Dragon tree care made easy
The dracaena is becoming more and more popular with us. This houseplant is particularly interesting because of the strikingly beautiful, mostly variegated leaves and its palm-like habit. However, it not only impresses with its pretty appearance, but also scores points when it comes to care. Caring for the Dracaena is very easy and also interesting for those who don't have a green thumb.
Are you also someone who has no luck with plants? Then this little tree is perfect for you and your home. Give your dragon tree a long, healthy life with our tips.
The Story of the Dragon Tree
The dragon tree or dracaena is one of the most popular indoor plants worldwide. Like the yucca palm, it belongs to the asparagus family. Most species come from subtropical areas of Asia and Africa. But there are also isolated specimens in Europe.
Translated, the Greek term "Dracaena" means something like "female dragon". There are several theories as to why the dragon tree bears this name. If you remove an old shoot, several shoots often grow back in the same place.
A myth has it that if you cut off a dragon's head, a second one will grow back. On the other hand, the name could also come from the escaping resin at an injured spot. It turns red when hardened and is traditionally referred to as the Dragonborn.
The different types of Dracaena
There are about 50-150 different species in the dragon tree genus. The following species are often sold here as houseplants:
The fragrant dragon tree, Dracaena fragrans: This species is probably the sturdiest species and forms shiny light green and white striped leaves. The trunk is almost completely covered by leaves here.
The margined dragon tree, Dracaena marginata: This houseplant has narrow, dark green leaves with a red border. It has a tall, thin trunk and is therefore very elegant. You can also find a beautiful example of the Dracaena .
Dracaena deremensis: In this species, the leaves are quite broad, light green and have a white edge. The trunk is almost entirely encased in leaves.
The Canary Island dragon tree, Dracaena draco: Also known as the Canary Island dragon tree, it only grows on the Canary Islands. This grows up to 7 meters high in the wild.
The powerful air purifier, Dracaena "Burley": However, this unique dragon tree is not native to Central America. He was cultivated by the Dutch breeder Reijm Nieuwerkerk. The "Burley" has very broad leaves and is in NASA's top 10 for air-purifying plants.
The right location for your dracaena
The special thing about the dragon tree: It is incredibly undemanding. He feels most comfortable in a partially shaded location. Although it can gradually be acclimated to a sunny spot, it is sensitive to too much direct sunlight. However, it is different with the colorful species such as the Dracaena deremensis, which prefers a lot of light and therefore a sunny location.
In general, you shouldn't place your dragon tree near the heater, otherwise the dry air from the heater can cause yellow leaves.
Tip: For the sunbathers, make sure that you turn the plant every now and then. The growth of the leaves is based on the sunlight. So if you leave your dracaena in one position for too long, it can lead to unsightly and crooked adhesions.
Caring for the Dracaena is so easy
Caring for the Dracaena is so incredibly easy, because it is one of the most undemanding indoor plants there is. Nothing can go wrong with our tips.
The right soil for dracaena care
The dragon tree does not make high demands on the substrate either and feels comfortable in ordinary houseplant soil, palm soil or potting soil. Like almost any houseplant, you can also plant the dracaena in hydroponics. If you would like to learn more, then have a look at our article on Hydroponic plants.
Does the dragon tree need a lot of water?
The soil should always be kept evenly moist, but it is important to avoid waterlogging, otherwise the roots can rot. When caring for a Dracaena, it doesn't matter if you forget to water it. However, if it lasts too long, it loses its leaves.
How often do you fertilize your dracaena
Add a little liquid fertilizer to your irrigation water every 2 weeks. So it grows faster and richer.
Repot the dragon tree
When caring for the Dracaena, repotting should not be disregarded, because the dragon tree grows incredibly quickly. For small plants it is perfectly sufficient to move to a new pot every 2-3 years. However, if you have a large dragon tree, then an annual repot is beneficial.
Propagating dracaena: how it works!
After optimal Dracaena care, you can consider propagating your dragon tree. Propagation is quick and easy via cuttings.
Step 1: Cut off a shoot at least 10cm below the head.
Step 2: Seal the cut with liquid wax to prevent disease from entering the wound.
Step 3: Cut off the leaves to about 1cm, so the nutrient supply is directed towards root formation.
Step 4: Place the separated shoot in a glass of water. It will root in about 2-3 weeks.
Step 5: If you can see the roots, you can plant your new dracaena in a pot.
Is the dragon tree poisonous?
We take in small amounts of saponins every day, for example through tomatoes, spinach or peas. Saponins are phytochemicals that can be toxic in large amounts.
The red sap of the dracaena contains a lot of saponins, so caution is advised. For adults, there is not much danger as long as large amounts of plant parts are not consumed.
Children and pets, however, are at greater risk. Due to the low body weight, symptoms appear more quickly. An overdose can cause vomiting, nausea, and salivation.
The perfect room for your dracaena
Partial shade and out of the reach of children and pets would of course be ideal for the dragon tree. Since it has very strong air-filtering properties, a location in your bedroom is ideal.
Tips for problems with your dracaena
Because dracaena care is so easy and it's incredibly low maintenance, even those without a green thumb can't go wrong. If your dragon tree loses a few dry leaves from time to time, then there is no reason to panic. This is usually not due to incorrect Dracaena care, because the lower leaves of your dragon tree simply turn brown over time and fall off on their own.
However, if your Dracaena has brown leaf tips, this can have several causes. However, the most common cause is soil that is too dry. So water your dragon tree regularly.
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