A Complete Guide to Dracaena Propagation

Rare-Dracaena-goldieana
Rare Dracaena goldieana (Source: Etsy)

Looking for gorgeous foliage yet a non-fussy plant to decorate?

We best recommend novice gardeners to add Dracaena to your list.

They have carefree growing habits with exceptionally easy care. Not to mention, Dracaenas are also easy to propagate whenever needed right at home.

Dracaena can be effortlessly propagated through three simple ways. Breed it via top cuttings, stem cuttings, and air layering. Among them all, if you are looking for a fast method, propagation via top cuttings is the easiest one to go by.

Red stunning sharp like leaves of Red Star Dracaena.
Red stunning sharp like leaves of Red Star Dracaena. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Indeed, we are most prone to planting through seeds, and often these seed plantings do not end up growing as the clone figure of their parent plants.

Hence, if you are planning to cut down your leggy Dracaena, make sure to propagate and multiply them.

Propagation is by far the easiest and most fantastic way to preserve their own traits.

Read along, and you won’t do any injustice with your Dracaena while propagating them; this article will also help you in deciding the proper method for your Dracaena.

When is the Best Time to Propagate Dracaena?

Often we tend to jump with propagation when hit with the necessity.

However, one should be aware that plants like Dracaena are dormant during winters and only has active growth during spring and summer.

Propagation is best suited during spring and summer because Dracaenas will have a natural fast growth.

But having said this, it is not that you can not propagate during other seasons.

In fact, you can propagate them during fall or even winter; however, you will face several issues such as slow growth.

Dracaena Propagation: A complete Guide

Material Required

But before we jump right onto the part where we propagate our Dracaena, here is the list of a few basic things that you will need during the process.

ItemsPurpose
DracaenaA healthy matured plant ready for propagation
Pruning shear/ Propagation knifeTo cut through stems, leaves, and roots
Disinfectant or Ethanol or 98% AlcoholTo sterilize the equipment before and after use
Fresh Potting mixPeat Moss Mix for planting
Clean, room temperature waterFor water propagation
500 ml transparent glass vaseFor water propagation

Moving on, before you move right into the propagation process, initially, take a pruning shear or a solid and sharp knife and disinfect them.

To do so, you can take hot water in a container and clean it well. Following it, clean the blade with a cleansed towel or cloth.

Right after, you can use either pure alcohol or disinfectant to scrub on it. This helps with the killing of any bacteria or fungi present on it.

Dracaena Propagation Methods

As a simple fact, propagation of your Dracaena helps rejuvenate overgrown stems, which helps them maintain their bushy appearance.

Furthermore, it would be best to propagate only the healthy Dracaena or freshen them up when their leaves are brown and dropping.

However, amidst the easiness, you have to be patient while propagating them as, after propagation, it takes around four weeks before roots have formed.

We have discussed the methods to propagate your Draceana in the points below.

1. Beheading or Top Cutting

As simply the name suggests, beheading or top cutting is the removal of the topmost part of the plant, and this method is one of the easiest ways to achieve successful Dracaena propagation.

Indeed, the idea of cutting the highest portion of the plant sounds like a worn image; however, it proves to be their pivotal growth point.

Top Cutting-Dracaena
Dracaena: Top Cutting (Source: Unsplash)

Below we have highlighted the steps to follow for the propagation.

  • Snip at least one or two nodes of your Dracaena just below the leaf line.
  • You can even measure to cut them out at 6 inches (15 cm) below the lowest leaves.
  • After cutting, you can either plant the stem on moist soil or choose to keep them in a container filled with fresh water.
  • When propagating through water, make sure to add filtered or rainwater rather than tap water.
  • Also, make sure to change the water every 5-7 days.
Different plants propagation in water Medium
Propagation in Water Medium (Source: Pixabay)
  • It would be best if you plant the Dracaena in the soil after its root gets about 2.5 to 5 cm long.
  • As you propagate Dracaena in soil, push the cutting into the soil about ½ inch deep.
  • Usually, it takes four weeks for them to develop roots, and you can use rooting powder if you wish to.
  • To use the rooting hormone, take the cutting and dip it into the powder and shake off the excess before planting it on the soil.
  • Now, keep the container in a warm spot and let it grow as you wait.

