Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Drago, Dragon Tree
Dracaena draco

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Dracaena (dra-SEE-nah) (Info)
Species: draco (DRAY-koh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

24 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

over 40 ft. (12 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 75 photos.
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11 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive dracaena_draco On May 14, 2014, dracaena_draco from Fairfield, CA wrote:

I purchased four of these last summer (2013); the largest had more than a foot of trunk. I covered them for about two weeks in December, but we were hit with an unusually hard freeze, one which dropped temps to the mid to low 20s at night and, on some days, kept temps below freezing for up to 12 hours. All four of my dragon trees had virtually all of their leaves frozen during the freeze, and over the following two months (latter half of Dec to first half of Feb), they all showed bud rot. I conducted an experiment after being unable to find advice on how to handle a frozen dragon tree in zone 14: I cut the stalks of two of them to below the wet rot; I left the other two alone. The two I cut eventually died, whereas the two I left alone pushed new growth through the rot. The two survivors are growing vigorously now, and I am hopeful that they will survive next winter too.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Sep 21, 2012, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Although Sunset's garden book list it as hardy in SF bay area zones 16 and 17..I have found it to be very marginal. Mine was leaf damaged last winter in a 30f frost. And its a rooted thick cutting about a foot tall. Its going into the ground now,and any real cold this winter I plan on covering it. Like most subtropical's, hardiness gets better with size..I hope!

Edit November 2012: What a surprise..after a year in a pot,I found that it hadn't grown a single root. Most leaves are still there,the trunk stem and new shoots feel solid-no mush. So in September '12 I planted it anyways in ground. As of November it hasn't changed.
Rooting these is not easy,or fast. They are NOT Yucca or other succulent easy.

Positive himothra On Apr 10, 2010, himothra from Sarasota, FL wrote:

I received two Draco seedlings last April from a Texas nursery, and they are flourishing! I started them in small pots, transplanted a few months ago, and they have grown from 6-8 leaves each to dozens, and one now has almost 2 inches of young "trunk." As leaves shed, I can see thin traces of red which I like to believe is an early sign of the red "Dragon's Blood" sap that makes this tree so very special. Truly, this is a slow-grower which is so unusual for anything in Florida! Think long term and give this baby a try. I'd like to hear any other experience, particularly how long I might wait for my first bloom.

Positive mswestover On Oct 27, 2009, mswestover from Yulee, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I bought a seed in summer of 07. Put in a pot and waited. Two years later and he is about a foot high. I put him in the ground in a cactus bed and now he is really taking off. I guess I will cover him with a trashcan for the frosts and freezes here in zone 9a.

Positive oceanmystic On Mar 23, 2008, oceanmystic from San Diego, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

A beautiful plant and has grown well for me in container. Mine is about 5' tal and growning in a 30 gallon wash tub. Has survived into the upper 20s with no damage.

Positive Adelnel On Nov 25, 2006, Adelnel from Joensuu
Finland wrote:

I have no chance what so ever to grow dracos outside because I live in Finland, but as long as they can fit inside a house and I can find or make a large enough pot I will be growing them.
I bought 5 seeds from a northern seed company and two of them sprung (spring 2005). To get them to sprung better I robbed them clean with a sandpaper and then let them swim in handwarm water for 48 hours. Then saw them in well moist properly prepaired soil, covered lightly with sand, moistured more and placed on sunny and warm spot on windowshelf covered with transparent plastic. It took them about 6 weeks to appear.
It's a shame though that I have to give them away (probably donate them to our local botanical garden) in three years because I'm moving to Romania. Oh well.. I'll just start over :)

Positive koolkatken On May 25, 2005, koolkatken from Auckland
New Zealand wrote:

This has become quite common around new suburbs in Auckland, NZ. Seem to grow well- have seen a few large (8ft plus) specimens. I have one in back yard that is fairly new but seeming to do fine. I love them when the head "splits" into 2 or more. winter here slows them a bit- can get into 40s F or even upper 30s at night.

Positive wpreston730 On Mar 27, 2004, wpreston730 wrote:

I bought some seeds of this plant online and began the germination process, and i found that the easiest way to start these seeds off correctly, is to place them on a hotplate, however ensure the temp. stays around 80 F, in a terracotta pot works the best, soak the soil and place the seeds on top, cover the top with plastic, and place in an area in direct sunlight for most of the day, and check daily, however, my first batch took about 2 months to sprout, but the second batch only took about 2 weeks. now they are all growing perfectly.

Positive hactx On Oct 17, 2003, hactx wrote:

It has been about a 1 1/2 months and have small seedling, with two little leaves. This is one seed out of about 6. I am excited to watch my little dragon grow.

Neutral cavalier On Aug 19, 2003, cavalier wrote:

I happened upon some seeds at the nearby botanical garden. I haven't had any luck with them yet. another website said that the seeds needed to be processed but didn't say how.

Positive MasterYoda On Jul 27, 2003, MasterYoda wrote:

I purchased some seeds on a visit to Tenerife in 2001 and brought them back to my home in Yorkshire, England.

At 1000 feet above sea level I wasn't sure if the seeds would take but they did, and I now have two plants growing quite happily.

Yorkshire isn't famous for it's high temperatures, although we do occasionally get nice warm summers. The weather here is usually cool and wet though it has been getting milder in the winter. The temperatures range from...70's in the summer (if we're lucky)... through to -6 in the winter, and it has dropped to -10 with a wind chill.

I've grown the Drago in a pot on a sunny window ledge and this year transfered it to a larger pot and put outside in a protected location in full sun. It's doing really well and has now grown to about 18inches. It has good, strong leaves at about one and a half inches wide with red razor edges (makes me think of a dragons tongue). Before winter I will move the tree back inside and into our conservatory.

My plan is to keep it inside for the winter months and outside for the summer months. I'm hoping that one day when it's mature enough that it may be able to witstand our winters and grow happilly outdoors on it's own for the rest of it's life. We shall see. This tree is special to me and I don't want to harm it. The fact that it is growing at 1000 feet above sea level is a good start. We'll see what happens in a few years.

The other plant...if you're wondering, is at my parents home accross the valley.

Positive albleroy On Feb 11, 2003, albleroy from Wavre/ greenhous +/- 2500 species, IA wrote:

This is one of the generea I am studying on the Canary Islands, for 14 years. I know several locations where we can still find these trees in the wild. The number is every year a bit smaller, a lot of this plants are rooted up for selling to hotels and local authorities - the officials who are supposed to protect them in the wild.

I found last year ONE PLANT that had red flowers! This must be studied, and I hope to give you later the result of the investigations and analyses.

I am also studying the genus Aeonium, Greenovia, Monanthes and Ceropegia I am on the islands every year during April/May and October.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tucson, Arizona
Agoura Hills, California
Arcadia, California
Bostonia, California
Encinitas, California
Fairfield, California
Fallbrook, California
Fresno, California
Glen Avon, California
Hayward, California
Long Beach, California
Reseda, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
Simi Valley, California
Spring Valley, California
Tulare, California
Upland, California
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Naples, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Yulee, Florida
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Makaha, Hawaii
Wailuku, Hawaii
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
North, South Carolina
Long Beach, Washington

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