Dracaena marginata watering guidelines

Watering a dracaena marginata is important

Watering is the single most important factor to make sure your Dracaena marginata survives… and thrives!Pay attention to light levels and season to figure out if you need to water often or not.

All year long, mist water on the leaves, preferably soft water. As a general rule, try to increase humidity in the air around the plant.

Exposure and Season, two key factors

Dragon plants, when they’re in low light and the weather is cool, grow slowly. As a result, their water needs diminish. In full light and warmth, on the other hand, they’ll need a lot of water.

Here’s a short table to show how often and how much to water Dracaena marginata:

  • hot summer, full light  >>  daily or every other day, 1/2 glass of water
  • hot weather, low light >> 1 glass every week
  • cool weather, full light >> 1 glass a week
  • wintertime, low light >> 1/2 glass a fortnight

This is especially important if your plant is potted. Potted plants don’t get any water other than that which you give them.

Also, you can adjust this to the size of your potted plant. Usually, at first, the plant isn’t so big. That’s what the amounts above refer to. Later on, as it doubles in size, you can also double the amounts you give it (but not how often: that stays the same).

There’s no limit to air moisture. The higher you can get it, the happier the plant. High air moisture helps the plant keep its lower leaves for longer. In drier air, it tends to lose leaves along the lower part of the stem.

Lastly, it’s important to clean the leaves of your plant if ever the environment is dusty. It’s actually as important as fertilizing and watering, believe it or not! For example, you can move it to your bathtub or shower and hose it down occasionally.

Dracaena marginata watering in spring and summer

Leaf of the dracaena marginata with droplets.This is usually the time of the year when Dracaena marginata grows most.
Water regularly while letting the soil mix dry in the surface before watering again.

Watering must be regular but limited, in order to not suffocate the plant’s roots.
Every 3 to 7 days is largely sufficient.

More or less every two weeks during the growth phase (spring-summer-early fall), you can offer it liquid fertilizer, taking great care to moisten the soil mix beforehand.

Dracaena marginata watering in fall and winter

Start reducing the watering because the plant’s water needs start decreasing.
Only when the soil is dry down to the first inch or so (a couple centimeters), water to moisten the entire soil mix clump again.

Again, one might contend that watering one or 2 times a month is enough.
But this also depends on where your dracaena is placed: if it is in full sun, its needs will surely be higher.

  • This season is also when to stop adding fertilizer, from October all the way to March and April.

Watering mistakes to avoid

  • Overwatering – Dracaena yellow leaves are the consequence of overwatering.
  • Underwatering – Drying stems and dropping leaves result from underwatering.

Smart tip about watering your dragon plant

It helps to spread a layer of houseplant mulch on top of the soil. This will help retain soil moisture, reducing the need to water by a day or more.


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Like a waterfall by Gabriele Lässer under Pixabay license
Droplets on Dracaena marginata by Katy Warner ☆ under © CC BY-SA 2.0