Dracaena Marginata (The Red-stemmed Dracaena)

Dracaena Marginata featured image

A Dracaena Marginata is a species of tree within the Asparagaceae plant family. These trees typically originate from Australia, Asia, Africa, and the other (nearly) 120 varieties from this family. The Dracaena Marginata, better known as a dragon tree, has a unique appearance, with long stems and leaves resembling a palm tree. It makes a beautiful greenery addition regardless of where you choose to place it indoors or outdoors, and the best part – it’s super easy to take care of!

If you’ve ever owned a Dracaena Marginata plant, you’ve most likely experienced how relaxing these plants are, with how low-maintenance they tend to be. Of course, those low-maintenance tasks only stick around as long as the plants are adequately cared for. But what happens when the plant starts drooping or is overwatered occasionally? How often do you water such an independent plant? The remainder of this article will provide insight into how to care for a Dracaena marginata, how to propagate it, and much more.

Scientific NameDracaena Marginata
Other NamesThe Red-stemmed Dracaena, The Dragon Tree
Growth SeasonSpring & Summer
Preferred TemperatureBetween 65-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hardiness Zone60-80%
Average Mature Height & Width6m (tall) x 3m (wide)
ToxicityIt’s poisonous to cats and dogs. This succulent can also cause vomiting, pupil dilation, and weakness.

Dracaena Marginata Types

Dracaena Marginata succulents are available in four widespread subspecies – Dracaena Marginata, Dracaena Marginata Tricolor, Dracaena Marginata Colorama, and Dracaena Marginata Tarzan. Here is a little bit about each variety:

  • Dracaena Marginata – This is the original succulent that’s been talked about in today’s article. It is also known as the Dragon Tree. This succulent has a blended hue of purple and red along the sides of its beautiful green leaves.
  • Dracaena Marginata ‘Tricolor’ – As the name suggests, this variety consists of three colors – red, yellow, and green. The three shades combine to create an appealing golden, green tint to the succulent leaves.
  • Dracaena Marginata ‘Colorama‘ – Taking a bit of a step back from the trend of green in these succulent leaves, the Dracaena Marginata ‘Colorama’ takes a more vivid, red-pink approach. This variety shares the three-color trait we see with the Marginata Tricolor; however, its red hues appear much more vibrant along the leaf’s edges.
  • Dracaena Marginata ‘Tarzan’ – This final variety is much more distinctive than the other cultivars mentioned above. Dracaena Marginata Tarzan is hardier, with more substantial and thicker leaves than the others have. In addition, this succulent possesses unique leaves as the tops spin off into a ball-like shape with spiky leaves coming off of it.

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How To Take Care of Dracaena Marginata

When kept healthy, these plants can flourish up to ten inches tall and remain alive for years. However, Dracaena Marginata is a relatively simple plant to raise, some highly recommended tips to keep in mind while establishing a health care routine. If you’re new to owning a Dracaena Marginata, the following few sections will help a vast amount to keep your trees healthy.

1. Finding The Best Gardening Pot

We should plant these dragon trees in a pot with drain holes in the bottom. The pot should be wide enough for the Dracaena roots to expand throughout the growing period, as they usually grow quite a bit. You can choose to use a smaller pot to begin. However, you must transfer the Dracaena Marginata to a larger one soon after.

2. Best Soil For Dracaena Marginata

These tree species are not so selective regarding the suitable soil to use. However, specialists recommend dracaena owners use quick-draining garden soil when planting these unique trees. More specifically, Dracaena Marginatas should be provided a ground involving loam. Loam is essential to these plants as it gives them the nutrients for healthy growth and a higher chance of well-drainage than other alternatives. When planting the dracaena, the pot should be filled about a third of the way – you may have to overlay some extra soil to cover the root ball after planting.

3. Establishing A Water Routine

Overwatering and under-watering are two of the most commonly heard issues with Dracaena Marginatas. Dracaenas don’t need much water to thrive. They are more likely to bloom with a bit of occasional neglect! Hence why establishing a healthy watering routine is essential. When watering these plants, the water should be poured into the soil until some begin leaking out of the draining holes – that’s your indicator to stop running. Once watered, your Dracaena Marginata will be fine without more for a few weeks.

4. Direct Or Indirect Sunlight?

A healthy growing Dracaena Marginata needs a good amount of bright sunlight to help it grow. However, direct sunlight for extended periods harms these plants’ leaves. Instead, your Dracaena Marginata should be in a bright area with full sunlight indirectly. If you’re planting these outdoors, it may be beneficial to plant them in a shaded area or near an enormous tree for protection from harmful sun rays. If you’re growing these indoors, place them right in front of a well-lit window with a sheer curtain for protection.

Read more: How To Prune A Dracaena The Right Way.

Fun fact: Dracaena Marginata Hates Fluoride

Fun fact about Dracaena Marginata’s that many may not know: they don’t like fluoride. But why?

To plants, fluoride is a toxin. You can’t remove it once soaked into the Dracaena Marginata. If this happens, the fluoride can potentially hurt the succulent due to the toxins, eventually leading to the succulent dying entirely.

Read more: How To Propagate Dracaena Marginata.

Follow Succulent City on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram for more informative & interesting content about succulents & cacti 🙂 Join the discussions at our Facebook Group, “Succulent City Plant Lounge.” Happy planting, and live the moment!

Common Questions About Dracaena Marginatas

Apart from propagation and care for Dracaena Marginata, we’ll also answer some of the FAQs by fellow Dracaena Marginata owners.

Q1: Is Dracaena Marginata An Indoor Or Outdoor Plant?

Dracaena Marginatas are great both indoors and outdoors, depending on the temperatures where you live. Indoors, these plants are best in front of a window with some bright, indirect sunlight coming through, while they are best planted in a shaded area or near other trees while outdoors. However, remember that your dracaena Marginata should be in a pot and taken indoors during colder months when temperatures are below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q2: How often do you water Dracaena Marginata?

Considering that Dracaenas are easily overwatered, you should only water them once every other week unless they dry faster than usual. Depending on the temperature, you may be able to wait longer between watering periods. When deciding when to water again, a good tip is to check the soil about 2 inches deep. Watering can wait if it’s still moist, but you should re-water or spray the leaves lightly if it’s dry.

Q3: Why Is My Dracaena Marginata Drooping?

Drooping leaves on a Dracaena Marginata is relatively standard. Fortunately, we can quickly fix that. Drooping leaves typically indicate that you might skip the care routine and many other causes. Some of the reasons are as follows:

  • They’ve been overwatered or underwatered.
  • They are infested with some pests or fungi.
  • The temperatures are harming them – too hot or too cold. A standard temperature is between 65 degrees and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • It needs to be repotted – the roots are tangled and cannot expand.
  • It’s being exposed to direct sunlight and not receiving the appropriate amount of sun.

Read more: How To Revive A Dracaena Marginata Plant.

Before You Leave …

Dracaena Marginata succulents, or Dragon Trees, are highly beneficial plants from their ability to cleanse the areas around them to how great they look in any garden or in-home setting. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance succulent that mimics a tree, a Dracaena Marginata may be the perfect option. Don’t leave Succulent City soon. There are more to read:

Succulent City chief editor


Richard | Editor-in-chief at Succulent City

Hey everyone! I’m Richard. Welcome to my blog, which is all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, I began my journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, my fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and I gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents