The Dracaena is a popular tropical plant commonly known as the dragon tree. Despite its tropical origins, it is easy to care for. Dracaena resembles a palm and is in the same family as the Yucca plant.
The Dracaena has woody stems topped by thin leaves. The leaves are red at the edges and they grow in clusters or rosettes. As new leaves grow, the mature leaves turn yellow and fall off. In its natural outdoor habitat, flowers and berries also appear but these rarely appear on indoor plants. They can grow up to five metres tall naturally, but indoor plants are much smaller.
The Dracaena is native of Madagascar so is used to warm, tropical temperatures. However, this plant is hardy and adaptable.
These plants are widely available because they are so easy to care for. They are found in most garden centres at reasonable prices.
There are 40 species of Dracaena and the Marginata is one of the most popular. There are different kinds of Marginata: the Tricolor, the Magenta and the Colorama. The Tricolor has yellow stripes and is pinkish, whilst the Colorama has a deep red hue. These more colourful varieties do take a little more care.
One of the reasons for the Dracaena popularity is the ease of care. Having said that, there are some things to consider about the plants. These plants will need feeding, but only in the summer, when liquid plant food should be given every couple of weeks. You shouldn’t feed them in the winter. As ever, too much water or too little water can cause problems. The plant should be thoroughly watered in the summer, though the earth needs to dry out a little between watering. They grow best between 16 and 24 degrees Celsius and should be protected from draughts. Dracaena cope with lower light levels too.
Did You Know?
Some studies have shown that Dracaenas are excellent plants for air cleaning. They help remove certain impurities and chemicals, such as formaldehyde, which can be poisonous.