The Q&A Archives: Dracaena Propogation

Question: My dracaena is so big it is curling up against the ceiling of my living room. I would like to cut it back, and propogate the cuttings. Where do I cut it, and how do I get the cuttings to root?

Answer: If you remove the growing tip, the lower portion of the plant will stay bare. So essentially you will want to try to grow a new replacement plant from a tip cutting or by air layering.

Take a tip cutting up to about two feet long (allow up to about six inches of bare stem below the foliage) and plunge the bare stem end in a sterile soilless potting mix that is barely moist. Set it in deep enough to stay upright on its own with the foliage beginning just above the soil line. Keep it in the same type of lighting as the plant is in currently or a little bit shadier. Keep the soil barely damp. Roots should form in several weeks.

To air layer, make a slanting cut about a third to half way through the bare stem below the greenery where you want roots to form, insert a small wedge to prop the cut open (such as the tine from a plastic fork or a toothpick) and wrap it in damp spagnum moss, then wrap the whole area in plastic wrap to keep it moist and humid inside. (It should not be dripping wet, just barely damp.) You can use tape to keep the plastic closed around it. When you see roots growing, separate it from the mother plant, remove all wrapping and plant it in soilless potting mix. The following University of Nebraska extension has diagrams of how to do this -- I know it sounds a bit odd. You may need to cut and paste the url into your browser to make it work correctly.

Good luck with your new dracaena!

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