Also known as the Madagascar Dragon Tree, Dracaena marginata is an extremely popular plant. It is a rugged and resilient species, easy to care for and nearly indestructible and it looks graceful in any setting.
As its name suggests, the long, thin, arching green leaves are edged in a dark red. They are tall and versatile specimens, adding height and impact without taking too much space. Their stems can develop interesting curved and contorted, architectural shapes as they mature, adding more tropical beauty.
it’s also refreshing! Dracaena is one of the plants on NASA’s air filtering plants list that remove toxins from the air.
The slow-growing plant can be planted year-round and boasts tiny white flowers in the spring (though it rarely flowers indoors).
Keep the dragon tree away from pets because it’s toxic to animals if ingested.
Temperature : The Compacta does best in average household temperatures: between 16-24°C, but can cope with as low as 12°C for short periods.
Lighting preference : Dracaena marginata prefers medium to bright indirect light but, Can cope in light shade but keep away from direct sunlight as this may burn or bleach the leaves.
Rotate dracaenas weekly so that they don’t grow toward the light, become one sided, and lose their beautiful shape..
Irrigation of water : Water when the soil starts to dry-out at the top. Water well and allow to drain thoroughly. Relatively drought tolerant. Do not overwater as this will cause the leaf tips to blacken.
Dark brown tips usually indicate the following: too much chlorine or fluoride in the water, water is too salty (never use water that has passed through a softener), or too much plant food. Muddy brown leaf tips on new growth means the plant needs more water.
If a Dracaena gets discolored leaves, this is probably due to too much water. If there are spots or brown edges on the leaves, the cause is too much light. Curled leaves indicate drought, if you notice this, the plant has been dry for too long in the past or this is the case when you see this.
Humidity : Dracaena are hardy houseplants and will do well in normal room humidity, however they do prefer higher humidity and will benefit from occasional misting.
Fertilization and feeding :Slow growing plants like the dracaena compacta, require very little fertilizer. Feed only twice a year, once in the spring and once in the summer, and be sure to dilute the plant food to 1/2 the recommended stength.
Flowering : Dracaena rarely flower, when they do, I recommend immediately cutting off the flowers. Allowing the flowers to stay on the plant may distort the growth pattern of the plant and ruin its shape.
Soil : Dracaena marginata plants grow well in a loose, quick-draining soil. These plants are from Hawaii and often arrive planted in lava rock. Remove 1/3 of the lava rock and replace it with a good potting mix.
Toxicity : A dracaena marginata is mildly poisonous to humans, but they are extremely toxic to dogs and cats with a #2 toxicity level.
Pot Size : Dracaena marginatas grow better when root-bound in small pots. Don’t be in a rush to re-pot any dracaena plant.
Pruning :If the canes become bare at the bottom, cut the cane back to where you would like to encourage new growth. Several new stems eventually emerge below the cut and your marginata looks even more interesting.
Diseases : Leaf Spot Disease and root-rot caused by over watering are the main disease problems. Dracaena marginata plants are very susceptible to spider mites, especially when temperatures are warm and the air is very dry. These pests are difficult to see until they have damaged the plant. Mealy Bugs are another pest problem; they leave small, sticky, cottony deposits that are easy to see
Air Purification : The Dracaena is not only a great indoor plant to see, it is also one of the most air-purifying indoor plants that exist. The plant removes various substances such as trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde. Dracaena has even been named one of the most air-purifying houseplants on behalf of NASA.