Dracaena draco: colour variation??

greenclaws UKzone8aMarch 5, 2008

I have 3, 3yr old seed sown Dracaena Dracos (the true Dragon Tree native to the Canaries/Cape Verde Isl) from fallen seed I collected on holiday in Lanzarote, Canary Isl. Two have lots of leaves around 20inches long with a yellow edge to their bright green leaves. The third is just a bit smaller, has almost as many leaves, but these are of a slightly deeper green and with a red edge. None have yet lost any leaves so they haven't started to develop trunks yet and they are permanently growing away very happily in our g/h which we heat to a frost free temp. Is this colour difference usual??


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Hi, I grow dragos and have noticed that between the different trees there can be some difference in especialy shape of the leaves.
There are clones who seem to have longer and hanging leaves and there are clones which shorter and straight up standing leaves.
The color of the hanging leaves type is normaly a little more yellow.
Watch out for to much water in darker places.
Not with yellow margens but more yellow over the whole leaf.
The drago likes a lot of sun and in darker places will get more floppy.
They say over here that you can not kill a drago with underwatering but easely with overwatering.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 6:18AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Hi there! Thanks for the response. The 3 plants I grew were from seeds from the same tree and there is a distinct difference between the two types I have. The pics were taken over a year ago and they are a lot bigger now.
Here's one of the yellow edged ones....

and the red edged one, although the darker leaves don't show up as much here....

I tend to keep them on the dry side and only water occasionally. It was just an experiment to see if I could grow them, and it seems to be working so far. I was surprised how easily they germinated, I gave the rest of the seeds away but they have not grown for their owners.

Glad you spotted my post as I've not seen anyone from the Canaries here before!!....I was going to do another post for you about 2 Agaves I'm growing from 2inch babies off a huge plant also from the Lazarote holiday in 2004. But in the last pic above you can see one of the plants behind the Draco!! We were told it was an Aloe Vera but have now been told its an Agave of some sort...here's a pic of the mature plants similar to the one I took the babies from, the flowers were a yellowish colour and the flowering stems were 12ft or more high....any ideas??
Thanks, Gill.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 5:42PM
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Hi, the seeds of drago are easy to germinate and the plant grows well the problems start when they are some bigger.
You can grow them nice outside in summer so they will stay more compact.
Mine normaly have this red edge but like I said before I have also noticed differences between clones.

Your agave looks like Agave sisalana which has no thorns on the side of the leaves.
Aloes doesn't have the fibre structure in the leaves and are more gelly like.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 7:54PM
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Greenclaws..Your Dracos are gorgeous, and grown from seed! I have two dracos,(not seed-grown) but purchased as babies. Both are similiar in appearance...well, one is much larger than the other since it's about 8-9 yrs old.
WAtering is very important..They drink less water than other Dracaenas..But when they are watered, it's best to give a hearty drink..then let soil dry.
I believe the plant behind the dracaena is Agave..looks 'almost' like Americana/Victorian..There are some Aloes w/similar textured leaves though, unlike the common medicinal Aloe. Toni

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 12:09AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Herman, many thanks for responding again. I intend to place the 3 Dracos outside when it warms up as they are now larger than in the pics I posted and will occupy valuable space in the g/house come seed sowing time and summer. Yes, I am wondering what I will do with them when they get too big!! As you say, keeping them in the pots will restrict their size somewhat so they will be fine for some time to come.
As for the Agave, 'Sisalana' had been mentioned before but it wasn't definate, now you have come up with this name too, I'm certain it's correct. Mine don't have thorny edges to the leaves (HopefulA, checked A. Americana...it does have thorny edges even when young) just the VICIOUS spikes on the tips that are like daggers and bright reddish-brown in colour at first, darkening later on....plus there is no 'jelly stuff' in the leaves....that was what made me doubt its ID as 'Aloe Vera' in the first place....so I will now label the 2 plants Agave Sisalana! Thank you!

HopefulA...thank you for your comment! Yes I'm quite proud of my 3 seed sown Dracos, and also with the 2 Agaves from the 'pups' I collected. Find it interesting to grow stuff like this from holiday seeds or whatever. How large are your Dracos then at 8-9yrs old? Would like to see a pic if possible to show me what to expect! Both sorts of the above were sown and planted in Nov 2004 and are growing strong and healthily.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 11:19AM
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Hi Gill..Oddly enough, after reading this thread, I HAD to check Dracos..The older, which is in an upstairs south bedroom window, (9 yrs old) is all green..including edges..I'll have to measure to get a precise size, but it's a little taller than 2'..
We have a small gh...the smaller Draco is out there..the day I read your thread, I went to check..sure enough, the edges on the younger Draco are red!!! I wonder if it's a different variety or sun and cooler temps that have colored the edges..Age may be a factor too..

I have a website.. if you click on my name, but can't figure out how to post pics from Flicker to here..gotta research Flicker..it's new and confusing..lol..

Several years ago, Home Depot had 7-9' Dracos for 79.00..if I had the room and money, lol, it would have followed me home..They were in perfect condition,.. that was the only time I'd ever seen a draco sold in Il..

There's something special when we grow plants from seed/cuttings..an attachment? Are draco seeds small, med, large? Do you recall how long it took before they germinated? Was it a long wait?
Do you keep yours in full sun? Toni

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 3:15PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Toni, hello there. Well I never, you have a green and red one too!
My seeds were off the same flower stalk of the very same tree, all 3 are identical in age and have been growing right next to each other since they were tiny in the same compost mix! Guess pollination from a different type could have given us both a different colourway, as mine are distinctly different. As Jover points out, he/she has also seen differences not only in leaf colour but growth habit between different clones.

