Dragon Tree Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor' (v)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
three-coloured Madagascar dragon tree


Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor', more commonly known as the Dragon Tree, is an attractive, slow-growing indoor plant. It is characterized by its long, slender leaves that are arching and pointy at the tips. These leaves have a distinctive coloration, which features a green center flanked by magenta-red margins and yellow or cream stripes running along their length, creating a tricolor effect. The leaves are glossy and can give a vibrant pop of color to indoor spaces. The plant itself is upright and tree-like, with a slender central stem or stems that may be branched or unbranched, creating a canopy of foliage at the top. The visual appeal of the Dragon Tree comes from its striking leaves and overall elegant form, which adds an exotic touch to the décor of any room it graces.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Madagascar Dragon Tree, Dragon Tree, Red-Margined Dracaena, Rainbow Tree

    • Common names

      Dracaena reflexa var. angustifolia, Pleomele reflexa, Cordyline marginata, Dracaena marginata

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Madagascar dragon tree is generally not toxic to humans. While it is not considered edible, ingestion of the leaves or sap can occasionally cause mild stomach upset if swallowed by sensitive individuals. It is not known to have severe toxic effects on humans.

    • To pets

      The Madagascar dragon tree is toxic to pets, especially cats and dogs. If a pet ingests any part of the plant, they may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, drooling, weakness, inappetence, and dilated pupils. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to depression of the central nervous system. If you suspect your pet has ingested this plant, contact your veterinarian promptly.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      15-20 feet [4.57-6.1 meters]

    • Spread

      3-10 feet [0.91-3.05 meters]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Easy to Care For: Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor' requires minimal maintenance and can tolerate some neglect, making it ideal for busy individuals.
    • Adaptable to Indoor Conditions: It thrives in a variety of indoor environments and can tolerate low light, which is why it’s well-suited for office or home settings.
    • Enhances Home Décor: With its striking green, pink, and cream-colored leaves, it adds a vibrant touch to any room.
    • Long-Lived: This plant is known for its longevity, so it can be a lasting part of your home or office.
    • Improves Humidity: By releasing water vapor in the air, it can help maintain indoor humidity levels.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Decorative centerpieces: Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor' can be pruned and shaped into artistic forms that serve as eye-catching centerpieces for tables or reception areas.
    • Craft projects: The long, strap-like leaves of the Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor' can be woven into natural art pieces or used in making handmade paper.
    • Education: This plant can be used to teach botany and horticulture, including topics such as plant care, propagation, and variegation in leaves.
    • Landscape design: Although typically kept as an indoor plant, in tropical or subtropical climates, it can be incorporated into outdoor landscaping to add vertical accent and color contrast.
    • Photography: Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor' is often used in product photography for its aesthetic appeal and to add a natural touch to the composition.
    • Privacy screens: When grown in clusters, these plants can create privacy screens for patios, balconies, or even indoors in office spaces or studios.
    • Aquariums: The strong visual structure of the plant can be replicated with aquarium-safe materials to provide a similar aesthetic in fish tanks, though the live plant itself is not suitable for submersion.
    • Cultural ceremonies: Some cultures might use the vibrant leaves of Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor' in ceremonial garlands or decorations.
    • Color palettes: Designers may use the striking coloration of the plant as inspiration for color schemes in interior design projects.
    • Plant arrangement classes: Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor' can be a featured plant in arranging workshops, where participants learn to create harmonious plant groupings with varying textures and colors.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Dragon Tree can be used in Feng Shui as a way to enhance chi flow, improve balance, and introduce wood element attributes such as growth and vitality. Place it in the health area of your space, corresponding to the east side of your home, or in an area that needs the calming influence of greenery.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Dragon Tree is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Longevity: The Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor', commonly known as the Madagascar Dragon Tree, is famed for its long lifespan, symbolizing endurance and the ability to withstand the test of time.
    • Purity: This plant is believed to purify the air by removing toxins, thereby symbolizing purity and a healthy environment.
    • Refinement: With its elegant, slender leaves and striking tricolor pattern, the Madagascar Dragon Tree is often associated with sophistication and refinement.
    • Positive Energy: It is thought to contribute to the flow of positive energy in Feng Shui, symbolizing growth, prosperity, and good fortune.
    • Strength: The sturdy and upright growth habit of the Madagascar Dragon Tree signifies strength and resilience.
    • Mysticism: Due to its exotic appearance, the plant is sometimes linked to mystical qualities and the unknown.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Madagascar Dragon Tree should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, typically every 1-2 weeks depending on environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature. Carefully pour water evenly around the soil until you notice a bit of water trickling from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, which indicates enough hydration. On average, it may need approximately 8-16 ounces of water during each session, but this can vary with pot size and indoor climate. It’s crucial to avoid overwatering as it could lead to root rot, so ensure the pot allows for proper drainage.

