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How Much Light Do Dracaena Marginata Need? Answered

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Dracaena plant

Dracaena marginata grows best in bright-indirect sunlight a few feet away from a south-facing window. Although, they will happily grow in medium light conditions near east or west-facing windows and are even tolerant of low-light conditions, which they can receive near a north-facing window.

Dracaena marginata are hardy popular indoor plants. Their relatively easy-to-grow nature and their ability to survive in most lighting conditions make them an excellent choice as home or office indoor potted plants.

They will also happily live outdoors in the summer in hardiness zone 9 and remain outdoors in the winter in hardiness zones 10 and 11, making the Dracaena marginata an overall great choice for any plant owner.

How Much Light Do Dracaena Marginata Need Indoors?

Dracaena marginata is relatively easy-going when it comes to lighting requirements. But they will grow best if they receive bright indirect sunlight. Try to ensure that your indoor Dracaena marginata plants do not receive too much direct sunlight.

The best position for your plant to receive bright indirect sunlight is a few feet away from a south-facing window. South windows allow the most sunlight to come through for the most extended time. During the winter months, south-facing windows are great for most house plants.

Large windows are also an excellent source of light as they allow for a large area for light to filter through.

In these conditions, either placing your plant at a south-facing window or near a large window, you can expect your Dracaena marginata to grow exceptionally well and produce vibrantly colored leaves.

These plants are slow-growing, and under optimal growing conditions, you can expect them to produce an average of 18 inches of height per year in their first few years of growth. With them reaching a maximum of around 10 – 15 feet in height.

Dracaena marginata will also grow relatively well if exposed to medium light conditions. These lighting conditions are often the usual if you keep your plant in an office or home environment with no south-facing windows.

Plant Dracaena Marginata

The best position for your plant to receive good medium-light would be near the east or west-facing window. You can still expect your Dracaena marginata to have good growth and health in these lighting conditions.

Low lighting conditions are not optimal, but your Dracaena marginata will still grow, albeit slowly, in these conditions. In these instances, it’s best to place your plant close to a north-facing window.

If there are no windows present in the room, place your plant in the area that receives the most light or invest in some grow lights for your pants.

Providing Extra Light For Your Dracaena Marginata Indoors

In some cases, you might feel that your Dracaena marginata is not receiving adequate lighting.

It might be because the room where you have placed your plant has no windows, or maybe the lighting during winter is insufficient. There are a variety of instances that could cause you to feel this way.

Electric or artificial lights are the best way to provide your plants with the extra light that they might require. There are four different types of artificial lights that you can choose from these include light-emitting diodes, high-density, fluorescent, and incandescent lights.

The overall consensus is that fluorescent lights provide the best lighting for indoor plants. Fluorescent tubes provide little to no additional heat and are available in various types with a relatively long lifespan.

For your Dracaena marginata plants, you would probably want to go with a fluorescent light that gives off around 750 – 1,000 foot candles or an average of 15 watts per square foot. This range of light is the best lighting for plants that require medium light conditions.

Two or three fluorescent lights should be sufficient to give off the necessary amount of light for your plants.

You should ensure that your lights are around 6 – 12 inches away from the tips of your plant for optimal results.

You can keep your lights on for approximately 12 – 14 hours a day if additional light is also received, and in the case of plants that are receiving no other light source, you can leave the lights on for 16 – 18 hours a day.

Best Lighting Conditions For Your Dracaena Marginata Outdoors

Dracaena marginata is Native to Mauritius and Madagascar, which are tropical regions. Therefore, Dracaena marginata can only live outdoors if grown in a suitable climate that does not drop below 60°F.

Dracaena marginata can remain outdoors during the summer months in hardiness zone 9 but will need to be taken indoors during the winter. In hardiness zones 10 – 11, they can remain outdoors during the winter as they will not be at risk of frost in these climatic conditions.

When grown outdoors, Dracaena marginata can grow upwards of 15 – 20 feet tall and 3 – 10 feet wide. They prefer areas that receive morning and evening direct sunlight but receive shade in the afternoons, protecting them from the harshness of the afternoon sun.

Although, once they get to a certain height outdoors, chances are they will be receiving direct sunlight for most of the day. The extended periods of direct sunlight might result in some of the plants’ leaves getting burnt.

