How to grow and care for Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) Indoors

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Dracaena draco Care, Dragon Blood Tree Care

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

Dragon Blood Tree Description

Dragon Blood Tree also called Canary Islands Dragon Tree, Dragon Tree or Drago is a hardy houseplant 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 of Dracaena draco are red-edged. Naturally, the old foliage arches downwards.

Dragon Blood Tree Size

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

Dracaena draco is a slow grower, taking about 10 years to reach a height of 4 ft.

Dragon Blood Tree Origin

Dragon Blood Tree is native to Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira and western Morocco.

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Dracaena draco Care, Dragon Blood Tree Care

Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) Care Indoors

Dragon Blood Tree Light Requirements

Dragon Blood Tree grows best in bright, filtered light; close to an east- or west-facing window is ideal for the development of the red-edged leaves.

In low light Dragon Blood Tree will lose its variegation. Keep it away from direct sunlight to avoid sun scorch on the leaves. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Dragon Blood Tree

Water your Dragon Blood Tree thoroughly and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering for your Dragon Blood Tree during the cold season and maintain soil slightly moist.

Avoid overwatering and wetting the tree trunk of your Dragon Blood Tree as it can lead to stem rot at the soil level.

Ensure that the pot for your Dragon Blood Tree has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it cal lead to root-rot disease.

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

Ensure that the water is free of chlorine, flourides and other chemicals to prevent brown leaf tips in your Dragon Blood Tree. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Dragon Blood Tree

The best temperature for Dragon Blood Tree is average warmth with a minumum of 130C.

Protect your Dragon Blood Tree from cold draughts. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Dragon Blood Tree

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

Occasionally clean the leaves of your Dragon Blood Tree by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Dragon Blood Tree

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

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

Regularly flush out accumulated salts in the soil for your Dragon Blood Tree 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. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to repot Dragon Blood Tree

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 root-bound.

Use a pot at least 6 in. wider than the tree-trunk for your Dragon Blood Tree. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil.

The best soil for your Dragon Blood Tree should be free-draining and rich in organic matter. Never allow the roots to sit in soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease.

How to Prune Dragon Blood Tree

Pruning Dragon Blood Tree involves removal of dead and yellow leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

The Dragon Blood Tree is a slow grower and does not require regular pruning. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) Propagation

Dragon Blood Tree 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 your 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 your Dragon Blood Tree cuttings in a rooting hormone.

Fill your 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 your Dragon Blood Tree cutting in the previously made hole in the moist rooting mix.

Cover the container with clear polythene sheet. Place the set up in a warm shaded place.

Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Dragon Blood Tree plants are well established.

Dracaena draco Care, Dragon Blood Tree Care

Photo Credit: Daun.com.my

Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) Problems Indoors

Dragon Blood Tree brown leaf tips and yellow edges

There are four possible reasons for leaves with brown tips and yellow edges in Dragon Blood Tree.

One possible reason for leaves with brown tips and yellow edges in your Dragon Blood Tree is dry air.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Dragon Blood Tree. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second possible reason for leaves with brown tips and yellow edges in your Dragon Blood Tree is underwatering.

Maintain the soil moist at all times for your Dragon Blood Tree and do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

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

Use chemical free water and regularly flush out salts from the soil for your Dragon Blood Tree.

The fourth possible reason for leaves with brown tips and yellow edges in your Dragon Blood Tree is cold draughts.

Protect your Dragon Blood Tree from cold draughts or place the plant away from cold draughts.

Dragon Blood Tree 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 of your Dragon Blood Tree turns yellow and dries leaving a crown of leaves on top of the cane-like stem.

Dragon Blood Tree leaves soft, curled with brown edges

If the temperature is too low your Dragon Blood Tree leaves become soft and curled and the edges turn brown.

Maintain an average room temperature and protect your Dragon Blood Tree plant from cold draughts.

Dragon Blood Tree brown leaf spots

Dragon Blood Tree will form brown leaf spots if it is underwatered.

Maintain the soil moist at all times for your Dragon Blood Tree and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Dragon Blood Tree bleached dry leaf patches

Direct sunlight will cause bleached dry patches on the leaves of your Dragon Blood Tree.

Move your Dragon Blood Tree to a shadier spot or protect it from direct sunlight.

Dragon Blood Tree dying

Dragon Blood Tree is prone to root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil.

Ensure the pot for your Dragon Blood Tree has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid soggy soil.

Reduce watering for your Dragon Blood Tree during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist.

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

Maintain an average room temperature for your Dragon Blood Tree and protect it from cold draughts.

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

Regularly flush out accumulated salts in the soil for your Dragon Blood Tree 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.

Dragon Blood Tree Pests

The common pests in Dragon Blood Tree are Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects and Spider Mites.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other plants and treat it appropriately for these pests.

Is Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) toxic?

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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