Dracaena marginata is the most unpretentious and bright care

Among the hardy, unpretentious and very decorative dracaena, one species is especially loved by flower growers all over the world. Dracaena marginata with its beautiful “colored” leaves is a slow-growing decoration for both offices and home. Luxurious rosettes of narrow leaves seem enviably lush, and the silhouettes are graceful. Even if the marginates outgrow over time, they are easy to rejuvenate. But not the ease of control was the main reason for the popularity of this type of dragonfly. Indeed, even other types of false palms cannot compete with the unpretentiousness of the marginates.

Dracaena marginata is the most unpretentious and bright
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Description of the plant

Among the rather extensive variety of dracaena, there is no species as popular as dracaena marginata. If some kind of dracaena is used in the design of offices or at home, then the chance that the choice will stop on the margin is more than great. Indeed, with the same character as in simple green-leaved woody forms, marginata has two important trump cards – colored leaves and drought resistance.

Dracaena margin, or okamlennaya, we also know as red-bordered (Dracaena marginata) Is a tree-like, evergreen and variegated variety of dracaena, as if created for indoor culture. In nature, marginata can only be found in Madagascar, which is why this species is known as Madagascar wire or madagascar dragon tree… Despite their gigantic size in nature (marginates can grow up to 6 m or more), they remain slow-growing and fairly compact in a room format, however, without control, they can grow to the ceiling in decades.

The palm-shaped thin trunk forms only over time, gradually woods, traces of fallen leaves are clearly visible on it. Elegant, dense greenery is the main pride of this type of dracaena. Lush tufts of leaves at the tops of the shoots appear thicker than its competitors. With a length of up to 70 cm and a width of up to 4 cm (depending on the variety), the narrow-xiphoid, pointed leaves of the marginates conquer with their brilliance and bright color.

The dark green base color is matched by the marginata with a thin edge of red, which looks like a real luxury piece. And the wider the leaves of the variety, the more beautiful the patterns. There are some varieties with other colors – more intense or paler, as well as with yellow, cream and multicolored edge variations.

Dracaena marginata, or bordered (Dracaena marginata)
Dracaena marginata, or bordered (Dracaena marginata). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Plant and Pot NZ

Growing conditions for room dracaena marginates

Any standard conditions of offices and apartments are perfect for this type of dracaena, because with the right choice of lighting, they are content with almost any temperature. Dracaena marginate is considered the best type of dracaena for air purification from xylene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene.

Lighting and placement

Lighting is the key to success in growing dracaena marginata. As you might guess from its colored leaves, marginata in the shade will lose its characteristic edging. But in light partial shade, you should not be afraid of discoloration. Dracaena marginata cannot stand the direct sun; within the framework of places with diffused soft light, it will be fine anywhere – both in the bright areas of the interior, and on a dim windowsill.

True, marginates are rarely placed on the windows: the plants, even in their youth, are quite sprawling, and the gradual growth of the trunks all the more requires removal from the windowsills and the floor position. To avoid any problems with marginates, for the winter it is better to move it closer to the windows.

When placed in a room, it is better to treat the marginate as a soloist, who is more profitable to look from top to bottom. This look perfectly balances bulky pieces of furniture.

Read about other types of dracaena in our article Dracaena – types, growing conditions and care.

Temperature control and ventilation

It is quite easy to choose the temperature regime for marginates. The plant does not withstand temperature drops below 15 degrees and feels great in medium to high room temperatures. This type of dracaena is not afraid of the heat, moreover, in sufficiently high temperatures it develops much faster and more actively. Marginata will not be intimidated by a slightly cooler wintering, but it is usually grown in rooms with a stable temperature of 18 to 25 degrees all year round.

For dracaena marginates, you should not give up airing. The plant is not afraid of drafts (but not hypothermia), loves fresh air. It is better to expose the dracaena marginate so that the air circulates freely around the crown, not too tightly, without “resting” the leaves against the walls.

Within places with diffused soft light, dracaena marginate will be good anywhere
Within places with diffused soft light, dracaena marginate will be good anywhere. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Florida Foliage

Home care for marginate

The popularity of marginata is mainly due to its much greater drought tolerance compared to other false palms from the Dracaena genus. Marginata can forgive even a rather long absence of watering, tolerates irregular these procedures well and is suitable for both those who can afford regular care and those who often travel on business.

Watering and air humidity

The drought resistance of dracaena marginate has its price: plants are much more intolerant of waterlogging, even a slight stagnation of water can lead to the death of a plant from rot. Many growers prefer to underfill rather than pour dracaena marginate so that there are not even the slightest risks. It is safer to drain the water released after watering immediately, and let the top of the soil in pots dry out for the next watering.

Watering should always be adjusted according to the drying out of the soil, and not according to standard or convenience. In this case, even in winter, there will be no problems. Naturally, in the fall, watering will have to be reduced, but the best guideline is the rate of moisture consumption by the plant itself.

Marginates are much more resistant to dry air than other dracaena. Even in the heating season, they rarely dry out the tips of the leaves, and thanks to the colored stripes, such drying is much less striking. Marginates do not like only extreme proximity to batteries, which is best compensated for by spraying or other measures to increase air humidity.

To maintain cleanliness, the leaves need to be wiped weekly, replacing a simple wipe with a warm shower, if possible, which the marginates simply adore. With regular shower, marginates look much brighter and grow faster.

Top dressing and composition of fertilizers

Marginates are fed non-stop, but with different frequencies. In spring and summer, top dressing is applied every 2 weeks, in autumn and winter – every 4 weeks. For dracaena, marginates are suitable only for special fertilizers for decorative deciduous plants (other types of fertilizers affect the colors of the plant).

Read also our article by Dracaena Sander, or “the bamboo of happiness.”

Pruning and shaping dracaena marginate

If you want to create multi-stem forms or limit growth, dracaena is cut off. The tops of the plant easily take root, new rosettes begin to grow from the upper buds. The shaping standard for marginates is a stem cut at a height of 30 cm. Dry leaves are removed regularly.

Dracaena marginata loves versatile loose soil
Dracaena marginata loves versatile loose soil

Transplant, containers and substrate

This is one of the most resistant to contact with the roots of plants, which almost does not notice the transplant. It can be carried out at any time during the active growth phase, but only if the substrate is completely mastered by the roots, the palm tree has nowhere to develop. The signal for transplanting dracaena marginates is the appearance of roots in the drainage holes, occasionally on the soil surface. In years when a transplant is not needed, it is advisable to change the top few centimeters of the soil to a fresh substrate.

Dracaena marginata loves versatile loose soil. Any high-quality indoor plant substrate will do. Containers for it are also needed classic, with a height exceeding the diameter. At the bottom of the pot, drainage from expanded clay or other materials must be laid.

Diseases, pests and growing problems

The decorativeness of dracaena marginate does not lose even in extreme conditions, but this species will not withstand cold drafts, hypothermia, accumulation of dirt on the leaves and lack of elementary care. Only weakened plants are affected by pests. Spider mites, aphids, felt insects and other insects are fought with simple methods – correction of conditions and care, spraying with infusions and decoctions of herbs, with strong infection – with insecticides.

Reproduction of dracaena marginate

In this matter, the bordered dracaena is a typical representative of dracaena. The plant is propagated by rooting the tops and stem cuttings (from 5 to 15 cm) – in water, wet sand or substrate, at room temperatures. The main thing is to make a “clean”, neat cut with a disinfected blade. It is not necessary to install a cap over the cuttings.

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Anna Evans

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