Dracaena Marginata |Madagascar Dragon Tree
Dracaena Marginata or Madagascar Dragon Tree is a member of the dracaena family of plants commonly grown as a houseplant. A native of east Africa and Madagascar, dracaena marginata is easy to care for.
Dracaena marginata grows a cluster of long, slender, pointed leaves on a thin trunk or cane. As the plant ages, the lower leaves will die and fall off revealing the slender trunk. This cane like trunk can grow straight. But if the plant is not turned evenly, the plant will bend towards the light. This will produce a trunk that is bent as it grows forming a striking, contorted stalk with a bunch of leaves at the top. Dracaena marginata can grow to a height of 10 to 12 feet.
Dracaena marginata is tolerant of most levels of light, although it does prefer moderate to bright light situations. It does not tolerate strong direct sunlight.
Red-edged dracaena will flourish in a wide range of temperatures and can even tolerate some light frosts.
Dracaena marginata should not be repotted often as it prefers it’s roots confined to a smaller space. It should be potted in a well drained potting mix. Equal amounts of soil and sand works well.
The Madagascar dragon tree thrives in higher humidity but will tolerate some lower humidity. If the edges or tips of the leaves turn brown, the plant is telling you the humidity is too low. Fluoride from tap water or soluble salts from over fertilizing will also cause brown leaf tips.
Dracaena marginata should be fertilized once a month with a balanced fertilizer at 1/2 strength during it’s growing season. Discontinue fertilizer during the fall and winter months.
Dracaena marginata should be allowed to dry to a depth of 1 to 1 1/2 inches before watering. It should then be watered until the water begins to come out of the bottom of the grow pot. Pour off the excess water and discard. Don’t let the plant stand in water as that will promote root rot. During winter it will need less water. Give it only enough to keep the leaves from wilting.
Dracaena marginata can be propagated by taking stem or tip cuttings in the spring or summer. Make sure the cuttings are placed in the soil with the lower end of the cutting downwards. Water the soil lightly and cover with a plastic bag. Keep in a warm location with moderate light until the roots form. Remove from the plastic bag and water moderately after the roots have formed.
You may cut the cane off at the height you want and it will grow new leaves from the cane if your dracaena marginata becomes too tall.