Compact Dragon Tree

Compact Dragon Tree

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The Compact Dragon Tree, or Dracaena fragrans, is so-named because, in the wild, this plant can produce strongly scented flowers (although it's very unlikely to produce flowers when kept as a house plant).

The 'dragon' part of the name comes from a legend that an ancient, many-headed dragon was once slaughtered and that its blood caused many new trees to grow in that area - these were dragon trees!

They're from tropical East Africa, and first became popular in Europe in the 1800s. They took a little longer to catch on in the US, but were common houseplants there too by the 1900s.

Compact Dragon Tree


Like most plants from the Dracaena family, Compact Dragon Trees are easy to care for and can tolerate quite a bit of neglect before they start to look unhappy.

They don't need too much water and can be allowed to dry out between waterings.

However, Compact Dragon trees are very sensitive to fluoride and can get spots from it, so if possible water them with filtered water and / or rainwater.

They're pretty chill when it comes to lighting conditions too, and can adapt to a number of different light levels. Ideally, you should keep yours in part sun, part shade, but it should be just fine in lower light conditions also. If you place yours in too much direct sunlight, its leaves can become scorched, leading to some unsightly brown markings.

Browning of the leaf tips / edges can also be a consequence of overly dry air, so you may want to try boosting the humidity by misting. Make sure your plant is also kept away from AC units, as this can quickly dry it out. Another easy way to boost humidity is to group plants together so they can 'share the air', so to speak!


It is said that as long ago as 10,000 BC, native tribes used these plants as a way to mark sacred sites, and they were thought to symbolise good fortune.

As well as being a lovely decorative plant that can suit a number of different home decor styles, Compact Dragon Trees also work as air purifiers. So, not only do they look good in your home, but they also help to cleanse the air of toxins.