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Dragon Tree Facts

By Isabel Prontes ; Updated September 21, 2017
The dragon tree originates in Africa.
Africa image by Luka76 from Fotolia.com

The dragon tree (known scientifically as Dracaena) is a genus comprised of succulent shrubs and trees. Dragon trees are native to Africa, but also exist in subtropical and tropical areas of Central America and South Asia. These plants can be grown both outdoors and indoors. They are relatively easy to cultivate as they are highly tolerant of extreme and adverse weather conditions.

Indoor Cultivation

Dragon trees grown inside require moderate sunlight. The plants must be shielded from direct sunlight. If possible, the trees should be placed near an eastern window that has a curtain. Dragon trees require humid soil to grow properly. To raise the soil's humidity levels, pebbles can be placed under the plant. The trees should be misted lightly approximately once a week. It is crucial to not overwater the plant, as overwatering could lead to the foliage turning brown.

Outdoor Cultivation

When dragon trees are grown outdoors, soil that is well-drained is preferable. Dragon trees should be grown under either partial shade or full sun. The plants can handle humidity. However, its soil should be allowed to dry in between watering. In order to encourage branching, the trees should be lightly pruned.


Dragon trees are commonly grown for their exotic leaves. The plants are commonly cultivated as specimens and border plants. The trees often appear as potted plants on balconies and on patios. A red resin is extracted from the Dracaena draco species of dragon trees. This red resin was frequent used for medicinal purposes in ancient times (to heal gastrointestinal and respiratory issues). It is known as "Dragon's Blood."


The bright green foliage of dragon trees is narrow and long. In general, striped, strap-shaped leaves of the plant emerge from one central stem. The trees generally grow to between 15 inches and 3 feet in height, although some can be as tall as 10 feet. The tree occasionally produces flowers, which are yellowish-green or white in color.


There are many different species of dragon trees (approximately 40 species in total). Some of the most well-known Dracaena varieties include green dracaena, corn plant, Pleomele and gold dust dracaena.