A dragon tree occasionally has to move to a new pot. You can find out when and how often you should repot the houseplant here.
A dragon tree is extremely easy to care for if – and this is crucial – it is repotted regularly. Usually, dragon trees themselves indicate that they are no longer satisfied with their old quarters. Their growth stagnates and the leaves wither. You can find out when it is time to repot and how best to proceed here.
Why do you have to repot a dragon tree?
There are several reasons to repot a dragon tree. The first shows up when you buy it. The houseplant is offered in handy pots. The vessel is too small for a long-term stay in the new home. In addition, the substrate rarely proves to be optimal: In the long term, it usually does not have the necessary structural stability.
The soil compacts too much when watered. The dragon tree in particular is used to permeable soils from its natural habitat. If there is a lack of oxygen in the earth, its roots can neither breathe properly nor absorb nutrients. With repotting you change the soil and thereby improve the growth conditions.
With older specimens that have been in their pot for a long time, the soil can simply be deleted. Repotting also helps to regain vitality. You can usually tell from the plant whether the soil in the pot has been used up: it looks limp and stunted. If you renew the soil when repotting, the fertilizer can also be evenly distributed again. The transplanting action is necessary if you discover signs of root rot. This occurs with waterlogging. An infestation with pests also forces you to act.
When and how often do you repot dragon trees?
Young dragon trees are usually particularly vigorous. The pot is often too small for them after just one growing season. That is why the still manageable specimens are repotted every year. With age, dragon trees grow more slowly.
Then you can do with repotting every two to three years. The best time to repot is spring. The growing season of the dragon trees begins in March. The regenerative powers are greatest until May. This makes new waxing easier. Do not choose the new planter too big, but it should be at least three centimeters more in diameter.
Which substrate does the dragon tree need?
The dragon tree needs humus-rich and permeable soil. In the trade, you can find indoor or potted plant substrates that are specially tailored to your needs. For example, green plant and palm soil offer a humus-fertile substrate with clay granules for optimal air and water flow, as is the case with dragon trees, which are often referred to as false palms.
If you want to make your own soil mix, make sure it has a loose structure. Volcanic rock granules such as lava gravel or clay granules such as expanded clay ensure good drainage and aerate the substrate. A possible mixture consists of nutritious potting soil, coconut fiber, and drainage material in equal parts.
Tip: You can also grow dragon trees using hydroponics. The oxygen-loving house plants are particularly suitable for the hydroponic substrate and you save yourself constant repotting. However, if you repot a dragon tree that has previously been grown in soil in expanded clay or ceramic, you have to be meticulous to rinse all soil from the roots.
Repotting the dragon tree: step by step
Pot out the dragon tree. Try to keep the old ball of the earth as undamaged as possible and only loosen the top layer of soil around the trunk. Check the root ball: if it seems too dry, place the lower part of the plant with the root ball in a bucket of water. As soon as no more bubbles rise, take the dragon tree out of the immersion bath.
Place a pottery shard over the bottom drainage hole in the new vessel. On top of this, fill an approximately three-centimeter thick drainage layer made of expanded clay or gravel. Pre-filled drainage bags that can be reused are practical.
Only fill the bottom of the pot so far with soil that the plant will later sit as deep as before. Now you can use the dragon tree.
Fill the space between the root ball and the pot with the substrate. Then press the soil down well and water it.
Ensure optimal conditions after repotting
Do not fertilize freshly potted dragon trees again until after four to six weeks. There is usually enough storage fertilizer in the substrate. In addition, the plant should form new roots. If there are too many nutrients, it does not look for them and takes root badly.
Because the dragon tree has to concentrate on rooting after repotting, all other environmental influences should also be correct. And another tip: if your dragon tree gets too big and you cut it, you can put the cuttings in the ground as cuttings. If at some point the old dragon tree is too powerful to repot, start over with the offspring.