Dracaena Tarzan Plant Care – Lighting Needs, Watering, Soil & Propagation

The Dracaena Tarzan is also known as the Dracaena marginata Tarzan. It is a beautiful indoor plant that can be grown outdoors.

The plant grows to about 4 to 6 feet tall indoors and features lovely pointed, dark green leaves with purple accents on the edges.

It is known to be tougher than the Dracaena marginata.

And if you look closely, you’ll see that its leaves are thicker and wider than its parent plant.

How do you care for the Dracaena Tarzan? It enjoys medium to bright indirect light. And it thrives in consistently warm, humid weather.

Avoid the cold as it is not frost hardy.

It is also prone to overwatering and root rot. So, let the soil dry between waterings and use well-draining soil. Prune the plant as needed to control its size and shape it.

Dracaena Tarzan Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Dracaena Tarzan needs to be placed in a well-lit room indoors. That’s because it thrives in medium to bright light.

Although, make sure that you’re leaving the plant in indirect, filtered or dappled light. This is ideal for this Dracaena species.

However, avoid very strong light or too much direct sunlight.

Indoors, this means keeping the plant away from the sun’s direct rays especially during the middle of the day when it is hottest.

Outdoors, the Dracaena Tarzan does best in light shade or partial shade.

Avoid leaving it out in full sun or very strong direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.

Whether indoors or outdoors, keeping it in this environment can eventually burn its leaves. Even if the sun’s rays don’t scorch its foliage, it will cause dry leaves and discoloration.

As such, indoors, the best locations are near an east or west facing window. Outdoors, keeping it in a patio or covered shaded area that still gets sufficient light is ideal.

Another thing that helps is to rotate the plant to allow it to grow evenly.

This ensures that the Dracaena Tarzan will not grow more on the side where it gets more light.

I like to do this every time I water the plant. This way, the interval is more or less the same and you turn the plant on a regular basis.

A simple 90 degree (or quarter turn) works well.

Besides excess light, avoid dark or dim locations as well. While the Dracaena Tarzan will tolerate low light, it still needs sufficient lighting for photosynthesis.

Thus, there’s a certain point where low light becomes lack of light. And this is what you want to watch out for.

Too little light will cause the plant to grow slowly.

As a result, it will not get a big as it should, it won’t produce as many leaves and the leaves will be smaller as well.

Lack of light also increases the risk of overwatering.

 

Temperature

The Dracaena Tarzan is a tropical plant that likes living in weather that is consistently moderate to warm.

This is why its ideal temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

And it has no problems as long as you maintain temperatures in the warmer levels. Anything between 55 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit will keep it happy.

It also can tolerate heat up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit without any issues or harm.

But the same is not true for the cold.

And you want to avoid cold conditions completely when it comes to the Dracaena Tarzan.

It will only tolerate up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. And anything below that will begin giving the plant issues.

Note that the initial symptoms may not be too obvious unless you observe closely.

But its growth will slow. And this will keep getting worse the longer the plant stays in the cold or the temperature keeps dropping.

After a while, you could see its growth completely get stunted.

Unfortunately, that’s not the only issue. The cold will also damage its leaves causing them to get discolors, wilt and later drop as well.

And once it gets too cold, usually in the 30 to 35 degree Fahrenheit range, the Dracaena Tarzan will sustain cold injury and damage.

This is why it is very important to avoid leaving it outdoors in the cold during winters.

Its won’t survive through the spring.

However, if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11, you can keep the Dracaena Tarzan outdoors any time of the year.

The thing to consider is that as long as there is no frost, it will be okay to leave the plant outdoors.

 

Humidity

The Dracaena Tarzan does well in average household humidity.

As long as humidity stays around the 30% to 50% range it will do well. This is just another reason that the plant is easy to care for and low maintenance.

Note that for optimal growth, it does enjoy high humidity.

That’s because it is accustomed to tropical climates which are not only known for their heat but also the high humidity.

Ideally, it prefers 60% to 80% humidity.

This will allow the plant to grow faster and produce more leaves. Additionally, it will look more vibrant as well.

However, this level is usually difficult to maintain for most homes unless you live in tropical, subtropical or Mediterranean climates.

Similarly, if you live near bodies of water like the sea, ocean or lakes, you’ll likewise have good humidity.

But outside of keeping the plant in a greenhouse, it is much easier to maintain average room humidity. Besides, the plant won’t complain at these levels. And it will stay healthy.

The thing you need to watch out for are the changes in the climates.

Winters are known for drying up the air. Similarly, if you get very hot summers that become dry, humidity will also drop.

Some appliances are also no-no’s for the plant.

