The dragon tree, also known as Dracaena marginata, is a popular houseplant native to Madagascar. It is the ideal slow-growing plant for any interior setting and looks stunning in both a living room and a home office!
Although dragon trees planted outside have a maximum height of 20 feet, they are considerably easier to handle when trimmed and confined to a maximum height of six feet, even outdoors.
Except for USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12, where they may be grown outside, they fare best inside. During the warmer months, you may move your dragon tree to an outside deck, patio, or balcony if you reside outside one of the optimal zones. It will enjoy the warmth and sunlight while adding a striking touch to your outdoor décor.
Growing Madagascar Dragon Tree Outdoors
Because it struggles when the temperature dips below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, many people keep this plant indoors (16 degrees Celsius). Because this plant can’t tolerate the winter, it can only be grown outside in warm climes.
Dracaena marginata is a cold-sensitive plant that only thrives outside in climates with year-round temperatures of 63 to 65°F (17 to 18°C). Feel free to lay down a bed of gravel, tiny stones, or clay pebbles to help the water drain more effectively, much as is done for plants in pots.
Planting your dracaena outside in an unsuitable environment is one surefire method to destroy it. A tropical plant that cannot withstand frost is the dracaena. However, if you are in zone 9, 10, or 11, you’re in the sweet spot.
When there is no frost, dracaena grows well outside. In the winter, Zone 9 might be a bit dangerous. If you live somewhere that occasionally experiences frost, be ready to cover your outdoor dracaena plants: 1 minute, 23 seconds, 0 seconds, 0% volume.
Tips for Madagascar Dragon Tree Outdoors
In its natural habitat, the Dracaena Marginata plant thrives in heavy humidity. Fortunately, the plant may also thrive in the typical household humidity. Due to its resilience, it can adjust humidity levels between 60% and 80% rather effectively.
Even in the average ambient moisture range of 30 to 60%, the Dracaena Marginata plant may live.
The humidity levels have reached the necessary levels when you see strong-appearing vines, lush green foliage, and stunning white blooms. It is strongly advised to check the humidity levels in your house if your Dracaena Marginata plant seems dull or smaller than usual. The Dragon Tree plant commonly loses its turgidity when grown in dry circumstances.
Madagascar Dragon Tree and the Sun
The Dracaena Marginata plant is an excellent choice for a houseplant for several reasons. It can withstand both intense and weak indirect light. Dracaena Marginata prefers indirect light that has been filtered. Its leaves turn a lush green color in the right light, producing lovely white flowers during summer.
Although the Madagascar Dragon Tree may grow well in dim lighting, its leaves frequently lose part of their vivid color. The Dracaena Marginata thrives and develops its blooms when placed in somewhat shaded areas.
It is essential also to note that you need to avoid exposing your plant to direct sunlight since it could not only burn the leaves, but the damage may also be irreversible.
Madagascar Dragon Tree and Water
Although Dracaena Marginata is immune to disease and drought, it is vulnerable to overwatering and underwatering. Thus, for the plant to develop correctly, it is crucial to establish a balance between these two extremes.
Water the Dracaena Marginata plant well, then waits until the top half of the soil is arid. The plant’s watering schedule is significantly influenced by its surroundings. But after three weeks, the top layer of soil usually dries up under dim lighting.
Following this watering regimen, you can take care of and sustain the Dracaena Marginata plant. It is best to moisten the plant with warm water because it is water-sensitive. The leaves fading indicates that it is thirsty.
Water your plant as soon as you can as a consequence. On the other side, the plant indicates that it is overwatered if the edges of its leaves start to turn brown. To avoid that, it is advised to try and delay watering the plant until the top few inches are completely dry to dry out the plant’s roots.
One of the most common mistakes made by owners is to water Dracaena Marginata plants with fluoride-containing water. Always verify your water’s fluoride content before using it to water your margarita plant. Make use of distilled water wherever feasible.
Tips for Growing Madagascar Dragon Tree
Landscapes with dracaena may provide drama and beauty in an appropriate environment. The leaves have several types with a wide range of heights, forms, colors, patterns, and textures. Since these plants aren’t particularly picky, almost any sort of soil will do.
However, add compost or other organic material to offer optimal circumstances since they thrive in richer soils. Select a location that is not directly in the sun for lighting. Many sources of indirect light, but not too much shadow, are ideal for most dracaena.
Ensure your plant receives adequate water, but steer clear of standing water. It needs to be in an area with well-draining soil. Utilize an essential fertilizer every two weeks while the plant is expanding.
During the growing season, use an essential fertilizer every two weeks to promote more significant growth. Make sure you know the particular requirements of the dracaena type you select.
Although they ought to be relatively similar, there could be some variances, particularly in the size and room the plants require. While some kinds stay at a short height, others can reach heights of up to one meter.
Due to the plant’s hardiness, wood-cutting propagation is straightforward and generally successful. Use a sturdy set of garden scissors to chop off a branch since mature stems are incredibly thick.
Cuttings of hardwood should be between 70 and 90 cm in length. It will grab roots more readily if the cut is cleaner. Remove a few leaves so the young plant isn’t under stress while producing a healthy set of leaves. You should ideally have no more than ten leaves.
Make careful to include a few nodes in your cutting if you wish to reproduce through semi-ripe cuttings. Make sure the cutting nodes are entirely submerged in water before submerging them.
Until the cuttings form approximately 2-3 cm long roots, keep them submerged in water in a well-lit place for a few weeks.
Zones 9, 10 & 11
Regarding plants such as the Madagascar Dragon tree, it pays to know the type of climate or zone you live in.
Gardeners in warm climates are sometimes upset by their inability to grow a variety of plants that are hardy in other climate zones. The lowest temperatures, between 25 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, are found in USDA zones 9 to 11. (-3-4 C.).
This means it seldom freezes; even in the winter, it’s warm throughout the day. Many natural and adaptable plants will grow in various garden zones. However, specimens that need a cooling time are not appropriate plants for hot regions.
If you’re planning to plant in zones 9 to 11, you must know that these regions experience various weather conditions, but they hardly ever freeze or experience snow, and the average yearly temperature is always mild.
The most crucial thing to remember while caring for any plant is to match its requirements to the soil. Many plants from cooler climates may survive in hotter climates, but the soil must retain moisture, and the location has to be shielded from the hottest part of the day.
Consequently, the site is crucial. If given protection from the scorching sun’s rays and maintained uniformly moist, northern plants with excellent heat tolerance can perform well.
That does not mean that the soil should be saturated, but rather uniformly and often irrigated in soil rich in compost since it will hold water and be covered with mulch to stop evaporation. Planting in pots is another suggestion for gardeners in warm climates.
They are consulting with your local extension office as an excellent place to start when designing your garden. They can advise you on which native and non-native plants work well in a landscape. In case you were wondering, southern states are all included in Zones 9 to 11 of the United States.
But there are differences in their water-related traits, which are also considered when selecting plants. These areas may be generally difficult, but these dry ones are the most difficult because of water shortages.
The atmospheric moisture content is also significant in many of our warmer regions. They often have a wet rainforest-like appearance. These places require certain plants to tolerate the pervasive humidity in the air.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.