BOTANICAL NAME: Dracaena marginata
COMMON NAME: Dragon Tree
DESCRIPTION: Tree-like with branching slender trunk growing to 5m high, each cane topped by a dense staminal rosette of thick fleshy narrow linear leaves rigidly spreading horizontally, shiny deep olive green with red edges.
LIGHT/POSITION: Medium to high light, stems will twist to light if left in one position for period of time. Suits corner position out of draughts. Leaves will elongate, thin and soften with age when plants have been in place for some time.
WATERING: Moist to dry depending on light. Growth is slow. Canes and leaves store water. Roots are easily damaged by excessive movement or overwatering, causing rot.
CLEANING: Spray with neem soap and wipe carefully to remove dust, avoiding “crunching” the leaves.
PESTS: Spidermite is the main problem pest and preventative spraying is mandatory, particularly in dry warm positions.
DISEASES: Root/stem rot may occur when overwatered. Physical damage to roots can occur due to excessive movement of canes.
FERTILISING: May be necessary when plants have been in site for some time. Apply weak liquid fertiliser in growing season only.
PRUNING: Cut cane with sharp clean knife if change of shape is desired or stem is damaged. New growth will appear below cut on healthy wood.
PRESENTATION: Manual opening of new leaves may be necessary to avoid snapping of new growth. Turn regularly.
GENERAL INFORMATION: Usually presented as 3 to 4 separate canes in a single pot or as a single cane (trunk) which has been cut to develop multiple canes and heads. Dracaena marginata ‘Tri-colour’ is a popular variety for high light areas only.