Dracaena, Red-margined Dracaena, Dragon Tree 'Tricolor'

Dracaena marginata

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Dracaena (dra-SEE-nah) (Info)
Species: marginata (mar-jen-AY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Tricolor



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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



Bloom Color:

Pale Green

White/Near White


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Birmingham, Alabama

Scottsdale, Arizona

Bellflower, California

Brentwood, California

Hayward, California

Susanville, California

Bartow, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Ahuimanu, Hawaii

Heeia, Hawaii

Kaneohe, Hawaii

Waikane, Hawaii

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Baker, Louisiana

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Edgewood, New Mexico

Caguas, Puerto Rico

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Broaddus, Texas

Fredericksburg, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 21, 2014, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Tricolor is quite a bit more tender then the plain green D.marginata. I have had mixed results overwintering my plant outdoors twice now..the first time cold weather killed the tallest stem. Last winter it squeaked by with no damage...but stressed with droopy leaves. It also appreciates being put into summer sunlight. Grows fastest with sun,pokes along in the shade..and looks weak.
As anybody can see,its flashy colors always scream tropical. A nice image in winter!


On Dec 6, 2010, Alexwtf_93 from Susanville, CA wrote:

good house plant, it grows rather quickly in bright light, and does well outdoors in warm weather


On Sep 18, 2009, plantladylin from (Zone 1) wrote:

The D. marginata makes a wonderful houseplant and when it gets long and leggy you can keep cutting it back and root the cuttings for additional plants. I started this one from a little cutting and had it in a container for years. It got neglected and the pot got stuck out behind the shed where it remained for quite awhile in deep shade in line of the irrigation system.

In front of one of our local Post Office buildings there is a D. marginata 'Tricolor' that has been in the ground for quite a few years so I finally decided I would put mine in the ground. Here in zone 9a Central Florida, they will survive if protected from frost but if we ever have a hard freeze that lasts more than a few days I'm afraid this baby will be a goner!


On Feb 23, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

A commonly grown indoor plant - I have one but it died due to an unexpected early fall frost when I had it outside - grows a bit slower than the species but not much slower. If it grows too tall, then cut halfway through and keep it in good light - it should grows back from dormant buds. The cut stalks can be tried in water but roots poorly so pot up when leaves look good.


On Sep 3, 2006, kznchik from Bellflower, CA wrote:

This is a beautiful and hardy plant that thrives under minimal care. I am currently growing three outdoors and I have discovered, much to my delight, that all three do equally well in any light exposure from full shade to full sun.

To avoid flouride induced leaf spotting, I try to maintain the soil pH at a slightly acidic level. Roots of this plant grow particularly deep, so I make a point of selecting a tall but relatively narrow pot (think tomato pot) for healthy vertical root growth. Repotting is rarely a need for concern; the plant responds quite well and graciously by quickly sending up new growth for its caretaker to enjoy!


On Oct 3, 2004, madi_rae from Cumming, GA wrote:

Excellent plant, very hardy. Easy to care for and still look good at the same time. Leaves die at the bottom as the plant grows, simply pull them away. :) !!!