear.

Dracaenas are easy to propagate by air layering, tip or stem cuttings, or by the removal and rooting of basal shoots in spring or late summer.

In the home, plant diseases are very rarely a problem. Too much or too little water plus insects and mites are the main problems. Root rot usually results from a soil mix that does not drain quickly or overly frequent watering. Scale insects and mites are the most common insect pests of dracaena.

Dracaena is very sensitive to fluoride. Symptoms include yellowing of the tips or margins of the leaf or dead, scorched areas. Avoid potting soils that have a high percentage of perlite and keep the soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5 to prevent fluoride from causing injury. Do not use fertilizer which contains superphosphate since it often has high levels of fluorine.