There are several varieties of Dracaena marginata (dra-SEE-nah mar-jeh-NAH-tuh), yet few are as striking as Colorama.
This broadleaf evergreen perennial shares the Madagascar dragon tree’s common name with its kin. But its unique coloration makes it stand out among its green-leafed forebears.
As with other Asparagaceae family members, dragon trees bring a taste of Madagascar and the Mauritius Islands to your home. They provide something both exotic and easy to maintain.
Dracaena Colorama Quick Care Tips
- Botanical Name: Dracaena Marginata
- Common Name(s): Dragon Tree, Madagascar Dragon Tree
- Synonyms: Dracaena reflexa var. angustifolia, Pleomele reflexa
- Family & Origin: Asparagaceae family, native to Madagascar and Mauritius Island
- Growability: Easy to grow
- Grow Zone: USDA zones 10-12
- Size: Grows up to 15-20′ feet tall and 3-10′ feet width
- Flowering: Rarely flowers indoors
- Light: Bright, indirect light
- Humidity: Tolerates low humidity
- Temperature: Prefers temperatures between 60-75°F
- Soil: Well-draining soil
- Water: Allow soil to dry out slightly between waterings
- Fertilizer: Feed every 2-3 months with a balanced fertilizer
- Pests & Diseases: Susceptible to spider mites and mealybugs, can develop root rot if overwatered
- Propagation: Stem cuttings or air layering
- Plant Uses: Popular as a houseplant, can also be used as a focal point in landscaping designs.
Dracaena Colorama Care
Size and Growth
As with all Dracaena marginata plants, Colorama grows vertically on a sturdy central cane with a slow growth rate. Its long, narrow leaves spread outwards.
While capable of a total height of 15′ – 20′ feet in height and a width between 3′ – 10′ feet, owners usually keep the plant pruned to a height of 6′ feet or less.
Dracaena Marginata Colorama is a slow grower and contains less chlorophyll than its relatives.
Its variegated leaves have white and pink stripes along the green.
The more indirect light it gets, the pinker its leaves become until the green is barely noticeable.
Flowering and Fragrance
While it’s possible for Colorama to bloom, it’s not common and can be extremely rare in indoor plant settings.
Light Levels and Temperature
Most Dracaena plant varieties prefer medium or bright indirect light conditions. Colorama needs brighter light to maintain the vibrant coloring of foliage.
Place it in a sunny room away from direct sunlight. Or put it in a slightly sheltered spot in your garden where it will receive dappled sunlight.
Colorama dracaena will grow outdoors in USDA zones 10 to 12.
Shelter both indoor and outdoor plants from sudden drafts. They also prefer average room temperatures between 65° and 80° degrees Fahrenheit.
Please do not expose your dragon tree to temperatures of 60° degrees Fahrenheit or below.
Colorama Plant Watering Frequency & Feeding
Give your dracaena plenty of water when the soil mix is dry 2″ – 4″ inches from the surface. Allow the excess to drain out of the container.
Water once every 1 to 2 weeks. Decrease the frequency between October and March when the plant goes dormant.
This plant isn’t drought-tolerant, and the majority of health issues it faces are a result of overwatering or underwatering. It’s very obvious if you’re not watering it properly.
Yellow leaves are a sign of dehydration, while brown leaf tips appear when the plant gets too much water.
Colorama, like all dragon plants, is very sensitive to chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals often found in tap water.
Exposure to these chemicals results in the leaves developing brown or yellow margins. Dracaena can experience fluoride toxicity.
Try to use distilled water instead when watering indoor Dracena colorama.
Dragon plants prefer moderate humidity levels, with about 50 percent, provided through regular misting or a pebble tray.
Avoid getting the leaves wet if your Colorama Marginata is at risk of exposure to direct sunlight, as this may cause leaf burns.
You don’t need to provide a lot of plant food for Marginata Colorama. It can actually be easy to give them too much, resulting in fertilizer burn.
A good rule of thumb is to feed your Dracaena marginata right after watering. Use a standard liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength every two weeks from late March through summer.
If you’ve repotted the Dracena colorama plant or have recently purchased it, you will not need to feed it.
Soil and Transplanting
Dragon trees are well-suited for standard potting mix, but using a 50/50 mix of loamy soil and peat moss is best.
You can also add perlite, vermiculite, or coarse sand to the mix.
In addition, ensure the potting mix is aerated, well-draining, and rich in organic matter and nutrients.
This gives the Dracena marginata colorama well-drained soil that provides most of its food and easily maintains a preferred pH balance of 6 to 7.
Repot your dragon tree every two years, using a larger container or planter each time until it has achieved the desired height.
Ensure the new container has adequate drainage holes and a means for excess water to drain away from the roots.
Grooming and Maintenance
While it isn’t necessary to groom your Colorama plant, it is receptive to shaping, allowing this low-maintenance plant to make a rather unusual bonsai creation.
Cut down the plant’s top to the desired height to prevent it from hitting the ceiling. New growth will appear after a few weeks.
Related: Can You Cut The Top Off a Dracaena?
As new growth forms, it’s not unusual to see some of the older growth lower on the houseplant begin to be yellow or brown. Prune it away or allow it to fall off on its own.
Be sure to collect any fallen leaves so they don’t attract pests.
In addition, ensure your Colorama plant is away from any cold drafts, AC vents, or heaters.
How To Propagate Dragon Plant
Propagation is easy using stem cuttings.
The best time to propagate Dracaena colorama plant is when you prune the top off of your plant, but you can create clippings at any point.
Make sure the clipping has at least two nodes, and trim off the lowest leaves.
If you plan to transplant straight into the soil, allow the cutting to dry for about an hour and plant the base in dampened soil.
You may also choose to put the cutting in a jar of water, submerging the lowest nodes.
New roots will begin growing after a few weeks. Transplant the new plantlet into the soil once the roots are 1″ inches long.
This method is excellent for the winter months. The sluggish Dracaena dragon tree colorama will take a couple of months to grow adequate roots, allowing you to transplant it to a garden or container in early spring.
Colorama Pests Or Diseases
Your dracaena plant is resistant to most bacterial and fungal infections, although it’s prone to root rot if overwatered.
The most common insect problems tend to involve:
- Mealybugs on Dracaena
- Spider Mites
Details on: Bugs That Attack Dracaena Plants
This plant’s leaves are toxic to humans and pets and contain alkyds that are incredibly toxic to cats.
Symptoms of ingestion include excessive drooling, mouth and stomach irritation, and vomiting.
Dracaena Marginata Colorama Uses
These potted plants have a unique way of growing on slender stems. A vertical stalk is perfect for filling corners and spaces behind furniture.
This dracaena variety stands out due to its variegated leaves and is best suited for a sunny location.
Dracaenas are in NASA’s database as effective air purifiers, removing pollutants like formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene.
Moreover, Dracaena Colorama is an excellent choice for beginners who want to have a lovely plant indoors or out.