About Dragon Trees
The Dracaena draco tree is characterised by a single or multiple trunk growing up to 12 metres (39 ft) tall (rarely more), with a dense umbrella-shaped canopy of thick leaves. It grows slowly, requiring about ten years to reach 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) tall. Young trees remain with only a single stem; branching occurs when the tree flowers, when two side shoots at the base of the flower panicle continue the growth as a fork in the stem.
Being monocotyledonous, Dracaena draco does not display annual rings and age can only be estimated by the number of branch forking occurrences (indicating the number of flowering episodes) and measuring the frequency of flowering (less than annual). Some specimens are believed to be up to 600 years old; the oldest is growing at Icod de los Vinos in northwest Tenerife.
Dracaena draco is winter hardy outdoors. It will survive temperatures as low as 22 degrees F.
It can take high heat but performs best when protected from very strong afternoon sun. In very bright desert locations, part sun would be the preferred exposure.
Mature trees are insect and fire resistant but should be protected from high winds.
Caring for your Dragon Tree
- Dig holes or beds wide, not deep
- Gently remove plants from containers, keeping the root ball intact
- Plant level with surrounding soil, spreading roots outward
- Fill around roots with native soil
- Stake large plants to prevent excess movement in strong winds
- Most of these plants prefer, or even require, periods of drought
- Water slowly, and allow to dry completely between soakings
- Jungle-type epiphytic cacti (live naturally in trees) can tolerate watering more often
- Prune only to remove wayward, dead, diseased, or top-heavy growth
- When possible, propagate the cuttings by inserting into clean, well-drained potting soil to share with others