Ask a Question forum: Dracaena marginata propagating?

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Name: Jack
Calgary Alberta
Jacknorman17
Aug 3, 2017 9:27 AM CST
Hello All! This is my first post on this site here so pardon if I am not in the right forum area. I am trying to propagate my favorite plant and just have a question. The plant has three main trunks, with several branches coming off all of the trunks. I have done some searching and have found that the plant in question is supposed to be fairly easy to propagate. The method I am using is cutting the foilage off the top and planting in soil. My question is if I cut just one branch off of the main trunk will I get new growth coming from that cut? Or should I be cutting all the tops off to remove all of the leaves to get it to Bud? I have attached a picture to hopefully explain my question a little bit better. I am just not sure if the cut I made will encourage new growth if I leave several branches on that same trunk with foilage on it. Thanks in advance for any advice
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Aug 3, 2017 12:32 PM CST
Welcome!

Cutting a stem will encourage new growth on that stem. Just that stem.
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Name: Jack
Calgary Alberta
Jacknorman17
Aug 3, 2017 12:54 PM CST
Yes I know I will only encourage growth on the cut stem, my question was more if I leave the foilage the rest of the plant if that will affect the growth of the cut stem?
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Aug 3, 2017 12:59 PM CST
You don't have to remove all the rosettes to encourage branching at any given point.

Don't make the cut too far away from the tip. Prune where you want the mother plant to grow new stems, and then if necessary reduce that cutting back to maybe an inch of stem, roughly, maybe a bit less. You'll have better results with the rooting that way, and the cutting will be less likely to tip over in the interim.

Welcome!
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Aug 3, 2017 1:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Jack
Calgary Alberta
Jacknorman17
Aug 3, 2017 1:09 PM CST
Excellent! That was indeed My Hope and that is also what I have already done, I was just worried afterward that the plant was already getting enough food from the existing leaves that it would not branch.
Thank you very much for the reply
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 3, 2017 4:11 PM CST
I would not consider even trying a cutting shorter than a foot. I have tons of these plants from propagating cuttings, usually about 2 feet, but up to 3.5 feet. Whenever a branch gets too tall, off with its' head. A nice long length of naked stem that can reach all the way to the bottom of a pot makes it easier for the cuttings to stand up straight, IME.

There is go guarantee about what will happen afterward, but usually one new stem grows near the cut point on the stump. Sometimes more than 1 new stems forms. Sometimes a new stem comes up from the roots. I've seen all of these results.

Some pics from the past month or so.
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A few of the most recently beheaded stems growing back:
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For those who do want a shorter cutting, (which probably works too, just not ever crossed my mind to need to trim a tree that soon,) don't discard pieces of stem with no leaves. They can take root too.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Aug 5, 2017 7:00 AM CST
If you are trying to propagate the tip cuttings, then it is best to do that by air-layering. Marginata stem cuttings propagated in water or soil often die back before they develop enough roots to survive on their own
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 5, 2017 8:40 AM CST
Please show us some pics of your air-layering of D. marginata plants, Will.
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The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Aug 5, 2017 9:17 AM CST
Sorry, Tiffany. Photography is not in my area of expertise.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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