Ask a Question forum: How to Propagate Madagascar Dragon Tree

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New York, NY
dckrannich
Apr 8, 2018 4:53 PM CST
I would love to propogate my Madagascar Dragon Tree but a bit unsure how. I tried to research online and I think I need to make a cut from the top of the plant but not sure how far down to go. I was thinking about an inch but I don't want to kill my current plant
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 8, 2018 5:43 PM CST
There are 3 parts of the plant you can start new plants from but all require that you cut down the plant you have.

So, if you were to cut your current plant down about 6 or 8 inches above the soil, the stub would grow new branches. The tip of the stem (also 6 - 8 inches) can be rooted by planting it in a pot of soil.

The center of the stem can be cut into 2 or 3 inch long pieces and placed on their side or upright in a pot of soil. They too will root and grow new plants. BUT all require that you destroy your current plant.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Apr 8, 2018 6:34 PM CST
Dracaena marginatas do not propagate from stem cuttings very readily because the leaves often fall off before the roots have formed sufficiently to support them with moisture.

One way to cope with this is to put the tip cutting in a small pot with damp potting mix and placing the whole thing inside a clear plastic bag that you blow up with your personal carbon dioxide. Then, seal the plastic tight. This will maintain the moisture level in the potting mix and the humidity around the leaves. Provide lots of warmth and bright indirect light. Avoid any direct sun or the cutting will end up cooking inside its plastic tent.Wait 6-8 weeks before opening the plastic gradually and acclimating the plant to drier air.

Another way to propagate the Dracaena is by air-layering. This method is a bit more complicated but the surest way to successfully propagate a stem cutting. Let me know if you want more information on how to air layer this plant.

Are you sure you want to propagate this plant? It can be done, but not easily.
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
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purpleinopp
Apr 9, 2018 7:52 AM CST
Dracaenas do propagate easily from cuttings. I have done this to the various ones I have approaching 100 times with no defoliation or failure to root, except the one time I stuck one in water instead of soil. It usually takes about 15 seconds to do, snip stem & stick it in a pot.

This is the root system of one cutting after about a year:


I always devote at least 6" at the bottom of the cutting to submerge into the soil. Since the leaves dangle the way they do, I've always cut far enough down so that the leaves are not touching the soil when that much stem is submerged, so cuttings are usually at least a foot long.

Your plant looks healthy & vigorous. Cutting it would not kill it. New growth would come from the stump, near the point where it was cut. Sometimes there is just 1 new stem, sometimes more. There are various pics of cut trunks regrowing new branches here:
Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor')



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Baja_Costero
Apr 9, 2018 9:39 AM CST
Yes, it should be fast and easy with no particular need for technical knowledge. Thank you for the picture, Tiffany.

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