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With their shiny, green, striped, spotted or red-edged leaves, dragon trees are among the most popular houseplants. The 10 specimens in this overview are among the most beautiful dragon tree species and are something for every taste and room size.

In a nutshell

  • In nature, dragon trees grow as upright, single-stemmed shrubs
  • also low-growing varieties with sprawling shapes and heavily branched trunks
  • palm-like growth, uncomplicated care
  • Blossoms are rare in dragon trees, especially when kept indoors
  • Species can be determined by growth form, but above all by the shape and color of the leaves

Dragon tree species from A to D

Dracaena aletriformis (Large-leaved Dragon Tree)

Source: JMK, Dracaena aletriformis, bloeiwyse, a, Springbokpark, Adapted from Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • heavily woody, sometimes branched trunk
  • about 200 cm high
  • sword-shaped, glossy green, leathery tough leaves
  • white, almost transparent leaf margins
  • Variety 'Latifolia': Leaves taper towards the trunk
  • 'Variegata': Leaves form numerous thin, white stripes

Dracaena braunii/sanderiana (lucky bamboo)

  • like all dragon tree species in this overview not related to bamboo
  • grows as a slender, upright shrub
  • several side shoots in the lower part of the plant
  • rarely higher than 100 cm
  • Leaves stiff, about 25 cm long and 3 cm wide
  • dark green with white stripes and edges

Dracaena compacta (pineapple dragon tree)

  • breeding from Dracaena deremensis
  • glossy, dense, sword-shaped foliage
  • arranged in pretty leaf rosettes
  • Rosettes are reminiscent of a pineapple plant
  • strong leaves with a particularly striking dark green hue
  • Leaves are mostly erect
  • Stem resembles walking stick
  • Growth height varies between 80 and 90 cm

Dracaena deremensis

  • relatively broad leaves, beautiful leaf rosette
  • different proportions of white depending on the variety
  • dark green, slightly dull to shiny leaves, about 45 cm long
  • upright in the first part of the leaf, slightly sloping towards the tip
  • Growth height from 80 to 120 cm
  • high humidity important
  • Variety 'Bausei' has a conspicuous white central stripe
  • 'Warneckii': green central stripe bordered by two light stripes

Dracaena draco (Canary Dragon Tree)

  • long, sword-shaped leaves
  • narrow, slightly leathery, curved
  • blue-grey with a narrow, reddish leaf margin
  • reaches heights of up to 160 cm
  • a low rosette when young
  • Leaves aged at the tip of a thick, heavily woody trunk
  • slightly overhanging over time

Notice: In the wild, this dragon tree species can reach a height of up to 20 meters.

Dragon tree species from F to S

Dracaena fragrans (Scented Dragon Tree)

Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana'
  • Leaves glossy, often variegated green, slightly bulbous
  • in room culture growth heights of approx. 200 cm
  • lower leaves are shed
  • Forms a squat, bare trunk with a variegated tuft of leaves
  • under optimal conditions strongly fragrant flowers
  • Variety 'Lindenii': creamy-white stripes on the leaf edges
  • 'Massangeana': broad yellow central stripe, partially bordered by narrower yellowish lines
  • 'Victoria': wide, yellow colored stripes on the leaf

Dracaena goldieana

Source: Photo by David J. Stang, Dracaena goldieana 0zz, Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • subspecies of Dracaena marginata
  • belongs to the low-growing dragon trees
  • slender unbranched trunk
  • usually only 30 cm high
  • Leaves very narrow, oblong, oval shaped
  • light green with silvery gray transverse bands
  • Midrib yellowish in colour
  • With the best care, very small, strongly scented, white flowers

Tip: This dragon tree can also cope with less light, but should not be too dark. It also requires constant temperatures and high humidity.

Dracaena marginata (margined dragon tree)

  • one of the particularly easy to cultivate dragon tree species
  • resilient to changing conditions
  • reaches heights of about 200 cm
  • easy to identify by their particularly narrow leaves
  • dark green, shiny, about 40 cm long
  • Leaf edges turn white with a reddish colour
  • stem that becomes bare over time with a bushy tuft of leaves
  • 'Tricolor' variety: green, cream and pink striped leaves

Tip: As the dragon tree grows, the lower leaves turn yellow and fall off. The characteristic triangular scars of the leaf bases remain on the trunk.

Dracaena reflexa

Dracaena reflexa 'Song of India'
  • superspecies of Dracaena marginata
  • probably the most popular type
  • forms an upright, sometimes heavily branched stem
  • Leaves dark green, about 16 cm long
  • white variegated cultivar 'Song of India', particularly popular
  • tends to be top-heavy
  • young leaves medium green with a lime green margin
  • light green with yellow edge when old
  • Growth height 100 to 150 cm and more

Dracaena surculosa (White-spotted Dragon Tree)

  • is one of the highly branched dragon tree species
  • not immediately recognizable as a dragon tree
  • thin plant stems are more reminiscent of small bamboo
  • Lush, bushy growth with richly branched shoots
  • in room culture between 100 and 200 cm high
  • Leaves sit on thin shoots
  • dark green, 10 cm long, 5 cm wide
  • more or less conspicuously spotted
  • easily determined by the exceptional defilement
  • Variety 'Florida Beauty': spots larger and denser
  • 'Kelleri' variety: thicker

Tip: The room temperature for this dragon tree should be permanently above 15 degrees.

frequently asked Questions

Is the dragon tree (Dracaena) poisonous?

All dragon tree species from the overview are poisonous and in all parts of the plant. Especially for pets such as dogs, cats and rabbits. Symptoms of poisoning only appear when large amounts of plant material are consumed.

How susceptible is this plant to pests?

It is no less or more susceptible than other houseplants. An infestation with scale insects, thrips or spider mites is possible, especially during the warm season and when the heating air is dry.

Why does the plant get dry leaf tips?

This can have different causes. The humidity can be too low or the soil too dry. In addition, a sudden change of location is an option, as is repeated touching, for example because the plant is in a passageway and you keep brushing against it when passing by.

Are these plants also suitable for hydroponics?

The dragon tree species listed in the overview are usually all suitable for hydroponics. Regular repotting is no longer necessary, it does not have to be watered as often and allergy sufferers can breathe a sigh of relief.

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