Heaters, radiators and air conditioners all cause the room’s air to go very dry.

Therefore, keep the Dracaena Tarzan away from these rooms.

If you have the time, you can mist the plant to help it out. Occasional misting is sufficient. There’s no need to do a lot of it.

 

Related Articles

 

How Often to Water Dracaena Tarzan

The Dracaena Tarzan does not need a lot of water. It only needs moderate watering.

And like most other Dracaena species, it prefers to stay on the dry side.

That’s because the plant is susceptible to overwatering. And this can lead to root rot which can ultimately destroy the plant if not detected early enough.

That said, don’t allow the soil to go completely dry and stay dry for extended periods of time. This will cause the leaf tips and edges to turn brown and dry.

If you leave the Dracaena Tarzan underwatered or dehydrated, you’ll later see its lovely green leaves will turn yellow.

Sadly, this is permanent. And the yellow leaves won’t turn green again.

So, your only option is to remove or prune the discolored leaves and all affected foliage.

This means you’ll need to wait for new leaves to grow again.

As such, the most important thing about watering the Dracaena Tarzan is to avoid wet, soggy soil.  You also don’t want to allow the soil to get waterlogged.

The Dracaena Tarzan is prone to root rot which easily occurs if you overwater the plant.

Thus, don’t water it like most other houseplants.

On warmer months, it usually needs watering only once every 10-14 days.

During winter, the interval will be much longer, around 3 weeks.

Note that these figures are just estimates. And you should never use them directly. That’s because how fast or slow soil dries depends on a lot of factors.

This includes how much light it gets, the weather, humidity and current climate where you live. Therefore, never compare with other growers.

Instead, listen to what the plant is telling you.

Always allow the soil to dry slightly or in part between waterings. To know when to water, feel the soil by sticking your finger into it.

Only water when the top 2-3 inches of soil has dried.

Never do so before that in order to avoid overwatering and potential root rot.

Finally, it is important to be aware that the Dracaena Tarzan is sensitive to salts as well as excess minerals including fluoride and chlorine.

So, if you notice the leaves of the plant turn brown or yellow and watering or humidity is not the issue, consider the quality of your tap water.

Many municipalities include higher amounts of salts including fluoride and chlorine to make the water safe to drink.

However, for plants like the Dracaena Tarzan these minerals and salts will damage its leaves.

As such, if this is the case, you can allow the tap water to sit overnight to let the excess salts and minerals evaporate.

 

Dracaena Tarzan Potting Soil

Another reason why the Dracaena Tarzan is easy to care for and low maintenance is that it will do well in regular potting soil.

I do suggest using a good quality soil mix preferably one with better drainage if possible.

It is also worth noting that while the plant will have no problems with standard houseplant potting soil, I prefer to use a well-draining soil mix.

This is due to the plant’s susceptibility to overwatering and root rot.

As such, it is more of a precaution and preventive measure.

Well-draining soil is able to quickly get rid of excess moisture to keep the roots from staying into much water for long periods of time.

In doing so, it reduces the risk of root rot.

The good news is, even if you start with regular potting soil, you can still amend the mix if needed.

So, monitor the soil to see if it is holding on to too much moisture. As long as the soil is not staying wet or mucky, then it should be okay.

However, if you notice the commercial mix holding on to too much water, then add a few handfuls of the perlite.

Add some at a time and see how the plant and soil respond.

You can aways add or reduce the amount of perlite you add. Although, I do suggest in keeping a log ot make it easy to remember when you finally find the right blend.

 

Fertilizer

The Dracaena Tarzan enjoys fertilizer. And it will grow faster if you feed it.

Note that if you are going to buy the plant from a nursery or online, always check with the seller if they’ve added fertilizer or nutrients to the soil.

Most stores will do this.

And on average, the residual nutrients will last for about 6 months.

But always check since some stores will only give the plant a months’ worth of fertilizer while others will supply it with 3 months’ worth.

The reason this is important is because overfertilizing the plant is a no-no.

Too much plant food can result in fertilizer burn which can damage the leaves and roots.

As such, if the store has added 6 months of nutrients worth. It means you won’t need to feed the plant during the first 6 months you own it.

After that, it is a good idea to feed the plant when needed.

You can use a complete or all-purpose fertilizer that’s designed for indoor plants. Once a month feeding during the spring and summer is ideal.

Stop feeding by early or mid autumn. And don’t feed the plant in winter as it rests and gear up for another growing season come spring.

 

Pruning

The Dracaena Tarzan can grow to 10 feet and taller in its native habitat. But you don’t have to worry about that if you keep it indoors as a potted plant.

In most cases, the Dracaena Tarzan will reach about 6 feet tall.

