Sárkányfa (sávos dracéna) - Dracaena deremensis (novenytar.krp.hu)
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Dragon tree (Striped dracaena) care

Latin name: Dracaena deremensis

Dragon tree (Dracaena) got its name after its red, sticky sap what is starting to flow when its trunk is hurt. It is the most beautiful houseplant of the poor light homes. Not sensitive, it also grows in a place with central heating. It can reach even 100-120 cm height. It is a woody plant with straight, cylindrical trunk. It is native to Africa.

Other names: Striped dracaena, Janet Craig

The period of flowering is between April and June, although it is hard to make it flower under room circumstances.

The NASA researchers tested on indoor plants how they are effect the air of a place. The dragon tree (dracaena deremensis) reached very high values in that experiement. Therefore it is primarily recommended for urban flats, not just to decorate it, but also to clean its air.

Requirements and care:

Light and heat requirements:

In order to have equal level of growth, the best place for dragon tree is a half-shaded place, where it can get direct sunlight only in the coldest hours of the day. Move the dragon tree outdoors only if the frost period is over, usually it could be from April-May. Recommended that outdoors put it in a very bright place, which is protected from the blazing sun, because the dircet sunlight could damage the leaves. Ideal temperature is 22-26 °C, in winter the minimum temperature be 16-18 °C. Pay attention to the right ventilation but protect the plant from draft.

Watering requirements:

Keep the soil damp, but avoid excessive watering as well, always leave the soil to dry out for a few days, between two waterings. Overwatering easily can cause the rotting of roots. Water more rarely in winter months especially when temperature is very low. The Dragon tree likes humid air. Place its pot on a tray full of clay balls. Spray it with water regularly, taking care of that leaves should get dry before connecting with direct sun.

Further care:

In the growing period, give nutrient solution for ornamental plants to Dragon tree every week. Those one which overgrow their pots can be transposed into potting soil at any time. Use potting soil with good drainage and if necessary add gravel to it to improve the drainage. Transplantation is recommended when the roots emerge at the bottom of the pot. Preferably do the transpose in spring.

Dragon tree can reach even 2 meters height, under advantageous circumstances. If it overgrows the flat, it can be cut back to the desired size. It will sprout under the cut surface.

Buy dragon tree in spring because then it is easier to make it get used to the home conditions without starting to lose its leaves. Plants which were bought in autumn have more difficulties with getting used to less ideal home conditions after optimal cultivation circumstances.

Propagation:

The leafy peak part of the dragon tree is useful for propagation as well. This with clipped a few leaves (these can be cutted to span size) and putting it in water or damp sand, rather equal mixture of sand and fibrous peat as cuttings, sooner or later will strike root, however trunk cuttings are also good to be used for propagation. When it taken root, it can be planted into 8-10 diameter pots, in nearly equal mixture of sandy soil and fibrous peat, or into ground type of a Florasca A or B, which is will be good for transplantation as well.

If we have a humidity case, rooting should be done there or by covering the plant with transparent foil as it will need humidity and temperature about 25 degrees to take root. After taken root, it should be gradually habituated to room air.

The cutted trunk part can be left untouched for the next sprouting, or cut at the base in order to start the growth again from there. After cutting back, it will need only very moderate watering. Only 3-4 of the appearing sprouts should be left, the others can be cut off.

Most common diseases, pests of the Dragon tree, main reasons of their destruction:

It is sensitive to scale insects and greenhouse whiteflies. In the absence of light and in a cool dry place the tip of the leaves wither. If the dragon tree get too little light, the intensity of leaf color may be reduced.
The sudden fall of leaves is the result of drought, the lack of water, the lack of moisture.

The spotted leaves of the dragon tree is appears as purple edged, light brown irregular spots. The disease-causing fungus is the Coniothyrum concentricum or the Phyllostica draconis. Remove the sick leaves and burn them as soon as possible and treat the plant with fungicide containing benomyl. Do not use Bordeaux juice. As long as it is possible, removing the sick parts, sick leaves can be recommended at this time lasting till the complete mortality, if our dragon tree does not get well after cutting it back.

Sources:
viragvarazslat.gportal.hu, femina.hu, www.ezermester.hu