Dracaena Species, Canary Islands Dragon Tree, Drago

Dracaena draco

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Dracaena (dra-SEE-nah) (Info)
Species: draco (DRAY-koh) (Info)
Synonym:Draco arbor
Synonym:Drakaina draco
Synonym:Palma draco
View this plant in a garden



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Tucson, Arizona

Agoura Hills, California

Arcadia, California

Bostonia, California

Encinitas, California

Fairfield, California

Fallbrook, California(5 reports)

Fresno, California

Glen Avon, California

Hayward, California

Long Beach, California

Pedley, California

Reseda, California

Rubidoux, California

San Diego, California(2 reports)

San Rafael, California

Santa Barbara, California

Simi Valley, California

Spring Valley, California

Sunnyslope, California

Tulare, California

Upland, California

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Naples, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Kurtistown, Hawaii

Makaha, Hawaii

Makaha Valley, Hawaii

Nanakuli, Hawaii

Waianae, Hawaii

Wailuku, Hawaii

Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

North, South Carolina

Long Beach, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 8, 2017, DrSliderule from San Rafael, CA wrote:

I collected 4 seeds from a tree in San Diego. I read that I needed to nick the hard shell in order to have them germinate, which I did.
I planted in a cactus mix. One of the 4 seeds germinated and is growing well this summer. Only time will tell how it does in Marin County CA.(Northern CA) near the coast. I will bring the seeding inside for the winter.


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 a... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 s... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 a... read more


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.