How to Care for a Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata): 15 Tips

Do you want to know how to care for a dragon tree? How do we grow this elegant plant with spiky leaves in our home? Read here to find out all about it.

The Dragon tree is a sophisticated houseplant that enhances the beauty of your home while keeping the air pure. It is one of the simplest indoor plants to develop and sustain, which can grow up to 6 feet inside our home garden.

You can find wide varieties in the market. Some have dark green leaves, some have thick stems, and some of them have different sizes of spiky leaves. They filter our air so well that NASA included it on their list of air purifying plants.

It is a timeless plant that you can quickly grow inside your home and even live for more than ten years without much effort. Now to let you know how to care for a dragon tree, let’s discuss a few tips and details for this low-maintenance yet elegant tree.

Why is it Called a Dragon Tree?

Its biological name is Dracaena Marginata. It originated in Madagascar. It is a sub-tropical tree whose bark or leaves produce red resin similar to blood; thus, it was given the name of the Dragon tree.

How to Care for a Dragon Tree
How to Care for a Dragon Tree

It belongs to the Asparagaceae family, whose other well-known trees are Dracaena Draco and Dracaena Cinnabari.

It is one of the thinnest Dracaena trees, and, with favorable growing conditions, they can reach a height of up to 20 feet, and we can trim them back to 6 feet.

Usually, when we trim them, they develop branches and rarely bloom in home settings. We can give them any shape we want as they are flexible. It is so low in maintenance that it can even survive a drought.

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Benefits of the Dragon Tree

There are several significant advantages of maintaining a Dragon tree in our house. Some of them are discussed below:

Best Houseplant for Air Purification

In our environment, many pollutants are present, such as smoke, greenhouse gasses, formaldehyde, acidic gasses, ozone, ketones, benzene, etc. These pollutants are toxic to living things.

Planting a dragon tree removes these toxins from our air and purifies it to improve our health. Appliances and machines such as refrigerators and AC also pollute our environment, which can be reduced by having these trees.

Stimulates our Brain and Improves its Focus

It is a fact that spending time with plants and trees relieves our stress, and we can focus easily on many things. In houses, offices, and institutes, plants are specially planted to improve the memory of people there. 

It is widely believed that having a dragon tree in your home will improve your memory by 70% and relieve stress, improving your focus and dedication to your goals. 

Improves the Moisture of the Room

Like many other houseplants, the dragon tree also maintains the humidity of our rooms by the transpiration process and keeps our surroundings moist and warm. 

It transpires 97 percent of its moisture in our surroundings, reducing issues associated with dry environments where they are planted, particularly in offices where people sit mainly in the same area. 

Requires Minimum Care for their Survival

These plants are famous because they are incredibly tolerant; they can live for a long time if you neglect to water them and begin to drop their leaves.

It does not require much sunshine, and they may easily live till the following year with two fertilizations each year. Due to these characteristics, they are popularly included in the interior design of modern homes and offices.

Care Tips for Dragon Tree

It is a very low-maintenance plant that requires very little attention, but there are still a few factors we must look after for their proper care and growth.

Dragon Tree Care Guide
Dragon Tree Care Guide

Cleaning of Dragon Tree

Its long spiky leaves tend to adhere dust particles to them, so we must clean them after one or two days.

Misting their leaves will help in cleaning them and then cleaning them with a dry cloth to make them look stunning.

Trimming of Dragon Tree

It is necessary to trim them; otherwise, they will grow very long. Usually, when we trim them, they develop two branches and look more stylish. Always cut it from the top to retain your desired height and design.

Keep Dragon Tree on Stand

When you place a dragon tree plant on a plant stand, it gives its growth a push and lets them grow quickly. On a stand, they also look stunning and are easy to maintain as you don’t have to move them here and there for cleaning or sunlight.

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Maintaining a Healthy Water Cycle of the Dragon Tree

Feed them every week when the first layer of soil is dry, and keep them mildly moist throughout the winter and fall. Avoid allowing the soil to become wet since this can lead to rot disease.

