Dracaena maginata or Madagascar Dragon Tree, a native of Madagascar, is one of the old standard houseplants. These trees will slowly reach about 12 feet (4 m) in height, and the smooth gray stems tend to twist as they grow giving them an artistic appearance. They have narrow sword-shaped leaves that are up to 2 foot (60 cm) long by ½ inch (1 cm) wide. The plants are easy to grow and tolerate a wide array of conditions.
Blooming Time: Uncertain. I have been growing them for 20 years and have yet to see one bloom.
Culture: Dracaena marginata will grow in full sun to the low light conditions of most homes. In the greenhouse, we grow them under 50% shade all year. We use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. Even though they are fairly drought tolerant, they are watered on a regular basis during the growing season and fertilized monthly with a balanced fertilizer. During the winter months, temperatures in the greenhouse drop to 55° F (13° C) and water is restricted at this time to only enough to keep the leaves from dropping.
Propagation: Dracaena marginata is propagated by cuttings in the spring.
Dracaena marginata was featured as Plant of the Week May 30-June 5, 2003.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.