The dragon tree needs well-dosed fertilizers for strong growth. When, how and with what you should fertilize the green plant, you can find out here.
For a dragon tree to develop well and stay healthy, it needs the right fertilizer at the right time. The frequency of fertilizer application depends primarily on the growth rhythm of the indoor plants. The species that are cultivated in the house include the fragrant dragon tree (Dracaena fragrans), the fringed dragon tree (Dracaena marginata), and the Canarian dragon tree (Dracaena draco).
In summer these are usually in their growth phase and they need more or more nutrients. In winter, the incidence of light is less and the temperature also drops in some rooms, so that the tropical plants enter a rest phase. During this time you should fertilize them accordingly less.
For fertilizing most of the dragon trees in the house, a liquid green plant fertilizer can be added to the irrigation water. From March to September the houseplants are fertilized every one to two weeks, from October to February every four to six weeks at the most. To avoid over-fertilization, you should not exceed the recommended quantities on the packaging.
Which fertilizer is suitable for the dragon tree?
Dragon trees are among the green plants that usually do not develop flowers in indoor culture. Accordingly, we do not recommend fertilizer for flowering plants, but rather a fertilizer for green plants. This usually has a high proportion of nitrogen, which is beneficial for leaf growth. The fertilizer can be optimally dosed in liquid form: it can simply be added to the irrigation water. However, anyone who often forgets fertilizing or regards it as a chore is well advised to use slow-release fertilizers. For example, there are fertilizer sticks for green plants on the market that continuously release nutrients over a period of three months.
Those who grow their dragon tree in hydroponics and thus dispense with potting soil should use special hydroponic fertilizers. They are usually dosed lower and contain the necessary nutrients in an easily absorbable form.
Regardless of which fertilizer you choose: When dosing, note the information on the packaging of the respective fertilizer. These quantities should not be exceeded – instead, it is even advisable to fertilize more frequently and with less concentration. With common liquid fertilizers, the cap also serves as a measuring cup. Half a fertilizer cap is often enough for two liters of irrigation water.
When and how is the dragon tree fertilized?
Most dragon trees are in their growth phase from March to September: At this time, the houseplants should be given a fertilizer for green plants every one to two weeks. When dosing, follow the fertilizer manufacturer’s instructions and only pour the solution onto the damp root ball, never onto the dry one. Also, be careful not to wet the leaves. If this does happen, you should wash the foliage off with clean water.
From October to February, the amount of fertilizer used is reduced: then it is sufficient if the dragon tree is supplied with fertilizer about every four to six weeks. Even before the start of the rest period, you can increase the intervals between the nutrients. Especially with the Canary Islands dragon tree (Dracaena draco), you have to pay attention to the rest phase in winter.
Then he likes to stand in a cool room – the uptake of nutrients by the roots is significantly inhibited or even completely blocked during this time. In case of doubt, it is even advisable to forego fertilization entirely. And another tip: if you have just repotted your dragon tree, you should wait around six to eight weeks before fertilizing it again. Because almost all potting soil contains a large supply of nutrients at the beginning.
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Kathryn S. Crane is a retired teacher. A freelance writer for Crown-Times, her subjects of interest are biology and art. Even before retirement, she was involved in phenological observations of the growth stages of plants. She enjoys following the activity of birds, bees, and bumblebees in her garden. However, she does not want to call herself an ornithologist.