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How to Tell if Dragon Tree Plant Needs Watering?

Updated: December 22, 2022

Dragon tree plants, also known as Dracaena marginata, are popular indoor plants due to their striking appearance and relatively low maintenance requirements. However, knowing when to water your dragon tree can be a bit tricky as overwatering or underwatering can harm the plant’s health. In this article, we will discuss how to tell if your dragon tree plant needs watering and provide some tips on proper watering techniques.

Signs that Your Dragon Tree Needs Watering

  1. Dry Soil: One of the most obvious signs that your dragon tree needs watering is dry soil. You can check the soil moisture by sticking your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your plant.

  2. Drooping Leaves: Another sign of underwatering is drooping or wilting leaves. If the leaves are soft and bend easily, it means that the plant is dehydrated.

  3. Brown Tips: If you notice brown tips on the leaves of your dragon tree, it could indicate both overwatering and underwatering. Overwatering can cause root rot, while underwatering can lead to dehydration and nutrient deficiency.

  4. Yellowing Leaves: Lastly, yellowing leaves can also be a sign of both overwatering and underwatering. Overwatered plants may develop yellow leaves that fall off easily, while underwatered plants may have yellow leaves that stay attached to the stem.

Proper Watering Techniques for Dragon Tree Plants

Now that you know how to tell if your dragon tree needs watering, let’s talk about proper watering techniques to keep your plant healthy.

  1. Water thoroughly but infrequently: It’s important to water your dragon tree thoroughly so that the water reaches the roots of the plant. However, you should avoid frequent watering as it can lead to overwatering and root rot. Instead, wait until the soil is dry before watering again.

  2. Use room temperature water: Cold water can shock the roots of the plant, while hot water can scald them. To avoid any damage, use room temperature water when watering your dragon tree.

  3. Use well-draining soil: Dragon trees prefer well-draining soil as it allows excess water to flow out of the pot. This prevents water from sitting in the soil and causing root rot. You can mix perlite or sand into the soil to improve drainage.

  4. Don’t water the leaves: While it may be tempting to water the leaves of your dragon tree, it’s best to avoid doing so. Water droplets on the leaves can act as magnifying glasses and burn the leaves in direct sunlight.


How often should I water my dragon tree?

Dragon trees should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry. This usually translates to once every 7-10 days, depending on factors such as humidity, temperature, and size of the pot.

Can I use tap water to water my dragon tree?

While tap water is safe for humans to drink, it may contain minerals and chemicals that can harm your dragon tree over time. It’s best to use filtered or distilled water for watering your plant.

How do I know if I am overwatering my dragon tree?

Overwatering can cause the leaves of your dragon tree to turn yellow and fall off easily. The soil may also have a sour smell, and the plant may become mushy or soft to the touch.

Can I mist my dragon tree?

Misting your dragon tree may make it look more attractive, but it’s not necessary for its health. In fact, misting can increase humidity levels around the plant and lead to fungal growth.

Should I fertilize my dragon tree?

Dragon trees benefit from fertilization during their growing season (spring and summer). Use a balanced fertilizer and follow the instructions on the package. Over-fertilization can harm the plant, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.