Caring for the dragon tree — tips for easy-care dracaena

Botanical name: Dracaena marginata, Dracaena fragrans, Dracaena reflexa
Other names: dragon tree, large dragon tree
Use: houseplant, indoor greenery
Origin: Africa, tropics of Asia and Central America
Flower: subordinate role, varies depending on the variety
Special features: Due to their palm-like growth, dracaena bring with them mostly green leaves bring a tropical atmosphere into the house. Furthermore, the group has a strong air-purifying effect, is robust and easy to care for. Propagation is easy via cuttings.

Dragon trees are mainly known as indoor plants with low maintenance requirements. Even without a green thumb, Dracaena marginata are grateful indoor plants for many years.

Like the yucca palms, the popular plants belong to the asparagus family. More than 50 species of dragon trees are known worldwide. The group is incorrectly referred to as a dragon tree, because it is not a tree in the true sense. Over time, the plant develops a trunk and resembles a palm tree in character. There are often several stems from which magnificent leaves sprout in green, yellow and sometimes with a little pink or red. There is a wide range of leaf varieties. The location depends on the variety. Roughly one can say that the plants need more light the less green their leaves are.

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In which location does the dragon tree feel most comfortable?

Dracaena prefer a bright and warm location in the house all year round. Make sure that the place has as little draft as possible. From the end of May to September, the popular houseplant can also stand outdoors in a partially shaded area. However, it is important that the green plant is gradually accustomed to outdoor conditions, otherwise unsightly burns will occur. As a tree in the house, it can often be seen that the top turns towards the light. Therefore, rotation at regular intervals is recommended. Direct sunlight should be avoided in the house and in the garden.

Our gardening tip: minimum temperatures during the day should be 15 degrees Celsius and 12 degrees Celsius at night. At lower temperatures, growth disorders occur and the houseplant takes care of itself.

How do I properly care for my Dracaena?

Dragon tree care is easy and can be carried out at the right location without much effort. It is important that the soil never dries out completely or the exotic plants stand in water. With need-based watering, the houseplant regularly receives as much moisture as it needs. Small plants can be showered with lukewarm water once or twice a year. If the plants are too large and unwieldy for this, wiping the leaves with a damp cloth will help. This removes the dust and supports a good development of the plant. High humidity is also beneficial, and spraying with low-lime water is recommended.

If you cannot or do not want to spend this care, there are also artificial green plants as an alternative.

How do I water my dragon tree correctly?

Dracaena need water relatively regularly. It is important that the substrate dries between the individual watering processes and that there is never waterlogging. You can dip smaller plants once a week. Here you place the houseplant in a bucket filled with water and immerse the plant until no more air bubbles rise. The advantage of the immersion method is that the root ball is completely soaked. Excess water is removed from the coaster or planter. Larger plants are watered weekly, checked after 15 minutes and excess water poured off.

Our gardening tip: With regular watering and spraying you avoid brown leaf tips, which are a result of dry air.

How do I fertilize my dracaena?

Houseplants need regular fertilizer for the formation of new shoots and leaves. A special green plant fertilizer that contains important growth and vital substances and thus helps the plant to look healthy and fresh is ideal for fertilizing. Fertilize the dracaena weekly from March to October and once a month in winter. Make sure that the soil is not too dry when fertilizing, otherwise damage to the roots can occur. Fertilizing with fertilizer sticks is easy to handle. With this convenient long-term fertilization, your Dracaena is supplied with all the necessary nutrients, minerals and trace elements for 3 months.

How do I repot my dracaena?

You don’t have to repot new plants directly. The substrate is loose and optimal for the roots. After 2 to 3 years, repotting in fresh soil is recommended. Dragon trees require a pH of 5.5-6 and soil that is structurally stable. This means that water should be stored without waterlogging. Green plant and palm soil is ideal for care. If possible, pot your dragon tree Dracaena in a larger pot in spring. A container that is 5 to 7 cm wide and stable is ideal. Drainage at the bottom of the pot prevents waterlogging. The green plant can grow in the same pot for a few years before the next repotting.

Which dragon tree species and dracaena varieties are there?

Dracaena marginata

  • Partly as Dracaena reflexa in the trade
  • Easy-care houseplant
  • Reaches a height of 2 meters
  • The lower leaves fall off over time and a trunk forms
  • Dracaena marginata is not sensitive to changing growing conditions
  • Leaves dark green, shiny

The ‘Tricolor’ variety is variegated with green, pink and cream striped leaves

Dracaena fragrans

    • As a houseplant, the species can grow up to 2.50 meters high
    • Requires little maintenance
    • Striking is the slightly downward-curved foliage, which can grow up to 90 cm long
    • Dracaena fragrans comes in different varieties that differ in the color of the leaves and grain

The ‘Song of India’ variety is special, it is particularly bright

Variety ‘Song of India’

Dracaena draco

  • Canary dragon tree
  • Ideal for garden, balcony in summer and conservatory in winter
  • Frost-free overwintering
  • Young plants grow slowly
  • Tolerates direct sun

Typical tree of the Canary Islands

What pests and diseases can the dragon tree get?

Dracaena are robust green plants that are very rarely attacked by diseases and pests in a partially shaded location. Too much sun will result in brown leaves. If the place is too dark, the growth of the asparagus plants is too soft and more susceptible. The following pests can occur:

spider mites

The affected leaves have silvery dots on the upper side and webs are visible on the underside of the leaves. It is usually sufficient to spray the plants with water and treat them with plant strengtheners. These bio-active agents contain natural plant extracts that contribute to the vitalization of the plant.

scale insects

There are brown, slightly curved knobs in the leaf axils. The scale insects are safely hidden under these protective shields and are therefore difficult to combat. As soon as you discover the infestation, you should wipe off the scale insects or cut back the plant. The pests can be controlled biologically with oil-based agents. It is important that the application is carried out several times.


You can find the white structures in the leaf axils especially in phases with less light. The treatment is analogous to scale insects.

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about the Dragon Tree

What can be the reason for brown leaf tips?

Brown spots on the tips are often a sign of too much water. In addition, leaf damage can occur due to dry heating air in winter. Regular spraying with low-calcium water will help to prevent brown tips.

How can dragon trees be propagated?

The easiest method of propagation is to obtain cuttings. To do this, cut off the tuft of leaves and place them in a pot with potting soil. In the ideal location and with sufficiently high humidity, the cuttings form new roots within a few weeks. Especially with plants that have grown too tall, cuttings can be used to cut back and propagate at the same time. To prevent rot, please make sure that the substrate is never too wet. In principle, the green plants can be easily propagated.

Are dragon trees poisonous?

So-called saponins are contained in all parts of the plant. These are harmful in high concentrations. However, large amounts of plant parts must be consumed before symptoms occur.

Is hydroponics possible with Dracaena?

Dragon trees grow particularly well as hydro plants. It is important that the water level indicator is always at the minimum. Too much water damages the plant.

Can dragon trees be used for office greenery?

With their often narrow and slender shape, as well as their robust nature, the group z. B. ideal for offices, medical practices and schools. As indoor climate plants, Dracaena are predestined for public buildings and contribute to well-being there.