Bracaena Marginata characteristics
Also called dragon tree, Dracaena marginata is native to Madagascar. This plant belongs to the Asparagaceae family, which supplies most indoor foliage plants for buildings.
It is called ‘dragon’ because of its long, narrow, arching, ribbon-like leaves that look like the spikes of a dragon. At a glance, people might confuse this plant with a palm tree.
It has three Tricolor types: green leaves with red margins and an ivory stripe; Colorama: pink leaves with variegated green stripes. And Bicolor: red and green stripes.
Its mature size ranges from 15-20 feet tall and 3-10 feet wide. This indoor plant type rarely blooms. Yet when it does, it has white flowers. It is toxic for cats and dogs.
Hence it is better to keep it out of pets’ and children’s reach. Other than that, Dracaena Marginata care indoors is easy to do. It requires low maintenance and lasts for years.
Light for Dracaena Marginata care indoors
This plant grows well under bright and indirect sunlight but survives in partial shade too. Though it belongs to slow-grower plants, enough light will make the tree produce more leaves and grow faster and taller.
For Dracaena Marginata care indoors, it is best to put the plant near windows or doors that can expose more light to it.
Leaves that are yellowing and pale with brown or yellow spots show a lack of light. In contrast, too much light will give the leaves brown tips and a bleached look. If it is impossible to get indirect sunlight, a grow light will help.
Soil for Dracaena Marginata care indoors
As grown in a pot, dragon trees love loose, well-draining, rich-in-nutrient soil. The soil is similar to Madagascar’s volcanic soil, which is its indigenous environment.
The pH is a little acidic, which is 6 to 7. A soil mixture containing pumice, loam, perlite, vermiculite, peat, or coco coir is suggested.
Those contents provide mineral nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, improve moisture retention, and increase aeration.
Besides, plants also need macronutrients that are easily found in organic matter. Hence compost, leaves, and moss can be natural fertilizers as Dracaena Marginata care indoors.
Dracaena Marginata care indoors water requirements
Watering the plant and soil should be done once a week during spring and summer and once every two weeks during winter. Too wet soil could rot the root. While too dry soil will stunt tree growth.
The ideal result of watering soil is a little bit moist but not soggy. When the soil gets super dry, and routine watering does not help, it is time to change the soil.
Check also the nutrients in the water. Fluoride, mostly found in public water supplies, harms Draceana marginata as it turns the leaves yellow or brown.
Steps in Dracaena Marginata care indoors
The dragon tree is ready to set and grow when basic preparations such as soil, lighting, pots/containers, and location are done.
Through time, there might have problems with the tree harming its beauty. To prevent those problems, follow the steps below.
- Give liquid fertilizer in a few sprays to the soil once a month in spring and summer
- Cut and trim routinely to keep the tree in the desired shape and size.
- Rub the leaves using a damp cloth to prevent pests every several weeks.
- Inspect the tree thoroughly using a magnifying glass to remove pests
- Always prepare insecticide with pyrethrin to remove the pests
- Change the pot every year to maximize the growth
Pests to avoid in Dracaena Marginata care indoors
Its soft stem and long leaves are prone to certain pests. Although it is quite uncommon, tree owners must be aware of these pests.
The most common one is scale bugs. This tiny, round, waxy insect sucks the sap using its pointed, sharp, and tube-like mouths.
Another insect that harms the tree is mealybugs. They also suck the sap that makes premature leaves fall and stunt growth. Then, there are spider mites.
They are quite invisible, and people are mostly aware when the damage appears. Lastly, the potential pest is thrips. They often come to Draceana, which has excess nitrogen or lacks water.
Dracaena Marginata cares about indoor facts to know
Besides ways to prepare and maintain the dragon tree, Dracaena Marginata also has a few fun facts for gardeners to know.
- Dracaena draco, the sibling of Draceana Marginta, has the meaning of ‘Dragon.’
- Draceana Marginata has been an indoor plant since 1960, and people still love them.
- Direct sunlight will burn the leaves. Even wild dragon trees live under shades of other taller plants.
- The tree is claimed to be able to clean the air in the room where it is placed.
- The plant is one of the easiest-to-care, easiest-to-find, and cheap indoor plants.
- The height of the ceiling will influence the height of the tree