  • sunLight

    Madagascar Dragon Tree thrives in bright, indirect light but can also adapt to lower light conditions. The ideal spot for this plant is near a window where it can receive a lot of light without being exposed to direct sunlight, which can scorch its leaves. If placed in too little light, the vibrant colors of the 'Tricolor' may fade, so it is best to find that balance of bright, but not overly harsh sunlight.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Madagascar Dragon Tree prefers average room temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can withstand a low of 50 degrees Fahrenheit but might start to suffer damage if temperatures drop below that. The plant enjoys a consistent temperature, so it should be kept away from drafts and heating or cooling vents that could cause sudden temperature changes.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Madagascar Dragon Tree is important for maintaining its shape and encouraging fuller growth. Trim away any dead or yellowing leaves, and you can also cut back the main stem if the plant gets too tall or leggy. The best time to prune is during the spring or summer, which are the active growth periods for the plant. Prune sparingly, as excessive cutting can stall growth, and always use clean, sharp shears or scissors.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for a Madagascar Dragon Tree should be well-draining and sandy, such as a mixture of peat, sand, and loam. It's important to maintain a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Madagascar Dragon Trees should be repotted every two to three years to prevent becoming root-bound and to refresh the soil.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Madagascar Dragon Trees prefer average room humidity levels, around 40-50%, but can tolerate a range if not too low.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Keep your Madagascar Dragon Tree in bright, indirect light and avoid overwatering.

    • Outdoor

      Place Madagascar Dragon Tree in dappled sunlight and shelter from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      10-12 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor', also known as Madagascar Dragon Tree, begins with seed germination, where the seed is sown in a well-draining soil mix and germinates within 3-8 weeks under warm conditions. The seedling stage follows, characterized by the growth of a single stem and a few leaves, which can last for a few months to a year, depending on growing conditions. As the plant enters the juvenile stage, it develops a thicker stem, more leaves, and begins to exhibit the characteristic red, green, and yellow stripes on its foliage. This stage can last for several years as the plant slowly grows in height and breadth. In its mature stage, the Madagascar Dragon Tree may produce small white flowers and berries if the growing conditions are ideal, though flowering is rare in indoor situations. Eventually, after many years, the plant can reach heights of up to 6 feet indoors and may require pruning to maintain size and shape, continuing the cycle when cuttings are propagated to create new plants.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The Dragon Tree is best propagated using stem cuttings. To successfully propagate, first, select a healthy stem and cut a segment that is at least 4-8 inches (10-20 centimeters) long using a clean, sharp instrument. The cutting should include at least one node as this is where new roots will emerge. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting, and allow the cut end to dry for a few hours to form a callus which reduces the risk of rot. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone for better results and insert it into a pot filled with moist potting mix. Place the pot in a warm, brightly lit area but away from direct sunlight to avoid scorching the cutting. Keep the soil consistently moist, and in a few weeks, roots should develop, followed by new growth indicating successful propagation.