How To Care For A Dracaeana Marginata
I was an interior plantscaper many years ago – yes, I maintained plants in offices, lobbies, hotels and the likes. I saw and took care of my share of Dracaena marginatas.
This plant, also known as Madagascar Dragon Tree, was favored by people who wanted an Asian, modern or architectural feel.
As a floor plant, this one grows with a lot of cane (or trunk) and you can find it in many interesting forms.
This is a candelabra marginata.
I wrote another book, Keep Your Houseplants Alive, and this one is on houseplant care.
It’s a guide written in very simple terms with lots of tips and pictures. I guess this post a little warm up to that.
Like all Dracaenas, this is a very easy care plant.
The majority of interior plants are replaced because of two reasons. The first one is they are put in the wrong place and the is that they are overwatered. Head’s up – this is what you need to pay attention to:
Dracaena Marginata Care
They like nice bright light but no direct, hot sun. On the other hand, keep it out of low light areas – no dark corners please.
Water when the top 2-3” of the soil is dry. I water mine every 2 weeks maybe a little more often if it’s really warm.
Houseplants appreciate a little food once or twice a year. People over-fertilize their plants which is worse than not doing it all. I would recommend Organics Rx Indoor Plant Food or Superthrive (this is not certified organic but it’s natural). Be sure to sure them at the recommended strength because if you up the ante, you’ll burn the poor babies.
Update: Read about my worm compost/compost feeding right here.
You can cut off the brown tips if you’d like. These plants are native to the humid tropics and tipping occurs because our homes are dry. Be sure your scissors are sharp otherwise the leaves will tear. The bottom leaves will yellow and die. That’s normal – it’s how the plant grows. Spray the leaves with water or take it to the sink, tub or outside to hose it down. It likes humidity and will love you for doing this.
By the way, kitties love to chomp on these tender, crispy leaves. This is my Oscar who is 14 years old and naps all day but gets the energy to gnaw away on this plant any chance he gets. The plant has been moved to safer grounds high atop a bookshelf where he stares at it daily with longing. Sorry Oscar.
This architectural, sculptural plant is a great addition to any home environment. Oh … be sure to keep an eye out for my houseplant book. It’s going to be a no nonsense guide to keeping 23 of the most reliable interior plants alive and kickin’. Confessions of an interiorscaper!
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