Dracaena marginata 

(dra-cee' nah mar-gi-nah' tah)

Common name: Red-margined Dracaena, Madagascar Dragon Tree

Family: Agavaceae (Dracaenaceae), Agave

Height x width: 6-15' x 2-3'

Foliage: narrowly linear, lance-shaped, recurved, 12-24" long, dark green with red margins; mainly at the top on mature plants

Flowers: terminal panicles of white flowers, seldom seen in cultivation

Light: bright

Temperature: warm

Watering: moderate, evenly moist

Fertility: high

Humidity: humid

Soil: average

Pests and Problems: scales, spider mites, mealybugs; leaves drop from too wet or too dry; susceptible to excess fluorides and deficiencies of boron or calcium

Growth habit, uses: tall indoor foliage, reportedly helps purify indoor air

Other interest: some botanists consider plants sold in this species as actually concinna or cincta; native to Mauritius and Réunion Islands in southern Indian Ocean; from the Greek drakaina meaning female dragon, refering to the red sap exuded from cut stems; from a large genus with many popular indoor species

Other culture: will need air layering to keep shorter habit

Propagation: tip or stem cuttings, or seed for species


Only one is often found.

'Tricolor'--green, gold and red striped foliage; requires higher light than species

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | PSS121 course