Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) Care Indoors, Propagation, Common Problems and Solutions


Dracaena draco, Dragon Blood Tree

Botanical name: Dracaena draco
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Common names: Dragon Blood Tree, Canary Islands Dragon Tree, Dragon Tree, Drago

Description

Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) also called Canary Islands Dragon Tree, Dragon Tree or Drago is a hardy plant which features a gray trunk topped with tough sword-shaped green leaves.

When the Dragon Blood Tree bark and leaves are cut, they secrete a reddish resin which is one of the substances known as "dragon's blood"; hence the common name.

If grown in good light, the leaves in Draco Plant are red-edged. Naturally, the old foliage arches downwards.

Size

In its natural habitat Dragon Tree is a giant tree but indoors it only grows to a height of about 4 ft.

Canary Islands Dragon Tree is a slow grower, taking about 10 years to reach a height of 4 ft.

Origin

Dracaena draco (Dragon Tree) is native to Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira and western Morocco.

Where to Buy

Beautiful Dracaena draco are available online in various sizes at Etsy. Buy Dracaena Plants online from Etsy.

Dracaena draco, Dragon Blood Tree

Dracaena draco Care Indoors

Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) thrives in bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight, average warmth and consistently moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season. It has no need for high humidity but does well in average room humidity

Dracaena draco only needs repotting when it has become extremely pot-bound as it grows best when slightly root-bound. Pruning is necessary to keep the plant neat and as well as discourage pest and disease infestations. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to provide them.

Light Requirements

Dragon Blood Tree grows best in bright, indirect light is ideal for the development of the red-edged leaves.

In low light the Dragon Tree will lose its variegation. Keep it away from direct sunlight to avoid sun scorch on the leaves.

Rotate the pot regularly to make sure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.

Watering

Water Dragon Blood Tree thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moist through out.

Cut down on watering during the cold season and maintain soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Avoid overwatering and wetting the tree trunk as it can lead to stem rot at the soil level.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can result in root-rot disease.

Dragon Tree is a tropical plant, therefore, use water that is at room temperature to water the plant to avoid plant shock.

Use water that is free of chlorine, flourides and other chemicals to prevent brown leaf tips.

Temperature

The best temperature for Dragon Blood Tree is average warmth with a minumum of 130C. Keep it away from cold draughts as they can cause leaf drop and eventual death of the plant.

Humidity

Average room humidity is ideal for Dragon Blood Tree. If the air is too dry especially where temperature is too high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust as well as reduce pest and disease infestations.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Dragon Blood Tree every 3-4 weeks during the growing period with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer to promote a lush growth.

Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn.

Regularly flush out accumulated salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainage hole. Allow it to run for a few minutes and repeat several times.

Repotting

Repot Dragon Blood Tree at the beginning of the growing season when roots begin to grow through the drainage holes as it prefers to be slightly pot-bound.

Use a pot at least 6 in. wider than the tree-trunk and ensure that it has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil.

Do not allow the roots to sit in soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.

Soil

The best soil for Dragon Blood Tree should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients like this Tropical Organic Potting Mix available on Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Dragon Blood Tree involves removal of dead and yellow leaves to maintain the plant neat and minimize pests and diseases. The Dragon Tree is a slow grower and does not require regular pruning.

Propagation

Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) can be propagated at beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings.

How to propagate Dragon Blood Tree from stem-tip cuttings

Take 2-3 in. long stem-tip cuttings from a healthy Dragon Blood Tree. Ensure each cutting has some leaf nodes as this is where new growth will come from.

Dip the lower cut-end of the cuttings in a rooting hormone to hasten rooting.

Fill the rooting container with free-draining rooting soil. Lightly moisten the rooting mix.

With a pencil or similar object, make a hole in the moist rooting mix. The hole should be slightly wider than the diameter of the cutting.

Insert the cutting in the previously made hole in the moist rooting mix and slightly firm the soil around the cutting base.

Cover the container with clear polythene sheet. Place the set up in bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight.

Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Dragon Trees are well established after which you can begin routine care.

Dracaena draco, Dragon Blood Tree

Dracaena draco Common Problems

Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) common growing problems include brown leaf tips, yellowing, leaf spots, plant death, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Plant dying

Dragon Blood Tree is prone to root-rot disease which is enhanced by soggy soil due to poor drainage.

Confirm that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid soggy soil.

Decrease watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist. Read more on how to treat root-rot in houseplants.

Another possible cause of the death of Dragon Blood Tree is keeping it too cold.

Maintain an average room temperature and keep the plant from cold draughts.

Dragon Blood Tree could also be dying from accumulation of salts in the soil.

Flush out accumulated salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainage hole. Allow it to run for a few minutes and repeat several times.

Brown leaf tips and yellow edges

There are four possible reasons for brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Dragon Blood Tree. One possible reason is low humidity.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to increase humidity.

The second possible reason for brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Dragon Tree is underwatering.

Maintain the soil consistently moist during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

The third possible reason for brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Dragon Blood Tree is chemical accumulation in the soil.

Use chemical free water only and regularly flush out salts from the soil by running a stream of water throught the soil. Allow it to run for a few minutes. Repeat the process several times.

The fourth possible reason for brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Canary Islands Dragon Tree is cold draughts.

Protect the Dragon Blood Tree from cold draughts or place it away from cold draughts like windy doors and windows.

Yellowing lower leaves

Yellowing of the lower leaves is a natural process in Dragon Blood Tree. As the plant matures it sheds the lower leaves. Each lower leaf turns yellow and dries leaving a crown of leaves on top of the cane-like stem.

Soft, curled leaves with brown edges

If the temperature is too low Dragon Blood Tree leaves become soft and curled and the edges turn brown. Maintain an average room temperature for the Drago and protect it from cold draughts.

Brown leaf spots

Dragon Blood Tree will form brown leaf spots if it is underwatered. Maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season and slightly moist in the cold season but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Bleached dry leaf patches

Direct sunlight will cause bleached dry patches on the leaves of Dragon Blood Tree. Move it to a shadier spot or protect it from direct sunlight.

Pests

Common pests in Dragon Blood Tree are Spider Mites, Mealy Bugs and Scale Insects. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other plants and treat it appropriately for these pests.

Toxicity

Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) is toxic to both humans and pets.

The leaves contain alkyds which if ingested they may cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, loss of appetite and depression.

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