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If you’re a homeowner planning to buy a new indoor plant, you should consider adding Dracaena Marginata to your collection. Dracaena Marginata is an interior plant belonging to the genus Dracaena.
Owing to its aesthetic value and easy-to-care-for nature, it is the most popular variety of Dracaena which you can frequently see in many houses and neighborhoods.
Dracaena Marginata comes in four beautiful varieties and types, which are:
- Dracaena Marginata
- Dracaena Marginata Tricolor
- Dracaena Marginata Colorama
- Dracaena Marginata Tarzan
Let’s look at these varieties to determine which one is best for you. I’ll also tell you more about the Dracaena Marginata and what makes it such a desirable, unique plant. So, let’s get into it!
1. Dracaena Marginata
This variety is the original dragon tree and therefore accounts for most of the plants sought for and sold in the market.
Like the general description for dragon tree, Dracaena Marginata’s leaves are pointed and slender, dark green on the center and red on the margins in terms of color.
2. Dracaena Marginata Tricolor
From the word of this cultivar itself, you can immediately say that this type of dragon tree has three colors instead of the usual two.
Dracaena Marginata tricolor’s leaves are slightly similar to the original variety in size and texture. Running down the center of the leaves are stunning ivory-white lines, making each leaf “pop.”
As an evergreen shrub with single and relatively thin stems, Dracaena Marginata tricolor makes for a beautiful shrub.
3. Dracaena Marginata Colorama
Considered the “most common” variety, Dracaena Marginata Colorama has similar growth patterns as the two cultivars mentioned above. The difference, once again, is seen through their leaves.
This variety’s leaves also have three colors, but its red margins are significantly thicker and more visually emphasized than the green center. This feature gives the dragon tree a more pinkish appearance.
4. Dracaena Marginata Tarzan
Among the four varieties of the dragon tree, Dracaena Marginata Tarzan is the most distinctive one.
Although its leaves are similar in color to the original Dracaena Marginata, they still differ in size and density, with Dracaena Marginata Tarzan’s leaves being thicker and denser. Its trunk is also broader and less flexible than the rest of the cultivars.
At the beginning of its growth process, new leaves will initially point upward. However, as the plant matures, the leaves will start to point sideways until new foliage replaces them. When fresh leaves form, the old ones will shift downward.
At a glance, this pattern makes the Dracaena Marginata Tarzan look round with spiky edges.
Because Dracaena Marginata Tarzan is different from other varieties, it tends to be more expensive and difficult to find in the market. So, if you prefer this type of dragon tree, you will need to shell out more money and spend more time hunting for it in your local plant stores.
Now, you may be wondering about this house plant’s beautiful features and benefits. The following parts of this article will provide insights on Dracaena Marginata’s uses and a guide on how to take care of it as an indoor house plant.
Dracaena Marginata comes from Madagascar. Its common name is Madagascar dragon tree, as it is indigenous to Africa. Still, it can also be found in regions with a temperate climate like Southeast Asia and Australia, mainly because of its drought-resistant characteristics.
This particular attribute of Dracaena Marginata makes it an excellent houseplant for people who want a beautiful plant in their homes but have no time to look after one.
I have had my dragon tree since 2020, and it is still growing, although it’s one of the plants I take care of the least.
On the other hand, the genus Dracaena is a Greek word that translates to ‘dragon.’ This name originates from an old legend spread through the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
People once believed that the dragon tree came from the blood spilled in a fight between a dragon and an elephant back in ancient times.
During this battle, the elephant crushed the dragon, leading to the outpour of its blood into the earth.
The land then absorbed its blood, and as a result, trees with red edges on the leaves started to appear.
The native inhabitants of the land were convinced that the red parts on the leaves came from the blood of the fallen dragon and began to call it the “Dragon Tree.”
Compared with other Dracaena varieties, Dracaena Marginata has narrow, sword-like leaves that may exceed 18 inches (45.7 cm) in length in large plants. They are dark green in the center, characterized by their distinctive red margins.
Its woody, upright trunk branches out into separate stems as time passes.
In their natural habitat, Dracaena Marginata can grow up to 20 feet (6.1 m), but their maximum height is 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 m) in an indoor setting. Dracaena Marginata trees are slow growers, though, so expect that it may take up to 10 years to reach its maximum height.
Many homeowners buy dragon trees for their aesthetic features, but they also make a lovely addition to your home because of their benefits for humans and the environment alike.
Here are some of the proven benefits of Dracaena Marginata:
NASA has officially considered Dracaena Marginata as an air-filtering plant in their 1989 Clean Air Study. According to the agency, dragon trees help eliminate air pollution by reducing benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and carbon dioxide.
These toxic gasses enter our house through the ordinary things we can find at home, such as carpets and fresh paint, and prolonged exposure to these pollutants may harm our health.
