Home generalDragon Tree, Dracaena marginata - Care of the Palm

Dragon Tree, Dracaena marginata - Care of the Palm

  • Characteristics
  • Location
  • ground
  • hydroponics
  • Buy potted plants
  • repotting
  • maintenance
  • to water
  • Fertilize
  • To cut
  • multiply
  • Diseases and pests
    • leaf loss
    • fungal infection
    • Fight pests

With the mystical name Drachenbaum presents an appealing asparagus plant, which is well suited for beginners and due to its air-improving properties is increasingly found in offices. The characteristic growth, similar to Dracaena reflexa, is characterized by several main shoots, which branch out from a thin trunk and thereby assume a tropical character. This makes the Dracena marginata so popular with many plant lovers who want to get a South Sea plant into their own four walls.


  • botanical name: Dracaena marginata
  • Genus: Dragon trees (Dracaena)
  • belongs to the plant family of asparagus plants (Asparagaceae)
  • Trivial names: Dragon Lily, Dragon Tree, Rooted Dragon Tree
  • Synonym: Dracaena reflexa var. Angustifolia
  • grows as an upright evergreen, similar to a palm tree
  • Growth height: 200 cm to 600 cm, usually 250 cm
  • Leaves: lanceolate, narrow, green leaves up to 40 cm in length, bicoloured, burgundy ribbed
  • Origin: islands in the western Indian Ocean, from Madagascar to the Chagos archipelago
  • not hardy
  • low chalk tolerance
  • poisonous for dogs and cats
  • air freshener
  • Medicinal plant in Madagascar


Despite its origin, the dragon tree is an extremely easy-care plant that can be easily pulled into your own home or conservatory thanks to the right location. A great advantage for all beginners in the field of plant husbandry is the shadow tolerance of Dracena marginata. As long as the location is sufficiently warm, she can easily deal with partial shade. The location should be as follows:

  • Light requirement: sunny to partial shade
  • no blazing sun
  • Morning and evening sun in order
  • year-round minimum temperature of 20 ° C or higher
  • Humidity: 50 - 65 percent

Please note that too much sun can damage the leaves, as the dracaena marginata could then dry out. In addition, you have to regularly, about every two weeks, turn the flowerpot of the "palm" as it grows towards the light. To protect the plant from too strong, directional growth. If you keep the asparagus plant over the winter in the winter garden, it should be heatable, so that the temperature does not fall below 20 ° C.

Tip: If it is warm enough in your apartment, you should still make sure that the dragon tree on the bottom of the pot is not too cold. Coconut mats are suitable for this under the coaster.


The high-growth plant is somewhat demanding in terms of the substrate. Despite its evergreen growth, it is not suitable for gardening outdoors and spends its time in the tub, if possible even on the balcony or terrace. As long as the substrate is slightly acidic and not too dense, the dragon tree can grow relaxed. It should be like this:

  • pH value: about 6 percent
  • nutrient-rich potting soil
  • clayey
  • limepoor

To improve the distribution of nutrients and moisture, you are welcome to mix one part of quartz sand and one part of lava granules or pumice. This also protects the substrate from compressing too quickly, which would restrict the growth.


If you have enough knowledge in the field of hydroponic gardening, you can easily keep the Dragaena marginata above this shape. The hydroponic culture protects the root ball from drying out and, at the same time, from over-watering thanks to the integrated water supply at the bottom of the vessel. In addition, the special granules allow a better distribution of moisture and nutrients to the roots. The plant takes, so to speak, the water it needs and is not dependent on regular watering. In addition, they have a water level indicator, which makes refilling the tank tremendously easier. In addition, the formation of mold is prevented by the hydroponic culture.

Buy potted plants

When buying a dragon lily you should pay particular attention to three points:

  • weak, dead, dried up shoots
  • dried substrate
  • Substrate with mold

Since the offered plants suffer from too small pots and are often only moderately poured, weak or dead shoots can occur. These usually hang down and do not seem as strong as those of a healthy plant. Sometimes these plants can be rescued by repotting and enough watering. Mildew on the earth, however, indicates too much water and a possible root rot.


Since Dracaena marginata is a fast growing crop, it needs to be repotted about every two years. You will know when to repot when the substrate is completely rooted. It is repotted in the spring, because the dragon lily goes into hibernation from autumn onwards and can easily drive on fresh substrate and a larger pot. Also, the Dracaena marginata should be repotted immediately after purchase, since the substrate is already often compacted. When repotting, do the following:

  • Bucket should be 10 - 15 cm larger in diameter, not larger
  • Bucket should have drain hole
  • Drainage from potsherds, gravel or expanded clay on the ground
  • Place a water- and air-permeable fleece over the drainage
  • fill in a layer of earth
  • Remove Dracena marginata from old pot and place in a water bath together with the previous pot
  • Carefully leach out to avoid damaging roots
  • Check the root ball for putrid, dead or sickly-looking roots
  • cut them off
  • put the root ball in the pot
  • Fill the pot with the remaining substrate while leaving some air up
  • gently press the substrate slightly
  • then care as usual


In the general care of dragon tree, it is mainly on a good interaction of water and nutrients. The cut of the plant is not that important unless you want to keep it short. The asparagus plant can easily exceed the lifespan of 20 years and forms during this time fewer and fewer leaves in the lower area. In other words, over the years it looks more and more like a palm that can easily be used to multiply.

to water

When casting the Dracaena marginata you should take care not to submerge the substrate for too long. You can easily add a little more water and after a period of about 30 minutes, pour the remaining water out of the coaster. Solange usually needs the substrate of the dragon tree until it is wet enough. It is watered every five days from spring to autumn, every two weeks in winter.

