Place Sansevierias in moderately bright or filtered light. Good locations include a spot in front of a north-facing window or in front of a bright, sunny window covered by a sheer curtain. Although the plant tolerates low light, bright light brings out the colors in the leaves. However, intense light may cause the edges of the leaves to turn yellow.
Allow the soil to dry completely before watering, and then water deeply until water drips through the drainage hole. Allow the pot to drain and then discard the water that remains in the saucer. Never allow the soil to become soggy and never let the pot stand in water. Water sparingly throughout the winter. Like most succulent plants that store water in their leaves, Sansevieria rots quickly in excessively wet soil.
Place Sansevieria in average room temperatures. Protect the plant from drafts and cold temperatures as it is damaged at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
Feed the plant once every three weeks throughout the summer. Use a general-purpose fertilizer for houseplants diluted to one-half of the strength suggested on the container. Sansevieria is a light feeder and too much fertilizer makes the leaves fall over.
Repot the plant into a container one size larger only when the roots outgrow the pot. Sansevieria thrives — and may produce blooms — when its roots are crowded. Fill the container with a lightweight commercial potting soil. Some people repot plants only when the roots crack the pot.
Remove dust by wiping the leaves with a soft, damp cloth. Avoid commercial leaf-shine products, which may damage the leaves or cause them to take on a rusty appearance. If any leaves are damaged or blemished, cut them off, even with the soil.
Dragon trees grow best in bright light but they can also survive in dim light. Plants in lower light situations will grow slower and will produce smaller leaves with less intense color. Don't put your dragon tree in full sun, which can burn its leaves.
When growing as a potted plant, use loose, well-drained potting mix—loamy soil amended with peat moss is ideal. Make sure their pot has room for the extensive root system. Some varieties are imported from Hawaii and will arrive with lava rock. If this is the case, remove about 1/3 of the soil and replace it with potting soil.
It's easy to over-water this plant. To ensure that you don't drown it, wait until the top half of the soil is dry before watering. In low light, this can take up to 3 weeks. If the plant develops brown tips on the leaves, that is often a sign of overwatering or that the water has too much salt or fluoride in it. Like other plants in its genus, Dracaena marginata is sensitive to fluoride, which can cause discoloration. To avoid fluoride, water dragon tree with distilled or non-fluoridated water. If the plant has, yellow leaves, it usually means the plant needs more water.
Dragon plants prefer temperatures between 70 to 80 degrees F. Regular household humidity should be fine for them. If your house is particularly dry, consider a light misting from a spray bottle.
Dracaena plants have a relatively low need for fertilizer. Feed them lightly at the beginning of spring or twice a year with controlled-release fertilizer. Do not fertilize in the winter.
Repot your dragon tree into larger pots as necessary. Since these trees grow so slowly, they generally require repotting only every second or even third year. Refresh potting soil annually with fresh soil to replace any that has become compacted.
Dracaena marginata roots easily from stem cuttings rooted in water—so easily that it’s often used in dish gardens and readily propagated by nurseries and retailers. It takes about three weeks for the cutting to sprout roots, and using a rooting hormone isn’t necessary. Dragon tree cuttings can make a thoughtful housewarming gift and using cuttings from your own plant is a personalized touch.
Although there are several varieties, the most commonly found at plant stores include:
Beautiful as it is, the plant is also poisonous. While it's not harmful to humans, the leaves are extremely toxic to cats and dogs. Cats, in particular, seem fond of chewing on the leaves, which contain toxic alkyds. Most obvious symptoms are vomiting and excessive salivation. Veterinarian treatment for Dracaena poisoning may include inducing vomiting then giving fluids to reverse dehydration.
Although they are usually disease resistant, Dracaena marginata is susceptible to scale, mealybugs, and thrips. Mealybugs are easy to identify as they leave small, sticky, cottony deposits. Dragon tree plants are also very susceptible to the common plant pest, spider mites. They tend to occur when temperatures are warm and the air is very dry; however, they are very difficult to see until they have already damaged the plant.
Light: As with most variegated plants, Calathea need plenty of diffused light however direct sunlight will cause the leaves to fade and lose their markings. They can tolerate some degree of shade, but the better the light conditions, the more you will be rewarded by fine foliage. Experiment in your home to find the perfect spot for your plant.
Water: Calathea must be kept in damp soil at all times, but definitely do not allow the plant to sit in water or in very wet soil. Think little and often as a watering policy.
Temperature: Prefers warm to high temperatures, ideally between 18-23°C but can cope with as low as 15°C. Avoid draughts and ensure the plant has reasonable ventilation.
Humidity: High humidity levels are a must. Stand on a wet pebble tray to improve humidity and mist frequently. Pop it in the shower from time to time to give an extra boost.
Feed: Apply a weak dose of a nitrogen rich foliage fertiliser once or twice a month during the growing season.
Care tips: Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove accumulated dust. Do not use leaf shine as this will damage the foliage.
Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate height 1.5m. Calathea ornata Sanderiana is moderately fast growing.
Origin: Tropical Americas.