Dracaena reflexa var. angustifolia

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Dracaena reflexa var. angustifolia
Group: Angiosperms
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Dracaena
Species: D. reflexa var. angustifolia
Classified: Byng & Christenh, 2018, (N.E.Br, 1911)
Propagation: From From division, seeds
Adult size: 30 meters
Lighting: Low light tolerated, high light preferred
Watering: When soil is completely dry
Fertilization: Monthly during active growth
Soil: Extremely well drained
Humidity: Any
Other information
Toxicity: Toxic
Rarity: Common
See more Dracaena

Common names:

Dracaena marginata, Dragon tree

Dracaena reflexa var. angustifolia is a tree like flowering plant with strap-like leaves. They are adapted to long periods of drought, harsh sunlight or low light and so make excellent houseplants.


Dracaena comes from the Ancient Greek word, Drakaina, meaning 'female dragon' the red stems often found in Dracaena likening it to the colour of dragon blood.

Marginata is in reference to the coloured margins of the leaves.



D. reflexa var. angustifolia holds a single cluster of leaves on a tree like stem. The leaves are many different shapes, lengths and colours depending on cultivar. The plant exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide using the crassulacean acid metabolism process, which is only present in a small number of plant species. It allows them to withstand drought.


D. reflexa var. angustifolia inflorescence

D. reflexa var. angustifolia flowers grow on a very long flower stalk. The stalk can reach a length of up to 3 feet (1 m.) and will be covered in dozens of flower buds. The flowers are white. The flowers also have a very strong, pleasant smell.


D. reflexa var. angustifolia would prefer high light but can tolerate lower light levels. When placing this plant in direct sunlight it should be slowly acclimated over a few days to avoid the risk of leaves scorching or yellowing.

Use an extremely well draining soil mix (see succulent soil) and water thoroughly, allowing excess to drain. Do not allow the plant to sit in water. Allow the soil to dry through completely before watering again. If the plant is in a low light placement in your home, allow the plant to sit dry for several days to a week before watering again to ensure there is no risk of rot.

Sun Damage

Moving the plant from a low-light indoor aspect to a bright, south facing window or outside in direct sun will lead to leaves bleaching and scorching. When moving the plant outdoors, choose a spot in shade or that gets dappled or screened sunlight. Let the plant slowly acclimate to being outdoors and never move the plant into direct sun without slowly building up a tolerance first. Some direct morning or evening sun is fine but hot midday light will scorch the leaves without acclimatisation.

Slow decline

Succulent plants can experience a slow decline and death in the home. You are giving the plant lots of direct light and watering only when the soil is completely dry and yet the plant is still slowly dying. This is almost always because the soil and substrate the plant is in is too moisture retentive. The soil used by growers is often peaty and retains too much moisture, or becomes extremely difficult to rehydrate once it has dried through. This means your plant experiences extreme drought followed by long periods of being waterlogged.

Repot your plant using an extremely well draining succulent soil, stripping away as much of the existing substrate as possible. With a soil that is mostly inorganic minerals you can get away with watering your plant frequently, and knowing the substrate will be dry within a day or two. You should see an almost immediate change in your plants condition within a week or two.

Cold Damage

Exposure to the right temperatures can be the difference between a thriving plant and a plant that looks ugly and unhealthy. D. reflexa var. angustifolia will survive temperatures down to 5°C / 41°F. Daytime temperatures between 15°C and 26°C (60°F and 80°F), and night temperatures between 12°C and 21°C (55°F and 70°F) are ideal for healthy growth.


D. reflexa var. angustifolia is highly pest resistant, however it can be affected by spider mites and mealybugs.