Dracaena Marginata plant

Signs That Your Dracaena Marginata Is Getting Too Much Light

Indoor Dracaena marginata plants are relatively light-sensitive to direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight could result in your plant’s leaves burning, which will produce brown spots on the leaves and the leaves looking dry and starting to crisp.

The leaves may also start to develop a bleached look about them if they receive too much light or direct sunlight for extended periods.

If you notice that your Dracaena marginata has started to show signs that it has received too much light, you should move it to an area that does not get as much direct sunlight.

Signs That Your Dracaena Marginata Is Not Getting Enough Light

There are a few indications that you can look out for in the case of not enough light. These include small new leaves, stunted or slow growth, pale leaves, and overall legginess as the plant grows.

If you notice that your Dracaena marginata has started to show signs that it is not receiving enough light, you should move it to an area that receives good indirect sunlight.

If this is not possible, consider installing some fluorescent lights in the room with the plant to help increase its light absorption.

Why Is Light So Important For Plant Growth?

Plants are autotrophs, which means they need to produce their food themselves., They do this by photosynthesizing.

Photosynthesis is when plants convert light energy, water, and CO2 into glucose (their food source) and oxygen. Whether natural or artificial, light is a crucial aspect of photosynthesis. If a plant is unable to photosynthesize, it would not have the ability to generate food for itself.

Without food, plants would not grow. They would not produce flowers or food products. Therefore light is directly related to how well a plant grows and its overall health.

Photosynthesis also releases oxygen into the atmosphere, which supports life all over the planet.

Dracaena Marginata Light Requirements FAQs

Can Dracaena Marginata Live In Low Light?

Dracaena marginata can survive in low light conditions as they are well suited to most degrees of indoor lighting.

Although your plant will probably not grow at its optimal capacity in these situations, these low light conditions can result in stunted growth, producing small new leaves and overall legginess.

What Kind Of Light Do Dracaena Marginata Need?

Dracaena marginata prefer bright indirect sunlight, although they will happily grow in medium light conditions.

The best position for your plant to receive this kind of light would be a couple of feet away from a south-facing window or near an east or west-facing window.

Can Dracaena Marginata Take Full Sun?

Dracaena marginata do not do well indoors in full sunlight. You can expect to start seeing some brown burn spots on your plant’s leaves in these conditions.

Outdoors your Dracaena marginata will do well in direct sunlight for a few hours in the morning and the evening but should be in the shade during the harsh afternoon sunlight hours.

Do Dracaena Marginata Plants Survive Well Indoors?

Yes, Dracaena marginata plants are well suited to indoor life. They are not too fussy about their lighting preferences, survive well in bright indirect sunlight and medium light conditions, and even tolerate low light.

Their easy-going nature regarding light requirements makes them good choices for an indoor plant.

Will Dracaena Marginata Plants Survive Well Outdoors?

Whether or not your Dracaena marginata will survive outdoors largely depends on where you live. If you stay in hardiness zones 10 and 11, then yes, Dracaena marginata will grow well outdoors in both summer and winter.

If you live in hardiness zone 9, you can keep your plant outdoors during the summer, but you will need to move it indoors during the winter. Anything below hardiness zone 9, you will need to keep your plant indoors at all times.

How Can You Tell If Your Dracaena Marginata Is Getting Enough Light?

If your Dracaena marginata looks healthy, happy, and growing optimally, you know that your plant is getting enough light.

Your plant leaves will be vibrantly colored, and the new leaves will appear as they should and not be too small.

Suppose your plant if free of pests; that is another way to tell it is getting enough light. If your plant is getting enough light, it will be less open to a pest infestation. Unhappy plants are often more susceptible to attracting pests.


Dracaena marginata is easy to care for and are not fussy in their lighting conditions. Although they do prefer to reside in an area that receives good indirect sunlight, the best position for this kind of light would be a few feet away from a south-facing window.

They will also grow quite well in medium light conditions, such as those near an east or west-facing window.

They are tolerant of low-light conditions, such as those near a north-facing window. In extreme low light cases, it might be a good idea to install a fluorescent light or two to keep your plant growing optimally.