Dracaena Angustifolia Care

The Dracaena angustifolia (dragon tree) grows happily in its native Indochina, Malaysia, and northern Australia, and it’s also a popular houseplant around the world. The plant normally grows under a canopy in the forest, so it’s not really meant for placement in direct sunlight.

Interestingly, the leaves of the plant are regularly used to make green food coloring. There are also some cultures that believe Dracaena angustifolia has medicinal properties.

Dracaena Angustifolia Care
Photo by LiChieh Pan, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via Flickr

However, many people simply like the appearance of the plant and use it as a striking houseplant.

Dracaena Angustifolia Quick Care Guide

Scientific NameDracaena angustifolia
Common Name(s)Rainbow tree, Madagascar dragon tree
Size2 to 10 feet tall
LightLow or medium light
SoilIndoor houseplant soil that drains well
WaterRegular misting and light watering when the soil is dry
TemperaturePrefers 65 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit and nothing below 55 degrees
Humidity40 to 60 percent humidity
FertilizerOnce or twice in the spring
PropagationCuttings rooted in water
Pests & DiseasesScale, thrips, mealybugs, aphids
ToxicityToxic to cats and dogs

When growing Dracaena angustifolia as a houseplant, place the pot somewhere near a bright light, but try to avoid having the plant receive direct sunlight for a significant amount of time.

Dracaena angustifolia is very sensitive to water, and it’s important to avoid excessive watering at all costs.

The soil for the Dracaena angustifolia is best mixed with some compost, and it should drain reasonably fast, too, to help the plant avoid remaining waterlogged after watering.

The plant enjoys regular misting, and its water needs are not significant. The Dracaena angustifolia only needs fertilizer about once or twice a year.

All About the Dracaena Angustifolia

The Dracaena angustifolia grows long spiky leaves that almost make the plant resemble some sort of palm tree. The plant isn’t particularly difficult to grow, but it can get angry when you put the plant in bright sunlight or give it too much water. 

The most important part of bringing a Dracaena angustifolia into your home is putting it in the right place and avoiding excessive watering. Since the plant doesn’t need a ton of water, it’s a great plant for people who forget to water their plants every so often. 

Since the Dracaena angustifolia can also grow several feet tall, it’s an amazing accent piece for any room. If you place your Dracaena angustifolia in a nice big pot when you first bring it home, you won’t need to repot it for several years.

Dracaena Angustifolia Care


The Dracaena angustifolia is a great houseplant when you don’t have an overabundance of light to offer it but can still find a window with some bright indirect light.

The plant can actually grow in very low-light conditions, but it won’t really thrive and may not look like it’s doing so well.

Overall, Dracaena angustifolia does best in medium light, which is the average amount of light in most homes. Not too bright and not too dim will keep the Dracaena happy.

Avoid putting the plant anywhere that it might get direct light for a substantial amount of time.


Dracaena angustifolia doesn’t need a lot of water, and it may start to die when left in waterlogged soil. Keeping it nicely hydrated means misting the leaves every so often, as well as lightly watering the soil whenever it dries out.

A concern for owners of Dracaena angustifolia is root rot, and it’s important to let the top of the soil dry out completely before giving the plant another drink.

Some owners simply spray the top of the soil to wet it, which keeps the plant from becoming too wet and developing rot.


The Dracaena angustifolia enjoys well-draining soil that’s also rich in organic matter.

When you get the soil composition right for your Dracaena, it’s very easy to keep it alive in your home. If you purchase soil at the store, make sure it’s labeled as draining well. 

Any indoor plant potting mix is a good choice, and Dracaena angustifolia isn’t very particular about the soil in which it lives. As long as the soil doesn’t hold onto water for an excessive amount of time, the plant should remain happy in your home.


The Dracaena angustifolia does not get hungry that often, and you can usually forgo the fertilizer, at least for the first year. In the second year and beyond, you can usually fertilize the plant once or twice and not have to worry about feeding it again.

The reason Dracaena angustifolia doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer is that it grows rather slowly. Slow-growing plants don’t need regular feeding.

If you fertilize once or twice during the summer, simply use an all-purpose plant food and cut the strength by 50 percent.


You can grow a new Dracaena angustifolia by placing a small cutting into a container filled with water. A glass from the kitchen should work fine.

The cutting should take about two weeks to grow some roots. Waiting until the roots are about an inch long gives the cutting the best chance at thriving once you put it in a pot with soil.

The best cuttings will come from a mature Dracaena angustifolia. Try to avoid making a cutting from a plant that’s very young.

You may harm the young plant in your effort to create a new plant from a cutting. You may want to use a rooting powder also to boost the likelihood of success with your cutting.


Too Much Water

One of the most common reasons a Dracaena angustifolia will start to die is because it receives too much water.

Root rot is pretty common with these plants, and they’ll start to lose their leaves and turn brown when you overwater them. 

If you don’t think you’re watering the plant too much, make sure the pot has adequate drainage. Unfortunately, root rot can become so bad that the plant won’t survive, even if you put it in a new pot or switch out the soil for a better-draining variety.

Too Much Sun

Dracaena angustifolia likes bright light, but direct sunlight can burn the plant.

You might notice that the leaves have started to exhibit yellow streaks or that dry patches have started to appear on the plant.

Move the plant out of direct sunlight if you can, or you risk the entire plant dying.

Too Much Fluoride or Too Much Fertilizer

If you water your Dracaena angustifolia using run-of-the-mill city water, you might end up having an issue with yellowing leaves, which may be the result of too much fluoride. Many municipalities fluoridate their water, which is great for teeth but not always great for plants.

Another cause of yellowing leaves is too much fertilizer. You don’t absolutely need to fertilize your Dracaena angustifolia.

However, if you do want to feed your plant, make sure that the fertilizer isn’t an extra strength variety and that you only fertilize it a maximum of twice in the growing season.

Pests and Diseases

Dracaena angustifolia can develop fusarium leaf spot, which is a fungal issue.

The plant will start to get tan-colored spots on its leaves, most commonly on the smallest or newest leaves of the plant. You’ll need to employ a fungicide to fix the problem.

Related: Is Dracaena a Good Indoor Plant?