Having Dracaena Marginata at home will help absorb these pollutants and keep the air healthy and clean.
Additionally, dragon trees are also known to absorb lead (Pb), a poisonous metal whose particles can travel through specks of dust. Lead poisoning can cause serious health problems and even death, so keeping a dragon tree can keep you healthy.
If you’re having issues with focus and memory retention, try surrounding yourself with houseplants in your work area. Then, observe the improvement in your cognitive function and work performance.
A 2010 study from Washington State University found that plants improve productivity among individuals. Researchers from the US National Institute of Health also suggest that active interaction with indoor plants reduces psychological stress in adults.
If you want to read on the effects of Dracaena Marginata on mental wellbeing, check out this study which concludes that the presence of Dracaena Marginata and other interior plants enhances the focus of university students.
Dracaena Marginata, just like other indoor plants, releases vapor moisture during photosynthesis. According to the United States Geological Survey, plants produce 97% of the water they take in through evapotranspiration. This release of moisture increases the humidity levels in a room.
Adverse effects of low humidity levels in humans include flu, irritated eyes, itchy skin, and severe respiratory problems.
If you think you’re having issues with dry air, place a few Dracaena Marginata in some areas of your house to help increase humidity and avoid health problems in your family.
Dracaena Marginata, being a low-maintenance plant, does not mean that you won’t have to care for it. Of course, it is still essential for you to know the basic requirements in looking after this plant.
Here are some simple steps to take care of your Dracaena Marginata and a few maintenance tips to remember. Keep in mind that this care guide covers all the Dracaena Marginata varieties because they all have similar needs and growth patterns.
Bright but indirect light is the ideal condition for your dragon tree. You can put it in a shaded area inside your house, and it will indeed thrive!
Remember not to place it on a window because direct sunlight will scorch and dry up the leaves in no time.
Dracaena Marginata is a drought-tolerant plant, so if you forget to water it once in a while, you won’t need to worry because it will still survive.
The simple rule is that the soil should be moist at all times. It is advisable to allow the top two inches to dry before watering it again. Not draining the water in the soil may cause waterlog and root rot.
If you keep your home at an average indoor temperature, you only need to water your dragon tree once a week. If it’s hot in your home, you may need to water more due to evaporation.
Watering should be less frequent during the winter season because your plant may die from overwatering. As Dracaena Marginata is a tropical plant, it does not like being exposed to cold temperatures. Watering frequently during this season may worsen their condition.
According to Tom Knight, an expert in houseplants, the temperature range for ideal growth in Dracaena Marginata is 65°- 75°F (18- 24°C).
Of course, this can go beyond 24 °C because they naturally thrive in hot climates. However, it’s important to note that they don’t like cold temperatures, so they should never be situated in rooms with a temperature lower than 50°F (10°C).
Dracaena Marginata has a low fertilizer requirement, so you only need to fertilize it during the spring and summer to maintain optimal health. Fertilizing also helps speed up your plant’s growth and regularly encourages new leaves to sprout.
Dracaena Marginata cultivars need nitrogen-rich fertilizers like compost, leaf debris, and bat guano. Fish, bone, and feather meals also made ideal fertilizers.
It is best to regularly mist the leaves or wipe them with a damp cloth from time to time as dragon trees need humidity to thrive. Doing this also allows you to remove dust from the leaves or check for bugs or mites that may damage the plant.
Dracaena Marginata is toxic for common house pets, including cats and dogs. So, if you have any pets, it is best to avoid getting a dragon tree or keep your animals away from yours.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), your pets might suffer from vomiting, anorexia, depression, and hypersalivation, in case of D. Marginata ingestion.
Whether you plan on buying this plant or already have it at home, it’s vital to place it in an area out of your pet’s reach.
You can buy Dracaena Marginata at most plant shops or online. Dragon trees are a highly common houseplant, so you can easily find various varieties at nurseries and garden centers. However, if you want it delivered right to your doorstep without hassle, you can always try searching on Amazon.
If you’re looking for Dracaena Marginata Tarzan, I recommend this Easy Plants Store Dragon Tree. The plant is already 70 cm tall and placed in a 4“ pot.
You should repot your Dracaena Marginata every 1 to 2 years and repot right away if the roots climb out of the pot. Although the roots of Dracaena Marginata grow fast, it is advisable to transplant them only once every two years during the spring.
Your Dracaena Marginata may be dropping leaves due to natural growth. However, if it drops many leaves and shows other signs of bad health, such as discoloration and stunted growth, you may have overwatered your Dracaena.
Dropping leaves is also very typical in dragon trees as its growth pattern includes the gradual yellowing and falling of leaves to make room for new ones, so you have nothing to worry about when this happens.
However, it becomes an issue if it occurs quickly and very frequently. This issue is usually caused by overwatering. If this is constantly taking place, you need to wait until the soil dries out completely before watering your plant again.