Sagging, yellow leaves indicate root rot in them. To avoid rot and diseases, use damp potting soil and choose a container with drainage holes to plant them in.

Repotting Schedule of Dragon Tree

Unless they grow into a full tree or grow indoors, we must re-pot them after two to three years as roots get twisted in the pot or start to come out of drainage holes. 

Always take a bigger pot with a hole at the bottom and a new potting mix when you plan to replant. As a result, never replant them in old potting soil. 

Sunlight Requirement of Dragon Tree

They prefer indirect bright sunlight, so we must bring them lightly after filtering through a glass window. Place them where sunlight reaches them after filtering for four to six hours.

Even though they grow very slowly, like ten years to reach a specific height, dim light will also work for their growth.

Temperature Requirement of Dragon Tree

They can comfortably thrive at room temperature. Keep your tree away from heaters and air conditioners since they do not appreciate severe temperatures.

They enjoy temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and have been known to shed their leaves if exposed to lower or higher temperatures.

Nutrient Requirement of Dragon Tree

They can survive with less fertilizer, and it is preferable to use either fifty percent diluted or liquid fertilizers once a year. 

To encourage their good growth, feed them sparingly in the early spring with a balanced, controlled-release liquid fertilizer and avoid fertilizing them in the winter. 

Look out for Pests and Remove them

Our beautiful dragon plants are attacked mainly by pests attracted to their leaves, stems, and red resin. The most common pests they encounter are:

Spider mites
Parasitic Wasps

These pests mainly damage the leaves of our dragon plant either by crawling or hiding from their trunk to eat our plant leaves or drain moisture or resin present on their leaves.

Their presence results in discoloration of their leaves, making spots and holes on them, and in extreme cases, they start to curl or drop off.

We must use general remedies to treat them, like washing them with soapy water or spraying them with disinfectant solutions like alcohol in water. Once you observe any of these, immediately remove them before they damage the whole tree.

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How to Regrow them

When we trim them from the top, they start their branching, but we can also grow them by cutting a few inches of their stem.

Cut an 8cm long stem from where you can observe a node and then keep this in water to quickly develop its roots so you can plant them for growth. Try to change this water daily.

Issues to Look Out for while Growing Dragon Tree

The dragon tree is very easy to maintain and naturally purifies our air, but there are still a few issues we need to look out for while we are planting them. Such as:

They are Toxic to Our Pets:

As they look like a grass due to their fine leaves, animals chew them; as their leaves are toxic, they can fall sick eating them. Try to keep it out of their reach.

They are Slow Growers:

It would help if you were patient with them as they grow very slowly, do not fertilize, or overwater them; it will negatively affect their growth.

They Shed their Leaves from Bottom:

When they grow, they generally shed their bottom leaves as a sign of growth, so don’t worry about their natural leaf shedding procedure.

Treat Leaf Diseases:

When their soil becomes old and lacks nutrients, the leaf starts to become soggy and brown, so look out for it and change its soil.

When leaves’ corners are turning brown, the temperature is not suitable, and spots on their leaves generally represent water deficiency or pest attack, which we need to tackle as soon as possible.

FAQS of How to Care for a Dragon tree

Q: Can We Propagate A Dragon Tree From Its Stem?

Yes, we can propagate it from a stem when there are few nodes on it.

Q: Can We Cut Our Dragon Tree From The Top?

We can trim them from the top to maintain their height indoors and give them any design for outdoor decoration.

Q: Do Dragon Trees Purify Our Air?

Yes, they are excellent air purifiers and remove many toxins from them.

Q: When To Water And Fertilize The Dragon Tree?

Fertilize dragon trees once a year and water them weekly once their soil is dry.

Final Words

A dragon tree is a terrific ornament for our home, enhancing its look and purifying its surrounding with fresh air.

To grow this stress-free tree in our offices and house, we must know how to care for a dragon tree to maintain it effortlessly.