Tip: Spray the leaves of the dragon tree regularly with lime-free water. This increases the humidity and provides leaves with bold colors.


Fertilizing is essential for the care of the dragon lily. She likes nutrient-rich soil and enjoys regular fertilizer additions from spring to autumn every two weeks. It is best to choose a conventional liquid fertilizer, as it does not have to pay attention to certain ingredients. Either apply the substrate directly over the substrate or over the irrigation water, which makes distribution easier. During hibernation, any fertilization must be stopped.

To cut

If you want to cut the dragon tree, this should be done best in the spring, just before the growth phase. Then the dragon tree has enough time to spend a lot of energy over the summer. On average, the plant grows between twelve and fifteen inches a year and manages it in Germany to a considerable 250 centimeters with enough heat. The cut stops the growth, but stimulates the branching. Perform the cut as follows:

  • Choose a clean, sharp pair of scissors or secateurs
  • remove the shoot tips at the height you want
  • Special cutting techniques do not have to be applied
  • Then coat the cuts with tree wax to prevent infection
  • additionally fertilize after the cut
  • pay attention to humidity
  • do not let it dry out
  • keep the cut shoot tips (head cuttings) for propagating the plant

This form of incision primarily stimulates the branching of the Dracaena marginata and helps as a general care in older or dry shoots. But you can also just let the dragon tree drive out and look forward to an asparagus plant, which with the years more and more resembles a palm tree. The dragon tree is poisonous, which does not disturb the cut.


As mentioned under the point "cutting", you should use the shoot tips of the dragon tree to propagate the plant. You can also use the following parts of the plant to multiply:

  • of trunk
  • ground shoots

The cut shoot tips should have a length of about 10 centimeters for the propagation. Trunks and side shoots that protrude from the ground should have a length of five centimeters. You have two different methods of propagation available:

  • water glass
  • Planter with mixture of sand and earth

Prepare the cuttings for both types of propagation in the same way. Remove these from soil and clean them with a little water beforehand. More is not necessary here.

Proceed as follows for the multiplication in a glass of water:

  • place the cutting in the direction of growth in a glass filled with water
  • Water regularly
  • Roots form after about eight weeks
  • Then put in the correct substrate, proceed as in repotting

Propagation via a culture vessel:

  • Fill a planter with the appropriate potting soil, alternatively two thirds of peat and one third of sand
  • Place the cuttings in growth form in the substrate
  • Moisten soil, then do not water for six weeks
  • put a transparent foil or plastic bag over the container
  • ventilate regularly, just lift the bag
  • the location should be bright, no direct sun
  • after six weeks, the cover is completely removed
  • now is watered sparingly
  • After eight weeks, first roots show
  • then repot as described above

Diseases and pests

Dracaena marginata has three different clinical pictures:

  • loses leaves
  • fungal infection
  • pest infestation

leaf loss

Leaf loss is a sign of Dracaena marginata malady and may be caused by:

  • wrong location
  • too much irrigation water
  • low humidity
  • cold drafts
  • Room temperature is too low

The dragon tree loses leaves when it is too light or too dark, does not enjoy a room temperature of at least 20 ° C and the environment is too dry. He stands near a frequently opening window or a door, unfortunately, especially in winter under cold drafts. Therefore, if you are looking for a location that meets the needs of Dracena marginata, it will not lose any leaves.

fungal infection

If the trunk is soft, Dracaena marginata suffers from a mildew fungus infection, the soft rot. The infection first attacks the roots, kills them and then moves up. Cut off all healthy plant parts and remove them from these new dragon trees, as the soft rot can not be stopped after infestation.

Fight pests

The dragon tree can be affected by spider mites, woolly and mealybugs and thunderstorms (thrips). These occur especially in winter at too low humidity and extract the plant valuable energy from the plant juices. Spider mites can be recognized by the numerous nets that are reminiscent of cobwebs, while the lice are recognizable by a wool-like coating on the leaves. An attack by thunderstorms is recognizable by a suddenly faltering dragon tree. Proceed as follows against the pests:

  • Spider mites: rinse the plant thoroughly with water. Then dab the spider mites with alcohol and repeat this process until the infestation has stopped.
  • Lice: pot the plant over, rinse out the root ball in front of it, because here the oviposition takes place. Then spray with a solution of one tablespoon of spirit, one tablespoon of soft soap and one liter of water, which also works with spider mites.
  • Thrips: To do this, cover the pot tightly with a foil and then rinse the plant thoroughly.
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