Description Plant habit: upright
Plant density: open
Growth rate: slow
Leaf arrangement: spiral
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: entire
Leaf shape: linear
Leaf venation: parallel
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: 18 to 36 inches
Leaf color: purple or red
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy
Flower color: white
Flower characteristic: summer flowering
Fruit shape: round
Fruit length: less than .5 inch
Fruit cover: fleshy
Fruit color: unknown
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy
Trunk and Branches
Trunk/bark/branches: showy; typically multi-trunked or clumping stems
Current year stem/twig color: reddish
Current year stem/twig thickness: very thick
Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: clay; sand; acidic; slightly alkaline; loam
Drought tolerance: high
Soil salt tolerances: poor
Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches
Roots: usually not a problem
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests
Use and Management
The upright, unbranched stems form a delicate, somewhat abstract silhouette, perfect for accent planting or for low-maintenance container culture. 'Tricolor' makes a wonderful houseplant or container specimen outdoors. It is a fine specimen to silhouette against a wall at night with uplighting. Red-edged Dracaena is commonly used as an indoor or patio plant for its tropical effect. It also functions as a foundation and specimen shrub in warm climates and has symmetrical, espalier features that make it popular. Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor' has long been used as one of our more attractive indoor foliage plants. It will grow well in light conditions ranging from full sun to dense shade; fertile well-drained soils are preferred. This durable plant requires little maintenance and is quite drought resistant. Fluoride damage may cause necrotic areas to become apparent along the leaf margins.
Dracaena grows in shade or sun and is tolerant of drought and a wide variety of soil types, though preferring an organic soil with plenty of moisture. Two or more branches form after pruning a stem. This technique can be used to increase the density of the plant. This can be beneficial since lower leaves drop from the stems as the plant grows taller leaving the bottom of the plant bare. Cut one or two of the stems to a point where new foliage is needed. Several weeks later, new growth emerges from this point.
Propagated is usually by stem cuttings and air layers. It is also grown from 2 to 4-inch long stem sections laid horizontally on a well-drained medium.
Pests and Diseases
Spider mites are a problem for Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor' when it is grown indoors. Leaf spot is a troublesome pest in outdoor locations.
This fine-textured, evergreen shrub is distinguished by its relatively thin and irregular stems that are topped by a rosette of ribbon-like leaves. The stems of this plant can reach a height of 15 feet and are covered with distinctive foliar scars. The variegated, leathery leaves have a purple stripe along their margins. The white and red flowers occur in elongate panicles above the leaves and are not showy. The small, golden berries of this shrub are also insignificant and not commonly produced in Florida. Multiple thin, curving stalks with narrow ribbon-like, green leaves edged in purplish-red and having a gold stripe along the leaf margin, distinguish this Dracaena from its multitude of relatives.