About the plant
Dragon trees are the easiest indoor plants. The botanical name of this plant is the ‘Dracaena’ or ‘Dracaena Marginata.’ It’s a subtropical tree. Dracaena has a total of 100-120 species of plants and succulent shrubs. Different dragon tree species have separate native lands like, some are from Africa, Southern Asia, Northern Australia. Its two species are endemic to tropical Central America and one species endemic to South America. Few species are endemic to the canary island, cape Verde.
The dragon tree is a member of the Dracaena family, and Dracaena is placed in the family of Asparagaceae.
The name ‘dragon plant’ originates from the ancient Greek word ‘Drakaina,’ which means a ‘female dragon.’
Several species of Dracaena are grown as houseplants due to their beautiful foliage and air cleaning properties.
Mostly, dracaena species vary from each other. They have different shapes, and colored foliages, different colors of flowers bloom on them. Rarely flowers bloom in indoor dragon plants, and outdoor dragon plants produce white spring flowers.
Several species of Dragon trees are on the verge of extinction.
Overview of the plant
Dragon plants are easy to care for and maintain. These plants can thrive even without any care and attention. These plants have dense, spiky, stiffed, and long narrow sword-like green leaves and the edges of the leaves are red. The foliage of the plant is glossy.
Leaves of Dracaena can be smallish or oval or maybe long, sword-like, or strappy. The shape of the leaves varies upon the species.
In forests, these plants can grow up to 15-20 feet tall and indoors. It can grow up to 6 feet long. They grow slowly, and they grow something around four inches per year. The leaves of the dragon plants can be as long as 30 – 40cm or more.
Dragon trees are also known as Madagascar dragon tree, red-edged dracaena, or Dracaena marginata. These plants look like a miniature palm tree. These plants don’t require any specific place or light source to stay healthy and alive, like other indoor plants. Dragon plant is on NASA’s list of houseplants, which helps to absorb toxins from the air. The dragon tree contains air-cleaning properties. It helps to improve air- quality. These plants can grow both indoors and outdoors.
Dragon trees are found in Africa, Southern Asia, Northern Australia. Few species are native to tropical Central America and some species are from South America,canary islands, Madeira, Cape Verde, and locally in western Morocco.
|Botanical name||Dracaena, Dracaena Marginata|
|Common names||Dragon tree, dragon plant, Madagascar dragon tree, red-edged dracaena|
|Plant type||Usually grown as a houseplant|
|Native area||Africa, South America|
|Sun exposure||Bright and indirect sunlight|
Growth preferred area
Like other indoor plants, these plants also prefer bright and indirect sunlight, but these plants can even survive in dim light. In the dim light, the plant will grow much slower and smaller with less colorful leaves. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves. Avoid keeping it in direct sunlight. They favored warm, humid, and moist temperature.
Dracaena has 120 species, it’s not possible to mention all the species and their varieties. So, here are some popular types of dracaena-
- Dracaena marginata or madagascar tree
- Dracaena marginata magenta
- Dracaena marginata tricolor
- Dracaena marginata colorama
- Dracaena marginata tarzan
- Dracaena marginata bicolor
- Dracaena Draco (succulent tree)
- Dracaena Arborea (tree)
- Dracaena fragrans and dracena massangeana or corn plant
- Dracaena reflexa
- Dracaena deremensis or janet craig
- Dracaena warneckii
- Dracaena lemon lime
- Dracaena Gold dust
- Dracaena ribbon plant
- Song of India or jamaica (species of Dracaena reflexa)
- Dracaena sanderiana (lucky bamboo)
- Dracaena surculosa or florida beauty
- Dracaena acaulis
- Dracaena acutissima
- Dracaena fasciata
- Dracaena frequens
- Dracaena petiolata
- Dracaena subtilis
- Dracaena burmanica
- Dracaena cristula
Cost of the plant
Prices may vary according to your location, plant size, and species of the plant. INR 200-500. You can also get it at low prices.
Cost of the seed of the plant
The cost of the dragon plant seeds is $1.50 – $10 or more. Prices will vary according to the quality and quantity of the seeds.
Dragon plant care guide
These plants don’t require much care like other indoor plants, but the proper and right care makes the plant more healthy and beautiful.
Here, are few care tips for a dragon tree
Dragon trees favor bright and indirect sunlight.They can survive in shadier spots also, but if it’s kept in shady areas, then they will not grow faster, and they will produce leaves of smaller size with less intense color.
So, provide them enough light, the window area will be better to place it but keep in mind that the window shouldn’t get direct sunlight. If your dragon tree’s leaves color begins to fade, that means they aren’t getting enough light.
Overwatering the plant causes more damage to the plant as compared to the damage caused by giving less water. Overwatering is the most common reason for dragon plant leaves becoming yellow. Keep the soil slightly moist but don’t waterlogged. Waterlogged can cause root rot.
Make sure that plant gets enough water during its growing season. To avoid overwatering the plant and for its betterment, check the soil if it is dry or not before watering it.
In winter, they don’t require much water.Make sure to reduce the watering of these plants in winter.
Average household humidity and moisture are sufficient for this plant. These plants don’t need the perfect humidity level.
They prefer moderate humidity. This plant can also tolerate dry air. Mist the plant regularly. Misting the leaves will help to maintain the humidity level of the plant. During summer, try to provide fresh air to dragon plants.
The temperature between 65°F-75°F (18°C-24°C) is ideal for dragon trees. These plants can tolerate as low as 50°F, but below 50°F can create problems with your plant.
Dragon trees can survive without any fertilizer, but fertilizer will make the plant more healthy. Spring and summer is the best time to feed the plant. In autumn and winter, they don’t require any fertilizer.
The one & only drawback of the dragon tree is that they are poisonous to cats and dogs. The American Society reports some symptoms in pets after consuming dragon plants for the Prevention of Cruelty on Animals.
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of appetite
- Cats may have dilated pupils
- Digestive pain
Keep this plant out of the reach of your pets. These plants are non- toxic to humans.
Pests and problems
Dragon plants are generally disease resistant, they are free from dangerous pests or disease, but mealy bugs, spider mites may take place in your dragon plant, so you need to keep an eye on your plant. If you notice any pests on your dragon tree, you can remove them with a strong spray of water or you can also use insecticidal soap, or neem oil to kill them.
Repotting and propagation
The roots of the dragon tree grow faster than expected. You can repot it every year or once in two years.
Here I’m mentioning two methods to propagate a dragon tree
Water propagation is the easiest method
Step 1: Using a shears cut a branch of the dragon tree
Step 2: Put it in a glass or jar filled with water. Ensure that the stem is submerged in water.
Step 3: Now, ensure that the stem keeps getting proper bright indirect sunlight.
Step 4: To keep it fresh, you need to change the water every few days.
Step 5: After a few weeks, transfer the stem in a pot and keep the plant hydrated and the soil moist for the first few weeks.
Step 1: Cut stem from a mature plant
Step 2: Trim the lower leaves
Step 3: Wait for the cuttings to dry
step 4: Plant the cuttings in the soil (usually starts rooting after 1-2 weeks)
With the proper kind of care, a dragon tree can quickly gain height. So the dragon tree requires to be pruned to maintain the right length and to avoid it from spreading in all directions. Spring to summer is the perfect time to prune dragon plants.