Care for dragon tree – The care of Dracaena

Dragon trees captivate with their unusual trunks and leaves. They are an exotic addition to the home garden or apartment. How you should care for the dragon tree, you will learn in this article!

Dragon tree care
© mockerco –


The dragon tree belongs to the asparagus family (Asparagaceae). Most species of its genus originate from the tropics and subtropics. They can be found on the Canary Islands and even in Asia. In our country, the houseplant is found especially in offices and homes, where it is popular due to its air-purifying properties.

The best known representative of the dragon trees is the Canary dragon tree. It is characterized by its thick trunk and long leaves.

Appearance and Characteristics

As a houseplant, the dragon tree has a slender appearance. Its woody trunks are reminiscent of a palm tree. Occasional forks can be seen on the trunks. In houseplants, these are often deliberately caused by pruning. At the ends sit plump leaf scoops.

In nature, a dragon tree can reach a height of 18 meters. In homes, it usually stops at a height of two meters.

The leaves are elongated and narrow. They have a lush green color. Often the leaves stand straight up from the trunk. An elegant slope is also not uncommon. Patterns are also not uncommon. Depending on the species, these can be striped or spotted.

However, dragon trees with entirely green leaves are the most common. The Canary Island dragon tree is one of them.

The flower

The flowering and flowering time of dragon trees varies from species to species. Most dragon tree species do not flower until they are very old. The most common flowering time is summer. When a dragon tree blooms, its flowers are often arranged in panicles. The most common flower color is greenish-white or white.

The flowers are odorless with one exception: the fragrant dragon tree (Dracaena fragrans). Its flowers have an intense jasmine fragrance.

The fruit

The fruits of the dragon tree are red to orange. However, in apartment plants, they develop very rarely. With proper care, however, they can be made to appear!

The optimal location of the dragon tree

A year-round bright location is optimal for the dragon tree. However, it should not stand in the blazing sun. A warm location with high humidity is optimal.

However, the temperature should not fall below 59 °F. Attention should also be paid to soil cold and drafts. In summer, many species can be placed outside.

Substrate as the dracaena likes it

Since the dragon tree is native to the tropics and subtropics, it is somewhat picky about the soil. Therefore, the substrate should be well-drained. This prevents waterlogging. Only moderately nutrient-rich soil should be used.

A pH value of six is optimal for the plant. Especially this should not be neglected in the care.

Soils with optimal properties are palm soil and green plant soil. However, a normal potting soil can also be made into a suitable substrate.

For this purpose, sand or expanded clay is mixed into the potting soil.

Watering the dragon tree correctly

Many species of dragon tree like it evenly moist throughout the year. Waterlogging should be avoided, however, as the roots of the plant easily begin to rot. To create optimal conditions for the plant, it should be watered as soon as the substrate has dried.

In the winter months, watering can also be less. This way, the plant will also forgive it if the soil dries out a bit over a longer period of time.

If you are unsure about watering, consider a self-watering pot.

The right water does not play an unimportant role in the care of a dragon tree. If you want to do something extra good for your plant, you should water it with rainwater. If your water or tap water is very calcareous, you should consider decalcifying it before watering.

Exotics thrive especially well with increased humidity. However, this is difficult to achieve and maintain in an apartment. To increase humidity, you can place trays of water around the plant. If you want to have more control over the humidity, I advise you to use a humidifier.

Dracaena care
(Image: © womue –

Fertilizing a Dracaena

To fertilize the dragon tree optimally, a No products found. should be chosen. This is added to the watering water.

In the growth phase, i.e. from March to September, fertilizer should be applied every two weeks. In the dormant phase, i.e. from October to February, the rhythm is stretched to four to six weeks. The amount of fertilizer should also be reduced.

An alternative to liquid fertilizer are fertilizer sticks* or nutrient-rich substrate, which is mixed and the existing soil. However, care should be taken when combining multiple fertilization methods.

Repotting the dragon tree

It is best to repot your dragon tree for the first time directly after purchase. Usually the soil from discount stores and florists is contaminated with pests such as the fungus gnat. In addition, the substrate is often of inferior quality and the pot is too small for the plant.

Green plant soil and palm soil* are ideal substrates. More information about the substrate can be found above under Substrate.

To ensure drainage, you should use a saucer with holes, as well as a planter.

If your Dracaena is still relatively young, it will grow in size very quickly. Therefore, you should repot it into a suitable container every spring for the first few years, if possible.

Pruning the dragon tree

Like many other woody plants, the dragon tree does not need to be pruned. If you do decide to prune due to the size or strength of your plant, we have a few tips for you.

You should prune your dragon tree in spring. If desired, the pruning can be quite radical. You should make sure that you cut above the “dormant eyes”. The dragon tree sprouts through these.

For the cut itself, you can use a sharp and clean blade. This will prevent bruising of the plant and reduce the risk of infection.

Brown leaf tips and dead leaves in the lower area should be cut regularly. Be sure to use a sharp blade to avoid damaging the plant.

You can also use the cuttings for the propagation of the dragon tree!

Propagation of the dragon tree

Dragon trees can be propagated quite easily through cuttings. Optimal are half woody cuttings or unleaved shoot cuttings. These often fall off when the dragon tree is pruned. The optimal propagation time is summer.

Shorten your cuttings to a length of 6 to 8 inches. Now plant them in the substrate. Use propagation substrate here if possible. To protect your cuttings from infestation, it is recommended to cover the cut ends with activated charcoal powder. This has an antibacterial effect.

Tip: With high soil warmth you increase your chances of success!

After a short time you should see small leaves on your cuttings. These are a sign of successful root formation. Congratulations, your new propagation has succeeded!

Let me answer your questions!

Is the dragon tree poisonous?

The Dracaena is classified as slightly poisonous. So pets and small children should be watched out for if they are near the plant.

Take advantage of this!

Letzte Aktualisierung am 2023-03-24 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API

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About the author
Richard Schmidt
Hey, my name is Richard! In my spare time, I write about the care of indoor plants on this website. Indoor plants have long fascinated me. That's why there are many plants in my little urban jungle - from the mainstream Syngonium to true rarities. Besides my passion for houseplants, I'm a real sneakerhead.

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