You’ll likely need a 10 inch pot for a plant that is between 4 to 5 feet tall and about a 14 inch pot once it gets to 5 to 6 feet high indoors.

It is also worth mentioning that it grows taller than it will wide.

In most cases it will only get to about 3 feet from side to side.

Also, the Dracaena Tarzan is a slow grower especially when compared to other houseplants.

Thus, this gives you some time before you need to worry about its overall size.

Spring and summer are when it will grow the fastest. So feeding, light and water are important during these periods.

Due to its size, there’s a good chance that you’ll want to prune it.

Pruning is primarily done for size control and to shape the plant. It also works well if you find that certain areas are more sparse.

You can prune that section to encourage new growth to fill the sparse area.

Don’t forget to remove any yellow, brown, damaged or diseased leaves.

 

How to Propagate Dracaena Tarzan

Dracaena Tarzan propagation is usually done in a number of ways. The most common include top cutting, stem cutting, air layering and division.

Top cutting or stem tip cutting is the more popular propagation method for home growers. That’s because it is very easy to do and there are no special tools needed.

The downside is that you can only grow one new plant at a time using this methos.

Stem cuttings fix this problem as it will let you propagate multiple new Dracaena Tarzan simultaneously. But you end up cutting more of the mother plant’s stem.

Division is ideal if you have a large plant that you want to split up to 2 or more smaller new plants.

Because top cutting or stem tip cutting is what most of you will likely do, I’ll go through the steps for that process below.

 

Propagating Dracaena Tarzan from Top Cuttings (Stem Tip Cuttings)

To propagate the Dracaena Tarzan from stem tip cutting or top cutting, it is important to take a healthy stem tip.

Choose one with healthy leaves and cut the stem at the leaf line. Make sure that there are at least 1-2 nodes include in the cutting.

Nodes are essential as the new plant won’t propagate successfully without any nodes.

Don’t worry about the mother plant as cutting the top end of the stem will encourage new growth.

Now, to get back to the cutting.

If you have rooting hormone, apply that to the cut end of the stem. This will increase the success rate of propagation and will helps speed up the rooting process as well.

Don’t worry if you don’t have rooting hormone one hand. Just skip this step if that’s the case.

Then plant the cutting in a pot with well-draining soil. Make sure the pot is heavy enough and tall enough to not tip over. How big a pot will depend on how big the cutting you take.

The larger the cutting, the more leaves it has. So, it is a good idea to let a good sized piece a well.

Leave the pot in a warm location with good humidity. Make sure there is medium to bright indirect light.

Also, water the soil when needed to keep it moist. Never let the soil get soggy or mucky.

It usually takes several weeks for the new roots to develop. But during this time, all you need to do is care for the new plant like you would its parent.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Dracaena Tarzan

The Dracaena Tarzan likes being slightly root bound. So, you can leave the plant in its pot longer.

On average, repot this plant every 2 years.

Although its roots do grow faster than the plant itself, you don’t have to repot the plant until they roots get somewhat crowded (but not yet overcrowded) in the pot.

The best time to repot the plant is during spring.

When the time comes, move the plant to a pot that is 2 inches wider. Resist the temptation of using a very large pot as overpotting increases the risk of overwatering.

Additionally, have enough soil to replace the spent soil.

Since the Dracaena Tarzan is not overly picky about the kind of soil you use, you can use regular potting soil. Just make sure it is fresh and it does not retain too much moisture.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Dracaena Tarzan is toxic to people, dogs and cats. But it is only toxic when ingested or eaten.

That said, every part of the plant is poisonous.

Therefore, try to keep it away from young children and pets.

 

Dracaena Tarzan Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Dracaena Tarzan is fairly resistant to pests. But it can attract certain bugs.

These include mealybugs, mites and scale.

Of all the pests, mealybugs are the main concern. These cotton-like creatures particularly like the plant. And they tend to hide on the base of the leaves as well as they stem.

Mites on the other hand, usually hide on the undersides of the leaves.

The key with pests is to get rid of them when there’s only a few. Use a spray bottle with a soap solution and apply on the affected areas until there are no more pests.

Also, try to keep the leaves clean as this will decrease the risk of bugs.

 

Diseases

Root rot due to overwatering is something you should watch out for with the Dracaena Tarzan.

This can happen from watering the plant too frequently.

Or if the soil you use happens to hold too much moisture.

The former can cause overwatering. Meanwhile, the latter increases the risk of waterlogged soil. Both will cause the roots to sit in water for extended periods of time, which they hate.

Also, make sure to always use a pot with drainage holes so allow any excess liquid to drip out.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.