Monday, March 10, 2014

How to Grow a Dracaena Marginata

This almost-whimsical looking Dracaena marginata belongs to my plant-loving neighbors.  They sometimes refer to it as their Dr. Seuss plant!  He would have appreciated that. 

Although it is right in front of a window now, it was grown for a long time in a lower light spot. These Madagascar natives are quite content to live in bright indirect light. The new foliage will grow with thinner and drooping leaves giving them a soft and gentle appearance. If they are grown in front of a window or in a very bright room their new leaves will grow more stiffly and upright.  They live quite well, either way.

I've never heard anyone use a common name for the Dracaena Marginata. It is a mouthful, but quite well-known among plant enthusiasts and no one seems to mind learning its name. It's pronounced dru-seen-uh. The entire Dracaena family that is available for indoor use consists of  wonderful, low maintenance plants to have in the home.

The dracaena is a highly recommended plant for a beginner. A large specimen usually  needs water every few weeks or so, making it a great choice for those who can not devote much time to plants.

Their canes can be pruned back if necessary and the cuttings will root in water or even potting soil. If you put them in a pot, push the cane as far down as you can without burying any leaves. Roots will grow out of the entire cane that is underground. 

Fresh from the greenhouse to the store
Care Instructions--
  • Bright indirect light or some morning sun is best.  They will thrive in front of a north-facing or east window.
  • A plant in a 6" (15cm) plant should be watered when the soil is dry about 1/2"below the soil surface.  A plant is a 10"(25cm)  pot can dry out about an 1" or so.   It is better to err on the dry side, if you aren't sure.
  • Water a 6" (15cm) plant with about a pint (almost 1/2 liter)of water and a dracaena in a 10" (25cm) pot should take up to 2 quarts (almost 2 liters) when necessary.
  • Fertilize regularly for best growth. 
****To see video clips on plant care be sure to check out the The Indoor Garden TV channel on YouTube

The Indoor Garden TV Show

Dracaena marginata grown in strong indirect light


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