Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor' (Tricolor Dracaena)

  • TropPlant Accession Number (TPAN): 0006
  • Botanical Name: Dracaena marginata
  • Common Name: Tricolor Dracaena, Money Tree, Tricolor Madagascar Dragon Tree
  • Cultivar: 'Tricolor'
  • Family: Asparagaceae 
*The plant specifically pictured and discussed in this post is Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor', but the information presented also applies to Dracaena marginata. There are notes to indicate differences.

Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor'
Photo by Matthew Gaston

  • Native To: Madagascar 

Landscaping Information

  • Plant Type: Tree, Indoor Plant
  • Texture: Fine, Open, Sharp
  • Form: Upright-Narrow to Irregular
  • Height (on average, in landscape use):  Outdoors: 8'-15' ; Indoors: 2'- 4'
  • Height to Spread: Grows much taller than wide. A narrow plant. 
  • Growth Rate: Slow
  • Landscape Values: Accent, Color, Indoor, Lanai, Patio, Quick Effect, Sculptural Form,  Specimen
  • Outstanding Quality: Foliage Color, Variegation, Form/Silhouette
Dracaena marginata
Photo by Matthew Gaston

Botanical Descriptions

  • Flowers: Small yellow flowers. Not frequently seen.
  • Fruits: a small yellow to orange berry. Not frequently seen.
  • Foliage Color: Young/immature: Yellow Green with Red margins. Mature: Variegated including pink, reddish pink, cream, yellow, yellow-green, bright medium green, gray green, and dark green arranged in parallel stripes. The cultivar name 'Tricolor' refers to the three bases colors red, green, and yellow. Dracaena marginata has the same colors, but features no cream or yellow hues.
Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor'
Photo by Matthew Gaston
  • Foliage Tip: Acute
  • Foliage Base: Ensiform
  • Petiole: Absent
  • Stipules: N/A
  • Margins: Smooth
  • Leaf Arrangement: Rosette (Alternate)
  • Leaf Shape: Ensiform (Sword-like)
  • Leaf Type: Simple
  • Leaf Texture: Glabrous, smooth, prominent parallel venation. 
  • Leaf Special Notes: Reddish color fades as leaves mature. Older leaves droop naturally.
Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor'
Photo by Matthew Gaston

Dracaena marginata 
Photo by Matthew Gaston

  • Bark and Trunk: textured trunk, leaf scars are noticeable on younger shoots. As the shoots mature, they become more rough.

Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor'
Photo by Matthew Gaston
Horticultural Information

  • Light Preference: Semi-Sun
  • Light Tolerances: Shade, Full Sun
  • Soil Preferences: Slightly Acidic, Neutral, Slightly Alkaline, Sand, Loam, Dry (Mesic), Well-Drained.
  • Tolerances: Drought
  • Water Requirements: Low: Drought tolerant, especially when established
  • Notes on Maintenance: In low light conditions, color will fade and leaves might drop. Not many known pests when grown outdoors, but indoors spider mites are a known pest. Needs well draining soil. In the wild, grows as a single trunk. In cultivation, the practice of cutting the stem to promote multiple shoots is done to give a more full, multi-branched structure. 
  • Propagation: Cutting
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 10a
  • Weed Risk Assessment Score (WRA):  -1, Low Risk

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