Have never seen Dracos for sale over here...and don't ever expect too either! Way to tropicalesque for the likes of the UK I would think. Some UK companies are selling seed though.

The seeds were just under 1cm in diameter, and covered in a bright orange juicy pulp which I cleaned off before planting. If I remember right I think I soaked the 'kernels' overnight. They sprouted in a little more than a week, I was surprised at that...not to mention pleased! Seeds that I gave away didn't germinate for others and my excess seedlings that I also passed on ended up in their compost heaps, no-one got theirs to grow! My 3 live in the g/h which faces south-east so get lots of direct sun...when it decides to shine that is...think it forgot last year so hope for a bit more heat from it in 2008.

I too have a great attachment to plants I have grown from seed or cuttings or have resued from what I call the 'dead and dying' trolley at the DIY store!! That's especially so with my tropicals. It's nice to buy mature plants I know, but to say I have actually got this to grow from a seed I collected or whatever 'means' something to me...my hubby thinks I've lost the plot though! Oh well, never mind. Had a wander through your garden and house on your site, you have some real spikey customers there, nice collections of plants.
Regards, Gill.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 6:50PM
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Hi Gill, sorry I didn't get back sooner..
I forgot to measure my Draco, so just hauled it downstairs..From the bottom of pot to top leaf, it stands 41"..The Draco is older than I anticipated..bought in 1996 at a Flower & Garden show. But, I'm devestated..While measuring, I noticed its trunk has some type of rotted?, chewed-up looking mess..It's not an insect..wonder what the he** that's about.
I don't know what to do??? Any advice? I haven't dwelt with plants suffering fungal/bacteria..DArn, wish I could post a pic here..maybe someone can diagnose so my draco can be treated if it's not too late.

Oh I too love buying, what I call, 'Dead Cart' at stores where employees dump 'not-so-healthy-looking' plants in carts...I've found plants as low as .10 each including a perrenial Bleeding Heart..bought 2 at .20 plus tax, can't forget tax..lol..It's one of the first flowering perrenial bushes that sprout in spring. I've also purchased plenty of tropicals/succulents via 'dead carts' in your case, trolleys?

I agree starting plants from seed/cuttings or rescues are dearest. Think I mentioned, plants such as Citrus, Hibiscus and Gardenia do best when older, shaped as trees. Since I have no idea how grafting is done, (if you want citrus to produce before retirement) it's best buying a grafted citrus. I also prefer trees to bushes, (the 3 latter plants.)as far as appearance and space issues. But 95% of my collection was started as babies. Little guys.

BTW, have you ever seen a mature Draco? There's a picture @ www.wikipedia.com They're beautiful.

Is foliage on your dracos stiff or do tips hang a bit?

Medium to large seed should be soaked at least 24 hours for quicker germination. So, whatever you did and doing, especially since your seeds germinated and others didnt, well you're doing something right..
I noticed a huge difference soaking Morning Glory seeds opposed to those that hadn't been pre-soaked... took much longer to sprout. Same w/Clivia seeds, which are quite large.

What other plants have you grown from seed?
Do you know anything about berrys from Foxtail ferns/A. meyerii? A relative of Asparagus/Plumosis...the berrys, hundreds, have turned from white to green to red...deep red. Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 2:34PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Toni, don't know what could be wrong with your Draco without a pic other than possibly botrytis aka grey mould?? Have you got a digicam that you can download pics from onto your computer?...if so its dead easy to post them on here using a free site I can give you info on. Only advice I can suggest is try to clean off any soft areas and then dust or spray with a fungicide. I hope it recovers, but a pic would be really helpful. Am really pleased with mine as the growth rate is v good, they need bigger pots this year I think.
Not seen any of the few really mature Dracos on the Canary Isles (yet!) with the 'many heads', although the one I got the seeds from in Lanzarote was tall, I could only just reach the seeds and I'm 6ft!! All 3 Dracos have relatively stiff leaves with no droop.
Have have grown from seed 4 Plumerias, 2 varieties of passion flowers, a 2ft Canary Isl Date palm, Washingtonia Robusta palm trees, Sabal Minor palm trees, (last 2 palm types are this yrs and are only seedlings at present) 1ft Kent Mango, Desert Roses/Adenium Obesum (have one left from last yr and 8 seedlings from this years sowing) Have also sprouted Delonix Regias and Caesalpinia Pulcherrimas but can't get them through winters yet. From the rescue trolley a 4ft Date Palm and a 5ft Srelitzia Reginae. Have loads more tropical seeds to start real soon. I just can't resist them!
Not grown the Foxtail fern just the A. Plumosus and A. Sprengeri.Found this following a 'Google'....."There's no need to refrigerate seed. These will take a month or possibly two to germinate at a temperature of about 65 degrees. You can plant the seed inside at any time. If you want to try outdoors, wait till spring. Split the berries to remove the seed". Have a go!!
Must dash time for bed!!its 23:58 here

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 7:59PM
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the yellow ones are the females and the red edged ones are the male, gosh i know to much for a man... oh well, i hope it helped!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 7:00PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

That's an interesting theory, (for a man! haha!) thanks for the info. I have tried to look it up but can't find anything so far.
I'm pleased to report that the 3 Draco's are still thriving, thery're currently in the heated g/h as it's realy cold over here.
Many thanks for posting, I was surprised to see this thread back on page one after such a while!
Refards, Gill ;ì )

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 7:49AM
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