Ask a Question forum: Corn Plant (Dracaena?) Trimming/Propagating

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Tamanthalee
May 3, 2018 7:55 AM CST
It has gotten leggy and too tall for indoors.I need to trim it down. I would like to get the most out of pruning it so I'm curious the best methods for doing so. I think (with my limited experience) that air layering may be my best option for this since the stalk or trunk is so thick. Im worried about damaging the trunk because cutting it clean might be difficult due to its size. I will attach pictures. Please let me know the best method to use for this plant including details for the cut placement (I will included a close up of the area I'd like to cut from), grow medium, root hormone etc. Thank you in advanced
Thumb of 2018-05-03/visitor/a4461b


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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
May 3, 2018 8:00 AM CST
Hi & welcome! Your plant looks like a Yucca, like this kind:
Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea)

Not a plant I've had, so I can't offer any anecdotes in regard to your questions.
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Tamanthalee
May 3, 2018 8:45 AM CST
purpleinopp said:Hi & welcome! Your plant looks like a Yucca, like this kind:
Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea)

Not a plant I've had, so I can't offer any anecdotes in regard to your questions.



It really does! Upon further inspection and research, Im thinking is. The edge of the leaves are kind of sharp especially if you run your finger along it toward the plant. Funny thing is when I got this it had others in the pot but they all looked exactly the same. I removed those immediately and put them in another room. Those ones are definitely corn plants, which is what I was told the whole pot was. Here are some of those.

Thumb of 2018-05-03/Tamanthalee/05fc0f

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 3, 2018 10:26 AM CST
Can be trimmed to shape as you please. Branches will sprout out of tips.

To root a new plant. All you need is a short 4 or 5" stem. Stick it a couple inches deep in pot, with at least a couple nodes below soil. Water it the same as mother plant, no more.
Stems have plenty of water and energy in them.👍👍

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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
May 3, 2018 12:22 PM CST
The description of the sharp edges is more evidence toward Yucca. Agree, the other gorgeous plant is D. fragrans: Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 3, 2018 1:18 PM CST
Your Yucca has stems that can be pruned at any point along them. New growth will then emerge starting just below the pruning cut and grow upward from there. In the closeup photo you provided, I suggest pruning just above the new shoot that has already started to emerge. Mostly, it is a matter of how tall you want the plant to be after pruning and how you want it to look.

Using tip cuttings with about 6-8 leaves and 6 inches of bare stem below those tip leaves is the best way to propagate it. The tip cuttings can be rooted fairly easily in plain water; inserted in the base of the existing pot; or in their own small pots filled with damp porous potting mix. Rooting hormones are not necessary. Although the Yucca stems are quite thick, they are not very woody, so air layering is not necessary, as you might expect.

The other plant is commonly called Dracaena 'Janet Craig,' not Corn Plant, which has yellow striped leaves. It can also be pruned back and propagated in the same way as the Yucca.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
May 3, 2018 1:34 PM CST
The version of D. fragrans that has the stripes is 'Massangeana' cultivar. The straight species does not have variegated leaves. The plant in question could be 'JC' cultivar or just the plain species. The database here includes 3 common names for D. fragrans, and there are probably others. Anyone can "vote" for the one they use.

Some of the pics in this entry look more like 'Hawaiian Sunshine' to me, but scale can be difficult to gauge from pics.
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Tamanthalee
May 3, 2018 3:30 PM CST
@WillC, Thank you. I am a little afraid to cut and set to root because I've done it for smaller plants with similar structures and they didn't take. Tried both in moist medium and just water. The water one rotted and the moist media one never shot roots. I'm confused to which plant is causing debate here. None of the plants I pictured had stripes. The one indoors has the sun on it in spots but when you look at the leaves in person they are dark green and very soft and smooth. Im only a hobbiest but thought I knew my plants and had been treating them as recommended , go figure, you learn something new everyday. Thanks again!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 3, 2018 5:18 PM CST
I'm not sure what other plants you have not had success with nor why. Of course, I cannot guarantee success using the techniques I described, but Yuccas do propagate more readily than many others. It is best to use tip cuttings with short stems. When put in water, be sure to change the water weekly. When propagating in the soil, the moisture content has to be maintained as damp without staying wet for too long or drying out until the roots are well established. This is not easy to determine.

Perhaps this has recently changed but the plant that Tamanthalee has indoors is commonly known as a Dracaena 'Janet Craig' and botanically as Dracaena deremensis 'Janet Craig.'

The plant commonly called Corn Plant is a Dracaena fragrans 'massangeana' and typically has light green or yellow stripes. The leaves of D. fragrans are a slightly lighter shade of green than 'Janet Craig.'

Both are closely related.

Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
purpleinopp
May 4, 2018 7:27 AM CST
D. deremensis is a synonym of D. fragrans. They are the same thing.
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The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.

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