Dracaena marginata ‘bicolor’ is a special variety of dragon plant. Deep green leaves are lined with a thin, elegant strand of bordeaux red, encasing bands of emerald green and ivory yellow.
Dracaena marginata bicolor facts
Name – Dracaena reflexa var. angustifolia ‘bicolor’
Horticultural name – Dracaena marginata
Family – Agavoidaea
Height – 3 to 6 feet (100 to 200 cm)
Type – indoor plant, houseplant
Exposure – full sun, well-lit
Soil – potting soil mix, well-draining
Foliage – evergreen
How to grow Dracaena marginata ‘bicolor’
Just like other varieties of Dracaena marginata, the ‘bicolor’ variety can be grown indoors in containers all year round.
- It can survive outdoors and in the ground only in places where temperatures never drop below 60° Fahrenheit (17° C).
Growing Dracaena marginata bicolor in pots
In a pot or container, your Dracaena marginata bicolor simply requires:
- a pot at least 10 inches across (25 cm)
- well-draining soil mix (the usual for indoor plants)
You’ll need to provide fresh nutrients every two or three years in the form of new soil mix. You can either repot your dracaena or topdress it.
Growing Dracaena marginata bicolor outdoors
Soil quality isn’t so important because nutrients will always seep in from further off. What is important is to ensure your Dracaena marginata bicolor doesn’t stay steeped in clay, waterlogged soil.
- It’s important to ensure proper drainage.
- Read our page on how to make clay soil more root-friendly
Dracaena marginata bicolor watering
Dracaena marginata bicolor is a special variety in that it tends to keep its leaves for longer than other D. marginata varieties.
- For this, it needs to be watered according to this ideal cycle: once a week, every 5 to 7 days to be exact.
- Discover how Dracaena marginata bicolor copes with lack of water
Propagating Dracaena marginata bicolor
Cuttings is by far the simplest manner of reproducing your favorite Dracaena marginata bicolor.
Propagate Dracaena marginata bicolor through stem cuttings
- select the “branch” you’re going to “sacrifice” for this. Usually, a cutting is about one foot (30 cm) long. However, you can shorten it to as little as 3 inches (7.5 cm) or make it as long as you wish.
- The mother Dracaena marginata bicolor will grow new leaves from nodes near the tip of the cut. It’ll branch out nicely.
- Place the cutting in a glass of water, leafy head upwards. Ensure the stem is immersed by about 2-3 inches (5-8 cm).
- If you’ve cut more than one cutting from the stem, mark the “top” of each leafless stem with a piece of yarn or a ribbon.
- Roots will sprout from nodes in the immersed area, while leaves will start sprouting from nodes near the tip.
- When roots reach an inch (2.5 cm) in length, the cutting can be transferred to a pot with fresh, clean soil mix.
Making cuttings and cutting the top off your dracaena is the surest way to replicate your Dracaena marginata bicolor with the exact same properties as the mother plant. In effect, it is a form of cloning.
Common diseases on Dracaena marginata bicolor
The most important problem that Dracaena plants face is almost always overwatering.
If you’re prone to visiting your plants with water daily, here’s a simple trick. It deals with overwatering (which causes yellow leaves) and insufficient air moisture.
- Switch the water saucer of your Dracaena marginata ‘bicolor’ pot out for a tray with clay pebbles. Rest the pot atop it.
- Water the pot itself only once a week. Satisfy the urge to water on other days by dousing water on the clay pebbles.
- The water will evaporate, creating air moisture that is perfect for your Dracaena marginata, without drowning it.
- More on creating air moisture around plants
Learn more about Dracaena marginata ‘bicolor’
The ‘bicolor’ Dracaena marginata variety has a distinctive thin red margin to each side of the leaves. In the center, one or more pale yellow bands alternate with green.
It has slightly less green chlorophyll in these portions of the leaves. This means it won’t be as vigorous as other all-green D. marginata cultivars.
However, it will still be more vigorous than the Dracaena marginata ‘Colorama’, ‘Kiwi’, and ‘Tricolor’ varieties. These have even less sun-processing chlorophyll cells. They require even more light.
Like most Dracaena plants, Dracaena marginata ‘bicolor’ comes from tropical countries like Costa Rica and other places along the Caribbean. The perfect temperature and moisture settings of those regions make it easier to have large plantations. Scores of cuttings grow there for export.
Such imports are occasionally infected with local pests. Each might trigger diseases on Dracaena marginata ‘bicolor’ and other houseplants, like scale insects or mealy bugs, spider mite and more.
In tropical countries, Dracaena marginata often grows in the wild, whether in its native habitat or because it was introduced there. In the wild, Dracaena marginata can grow very tall.
Read more about Dracaena marginata cultivars:
Smart tip about Dracaena marginata bicolor
If you’ve got several varieties of Dracaena marginata growing together, check how much “green” their leaves have. Place less green varieties closer to full light. Leave Dracaena marginata bicolor at a slight disadvantage.
Since it’s more vigorous, you’ll be evening growth out between varieties.
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