Originally native to Asia and Africa, the dragon tree, which, contrary to its name, is botanically part of the asparagus family, is unfortunately not hardy. Therefore it is cultivated as a houseplant in our latitudes. But in summer it is welcome to move its location outside, because indoor plants also like the fresh air and a covered and sheltered terrace or balcony is therefore ideal for Dracaena surculosa in the warmer months. Even hobby gardeners with little time get along well with the easy-care, evergreen plant, as it is not very demanding.

short profile

  • originally native to Asia and Africa
  • belongs to the asparagus family
  • lignified, palm-like trunk
  • develops only a few branches
  • long, narrow leaves
  • have different colored borders, depending on the variety
  • green base tone with white, yellow or red
  • Leaves either stand upright or hang over
  • can be up to two meters high with enough space
  • ideal as a houseplant or in a winter garden


The dragon tree needs relatively little light and can therefore also be placed in a darker corner of the room. A place without direct incidence of sunlight is ideal, this should also be taken into account when moving to the terrace or balcony in summer and a shady place should be offered. The Canarian dragon tree, which has green, monochrome leaves, needs the least amount of light. Everyone else is also happy about a lighter location. But the plant also has a completely different claim to its location:

  • Temperature between 20 ° and 25 ° Celsius
  • Therefore, only spend outside on warm days in summer
  • after the last night frost until before the first frost
  • the months of June, July, and August are ideal for an outdoor location
  •   in winter temperatures not below 16 ° Celsius

Tip : If the terrace or balcony is exposed to the sun for several hours of the day, the dragon tree can be given the shade it needs with an awning or a parasol. The same applies to the location in a sunny corner of the room. Even then, the sun blind should often be pulled in front of the window.

Substrat & Boden

Potting soil for green plants from the well-stocked trade is ideal for the dragon tree. Because this is well permeable and still stores the moisture, just as the graceful plant wishes. Alternatively, well-drained garden soil can be mixed with compost and sand.

Watering & fertilizing

Dracaena surculosa likes it moist, in the ground and also out of the air. But the soil must not be consistently wet with waterlogging either, otherwise the roots will rot. It is therefore important to water and fertilize your dragon tree as follows:

  • Water regularly and, above all, moderately
  • Earth should always be moist
  • Avoid waterlogging
  • The root ball must not stand in water all the time
  • otherwise there is a risk of root rot
  • Water more over the summer months
  • only occasionally in winter
  • is fertilized every two weeks
  • use liquid fertilizer for green plants
  • fertilize from spring to autumn
  • completely stop the fertilizer application in winter

Tip : The dragon tree also needs high humidity. In addition to humidifiers or bowls with water around the plant and in winter on the heater, it can also be sprayed with water from above. This could be done regularly with the casting process.


Ideally, the dragon tree is planted in a tub. This can be in a corner of the room in the colder seasons and on the terrace or balcony in summer. Since the plant can reach a size of up to two meters, it is advisable to place the bucket on a mobile stand before filling in the soil. That way it is easier to move the heavy bucket. Otherwise, the following should be observed when planting:

  • create drainage to avoid waterlogging
  • Place stones or potsherds on and around the drainage hole
  • put plant fleece over this
  • so soil cannot clog the hole
  • Fill in prepared soil
  • leave a sufficiently wide hole for the root ball
  • Insert the dragon tree
  • Fill in the rest of the soil and press on
  • water well

Tip : To avoid waterlogging, the saucer can be completely freed from excess water half an hour after watering.


Like all potted plants, the dragon tree should also be repotted regularly. Either he needs a larger container because the old one was too small, or just a fresh substrate. Therefore, repotting every two to three years is ideal. You can therefore start repotting immediately after the hibernation period. If only the old substrate is exchanged, the existing bucket can be used again. Otherwise, a pot should be chosen that is about one or two sizes larger than the old one. The procedure is as follows:

  • Carefully remove the plant
  • put aside, for example in a bucket
  • Completely remove old earth from the bucket
  • proceed as with the planting
  • a new bucket is used, as for the planting
  • Carefully remove the plant from the old container and plant

Tip: If a dragon tree is not replanted but repotted, then it must be carefully removed from the old substrate in which it has taken root. To do this, carefully remove the top layer of soil without damaging the roots and then gently move the plant back and forth so that the roots loosen. Then carefully remove and remove all old soil from the root ball.

To cut

Long, bare shoots, which the dragon tree usually forms when it receives little light, can be cut off. Otherwise the plant should not be cut so that it grows nice and bushy and many new shoots with leaves are formed around the main stem, which develop into branches. If the dragon tree becomes too wide, some shoots can be removed here. However, if larger wounds occur, seal them with wax so that the injuries can heal quickly. Do not throw away the shoots, they can be used for propagation.

Tip : Always use disinfected and sharp flower scissors to cut the shoots, this will prevent bacteria from getting into the wound or fraying at the edges with blurred scissors.


Propagating the evergreen plant is very easy. For this purpose, the cut shoots that were removed because they have not formed any leaves or the shoots with leaves that were removed to curb the growth of the plant are used. The same procedure is used for propagation with both types of offshoots:

  • Cut off any existing tufts of leaves
  • here, too, seal the resulting wound with wax
  • Place the shoots in a large glass or vase with water
  • as soon as roots form, plant them in a pot

Tip : Propagating the dragon tree is very easy. In this way, a beautiful corner in a room or a window sill without direct sunlight can turn into a small “jungle” if several of the decorative plants are put together in different containers. It looks even more beautiful when different types of the dragon tree are arranged together.


Since the dragon tree should have its actual location in the apartment or a winter garden and should only be allowed to move outside in summer if necessary, not much needs to be considered when overwintering. Since he knows it to be mostly warm from his homeland Asia, Africa and the Canary Islands, the air in winter can be a little cooler, but still not fall below 15 ° Celsius. Dracaena surculosa takes its dormant period from October to January, so it should be watered less and not fertilized at all during this time. During this time, the surface of the earth is allowed to dry out slightly before it is poured again. But it is precisely the dry heating air that can damage the plant if it is not sprayed further from above. Therefore, care does not need to be taken much differently during the winter than during the summer months.

Tip : Especially in the winter months, more dust forms in the rooms due to the heating season. Therefore, the leaves of the dragon tree should be dusted more often now. In this way, it can absorb the necessary moisture from the air much better, for example by spraying it with water that is low in lime.

Care errors, diseases or pests

If the dragon tree shows brown leaf tips, then it could be due to insufficient humidity. In this case, cut off the brown leaf tips completely and ensure more humidity. However, if the leaves of the plant turn yellow overall, this can be an indication of various aspects. Either the plant gets too little irrigation water, too little fertilizer or too little light. Waterlogging with the onset of root rot can also be displayed in this way. If it is in the wrong location or in the wrong care, this can be quickly remedied by making changes. The yellow leaves should be removed entirely. However, if too much has been poured and the roots have already been damaged by rot, the plant can usually no longer be saved. If the plant is cut, bacteria can enter or fungi can form at the interface. Therefore, always cut with disinfected, sharp scissors and cover large wounds with wax. So far, no pests are known of the dragon tree.


The dragon tree is a decorative houseplant that can also find its place on a sheltered terrace or balcony in summer. The easy-care, evergreen plant requires little care and is therefore also ideal for beginners or hobby gardeners with little time. Since it can also be easily multiplied by cuttings, everyone can create their own decorative room corner with Dracaena surculosa without much effort.

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