Dracaena Angustifolia Care

The Dracaena angustifolia (Dragon Tree) grows happily in its native Indochina, Malaysia, and northern Australia, and it’s also a popular houseplant worldwide. The plant grows typically under a canopy in the forest, so it’s not really meant for placement in direct sunlight.

Interestingly, the plant leaves are regularly used to make green food coloring. Some cultures believe Dracaena angustifolia has medicinal properties.

Dracaena Angustifolia Care
Photo by LiChieh Pan, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via Flickr

However, many people like the plant’s appearance and use it as a striking houseplant.

Dracaena Angustifolia Quick Care Guide

Scientific NameDracaena angustifolia
Common Name(s)Rainbow tree, Madagascar dragon tree
FamilyAsparagaceae
Size2 to 10 feet tall
LightLow or medium light
SoilIndoor houseplant soil that drains well
WaterRegular misting and light watering when the soil is dry
TemperaturePrefers 65 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit and nothing below 55 degrees
Humidity40 to 60% humidity
FertilizerOnce or twice in the spring
PropagationCuttings rooted in water
Pests and DiseasesScale, thrips, mealybugs, and aphids
ToxicityToxic to cats and dogs

When growing Dracaena angustifolia as a houseplant, place the pot somewhere near a bright light but try to avoid having the plant receive direct sunlight for a significant amount of time.

Dracaena angustifolia is very sensitive to water, and it’s important to avoid excessive watering at all costs.

The soil for the Dracaena angustifolia is best mixed with some compost, and it should drain reasonably fast, too, to help the plant avoid remaining waterlogged after watering.

The plant enjoys regular misting, and its water needs are not significant. The Dracaena angustifolia only needs fertilizer about once or twice a year.

All About the Dracaena Angustifolia

The Dracaena angustifolia grows long, spiky leaves that almost resemble a palm tree. The plant isn’t difficult to grow, but it can get angry when you put it in bright sunlight or give it too much water.

The most crucial part of bringing a Dracaena angustifolia into your home is putting it in the right place and avoiding excessive watering. Since the plant only needs a little water, it’s great for people who forget to water their plants every so often.

Since the Dracaena angustifolia can also grow several feet tall, it’s a fantastic accent piece for any room. If you place your Dracaena angustifolia in a nice big pot when you first bring it home, you won’t need to repot it for several years.

Dracaena Angustifolia Care

Light

The Dracaena angustifolia is an excellent houseplant when you don’t have an overabundance of light to offer it but can still find a window with some bright indirect light.

The plant can grow in very low-light conditions, but it won’t thrive and may not look like it’s doing so well.

Overall, Dracaena angustifolia does best in medium light, which is the average amount of light in most homes. Not too bright and not too dim will keep the Dracaena happy.

Avoid putting the plant anywhere that might get direct light for a long time.

Water

Dracaena angustifolia doesn’t need a lot of water, and it may start to die when left in waterlogged soil. Keeping it nicely hydrated means misting the leaves every so often, as well as lightly watering the soil whenever it dries out.

A concern for owners of Dracaena angustifolia is root rot, and it’s important to let the top of the soil dry out completely before giving the plant another drink.

Some owners spray the top of the soil to wet it, which keeps the plant from becoming too wet and developing rot.

Soil

The Dracaena angustifolia enjoys well-draining soil that’s also rich in organic matter.

When you get the soil composition right for your Dracaena, keeping it alive in your home is very easy. If you purchase soil at the store, make sure it’s labeled as draining well.

Any indoor plant potting mix is a good choice, and Dracaena angustifolia isn’t very particular about the soil in which it lives. As long as the soil doesn’t hold onto water for an excessive amount of time, the plant should remain happy in your home.

Fertilizer

The Dracaena angustifolia does not get hungry often, and you can usually forgo the fertilizer for at least the first year. In the second year and beyond, you can generally fertilize the plant once or twice without worrying about feeding it again.

Dracaena angustifolia only needs a little fertilizer because it grows rather slowly. Slow-growing plants don’t need regular feeding.

If you fertilize once or twice during the summer, use an all-purpose plant food and cut the strength by 50%

Propagation

You can grow a new Dracaena angustifolia by placing a small cutting into a water-filled container. A glass from the kitchen should work fine.

The cutting should take about two weeks to grow some roots. Waiting until the roots are about an inch long gives the cutting the best chance at thriving once you put it in a pot with soil.

The best cuttings will come from a mature Dracaena angustifolia. Try to avoid making a cutting from a plant that’s very young.

You may harm the young plant in your effort to create a new plant from a cutting. You should also use a rooting powder to boost the likelihood of success with your cutting.

Troubleshooting

Too Much Water

One of the most common reasons a Dracaena angustifolia will start to die is because it receives too much water.

Root rot is pretty common with these plants; they’ll lose their leaves and turn brown when you overwater them.

If you don’t think you’re overwatering the plant, ensure the pot has adequate drainage. Unfortunately, root rot can become so bad that the plant won’t survive, even if you put it in a new pot or switch out the soil for a better-draining variety.

Too Much Sun

Dracaena angustifolia likes bright light, but direct sunlight can burn the plant.

You might notice that the leaves have started to exhibit yellow streaks or that dry patches have started to appear on the plant.

Move the plant out of direct sunlight, or risk the entire plant dying.

Too Much Fluoride or Too Much Fertilizer

Suppose you water your Dracaena angustifolia using run-of-the-mill city water. In that case, you might have an issue with yellowing leaves, which may result from too much fluoride.

Many municipalities fluoridate their water, which is great for teeth but not always great for plants.

Another cause of yellowing leaves is too much fertilizer. You don’t absolutely need to fertilize your Dracaena angustifolia.

However, if you do want to feed your plant, make sure that the fertilizer isn’t an extra strength variety and that you only fertilize it a maximum of twice in the growing season.

Pests and Diseases

Dracaena angustifolia can develop fusarium leaf spot, which is a fungal issue.

The plant will start to get tan-colored spots on its leaves, most commonly on its smallest or newest leaves. You’ll need to employ a fungicide to fix the problem.

Related: Is Dracaena a Good Indoor Plant?

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