Dragon Tree

By Plant Liker •  Updated: 06/25/14 •  3 min read

Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata) aka Madagascar Dragon Tree

marginata dragon tree effective indoor air purifier.

Main Points:

The Dragon Tree is a popular indoor air purifier plant, sighted in many office lobbies, entrance-ways and atriums.  The Dragon tree is among the best for removing xylene and trichloroethylene from indoor air. 

Get your own air-cleaning Dragon Tree from Amazon.com.

If you have a few of these tree stalks, pot them together and train them to grow twisted in a braid. Or, let them do their own thing and grow wild and free in their corner of your living room.

Hailing from the jungle,  D. marginata likes a humid home, but tolerates low-light conditions and dry winter air well, as long as you mist its spiny green leaves often. This houseplant sheds its bottom foliage frequently as it grows, so do not fret.

The Dragon Tree is an attractive addition to your arsenal of air-purifying houseplants as it purifies your children’s play space.



Rarely attacked by spider mites except in overly dry environments. 

To make your little dragon plant more interesting, cut off the top and watch as several branches grow in its place (not spontaneously). 

To tighten loose braids as the plant grows taller, simply braid them back up tighter and secure with a type of floral tape or covered wire.

Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and feed regularly through the spring and summer with liquid fertilizer or slow-release pellets in the soil. Older leaves will turn yellow — this is normal. Remove them promptly. Water less often in the winter, and do not feed.

Grow in standard potting soil or hydroculture.

From an Owner: 

I have a dragon that we received in a table garden as a wedding gift. It was 6 inches tall. It grew to nearly 6 ft. in height. Three years ago when we moved, two of the three branches (it had a tri-split trunk from early pruning) broke during the move and left it rather unsightly, but I pulled it out of the pot, CUT the roots to promote growth and the new sprouts grew 3 1/2 feet in those three years. (You do not need to keep repotting bigger, mine is over 6 feet tall now and is only in a 10-inch pot and has been for years as I periodically remove it and trim the roots back about half; you can do this with ficus trees as well). If you water too much the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. I let mine go BONE dry (takes about 12-15 days), then add about a gallon of water two days in a row, and then let it go again. (Two days because I don’t want to overflow the drain tray onto the carpeting and it needs time to suck up the standing water.) It has gone as long as a month without water.

One thing to remember is reflected light counts, too. If your wall colour is a light colour, you can move your dragon a lot farther from the window. Mine is in a dark-coloured room about 12-feet from a large window, and is beautiful. 

Plant Liker