Common names: Dragon tree, Dragon's blood tree.
These house plants are usually grown for their ornamental foliage and palm tree look.
Mature trees are sparsely branched, with evergreen sword-shaped leaves.
Panicles of greenish-white scented flowers appear in summer followed by orange-red fruits in autumn.
In its natural setting (sub-tropical areas) it grows to tree like proportions, where it can grow to a height of around 8 m (25ft) with a spread of around 4m (13ft)
When grown as a house / conservatory plant,these dimensions can be controlled by pot / container size e.g. plants growing in a 600mm (2ft) diameter container generally grow to around 1200mm (4ft) high with a 500mm (18") spread.
Most commonly, they are grown in 150mm (6") pot and this tends to restrict the height to around 600mm (24").
Grow plants in John Innes potting compost No. 3 or equivalent.
Do not let the compost dry out, in the growing season keep moist .
Control the humidity around the plant with misting.
In winter, keep the plants on the dry side by watering sparingly, increase watering from May to September.
Brown spots on the leaves can indicate that the plant may be underwater.
Feed them a balanced liquid feed every two weeks from June to September.
Keep them in an area where they get as much light as possible and shade from hot sun when necessary.
They are tolerant to low light levels, and moderate humidity indoors.
Maintain a minimum winter temperature of 13°C (55°F)
Pests and Diseases:
They are prone to attacks from red spider mite and Scale insects.
Pruning is not normally required, however; if the plant growth is somewhat weak,cut them back to within 150mm (6") of the base in spring.
Re-potting is best done in April.(Week 17)
Take 75mm (3") basal shoots or tip cuttings of mature growths.
Place the cuttings in equal parts (by volume) peat and sand, and propagate at a temperature of 21°C (70°F)
When rooted set the cuttings in 75mm (3") pots of potting compost, pot on as necessary.
Alternatively, cut 75mm (3") sections of older leafless stem lay and flat on surface of the compost then lightly cover with compost and propagate at a temperature of 21°C(70°F).