Either way is acceptable, but if you wish to check out your Dracaena and be a part of their growth, I recommend doing the latter one so you can witness how they grow.

For those unknowns, nodes are the round, white bumps on the stem. These nodes are the parts from where the root grows as you propagate.

As a fun fact, Dracaena grows faster during the summertime while the growth is slow during winter. Hence, patience is the key!

Lastly, indeed, your Dracaena mother plant will look headless after the propagation. But it is not a thing to worry about because, after some time, they will sprout new leaves in the cut areas.

2. Stem Cutting

All in all, some of you may not be looking to have a headless Dracaena plant. Well, no worries, you can propagate your mother Dracaena plant through stem cutting.

Yet another simple method that is used often by the nurseries is to create more plants. For it, you should follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Cut out the top layer of the Dracaena plants as you did in the top cutting process. However, this time, make sure to snip at least 8 inches/20cm of the stem as this way, you will cover several nodes.
  • In the meantime, you should make sure not to cut most of the plant and leave a good section for them to regrow.
  • Like earlier, after cutting, you should plant them in either water or soil and wait for them to grow. 
  • If you propagate through water, make sure to use distilled or freshwater rather than tap water. Also, keep changing the water every 5-7 days and only plant it on the soil after the roots start forming.
Dracaena Root ready to be transplanted in the soil
Dracaena Rooting (Source: Etsy)
  • If you propagate through the soil, the rooting hormone can be optional. Take your cutting and dip it into rooting powder and shake off the excess as you plant them ½ inch deep in the soil.
  • Moving on, the roots will start growing from the bottom nodes while the top nodes will produce a new leaf shoot. Often it takes above four weeks for the new roots to develop.

3. Air Layering

This method is basically tricking your Dracaena plant into creating root on their stem and later propagating it. As you use this method, you will need some sphagnum moss.

Well, it works as a soil additive and helps the roots to develop as it increases drainage and aeration.

Air Layering Methods
Air Layerings Steps (Source: University of Florida)

Just follow these simple methods, and your new Dracaena will be good to go.

  • At first, select the stem you would want to propagate and decide how long you want your new plant stem to be.
  • Now, use your sterilized blade to scrape away a layer into the stem. Well, it is best to create a wound of about half an inch (1.2 cm) wide around the whole stem.
  • As for the third step, it is an optional choice! If you happen to have rooting hormone, you can use it on the wound you have created.
  • Now, use some wet sphagnum moss and cover it around the wounded part of the stem.
  • Then, wrap the plastic wrap and secure the wound in place. This will inflict a fake scenario for Dracaena to have been planted on the soil. Hence, it starts producing roots.
  • Following it, all you have to do is patiently wait until you see new roots inside the plastic wrap.
  • As soon as the roots start developing, carefully remove the wrap and cut the stem just below the rooted part.
  • Now, you have a new Dracaena plant, and you can pot it in moist soil.
  • As for the cut plant, you will see it revive and grow new shoots in a matter of time.

After propagation, at times, your Dracaena plant might face a few yellow leaves at the base of the foliage head. You can simply remove the yellow leaves and recut the stem if necessary.

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Tips to Take Care of Newly Potted Dracaena

It is essential to give proper care to your Dracaena plants after propagation to make sure that they thrive well.

But do not worry, as Dracaenas are non-fussy plants, and you do not need any green thumb to care for them.

  • Put the new Dracaena in bright, indirect sunlight for a longer period of time. Artificial lights can also be an alternative.
  • It is best to keep them near the window, blind with sheer curtains, or a lace sun diffuser.
  • Dracaena loves loose, well-draining soil. It is best to combine one-third compost or fine bark chips, one-third peat, and one-third vermiculite or perlite.
  • Water when the top inch of soil is dry. Additionally, for the water requirement, it is always best to choose freshwater or rainwater.
  • Fertilization once or twice a year will be just fine. After propagation, wait for at least a month before feeding it with Plant food.
  • The ideal temperature for your Dracaena plants is between 60-80°F (15-26°C).
  • As for their humidity requirement, Dracaena adapt relatively well in humidity ranging from 60% to 80%. But for the new cuttings, it would be better to maintain a slightly low humidity.

FAQs about Dracaena

Are Dracaenas toxic?

According to the sources, Dracaenas are not toxic to humans, and hence, they are safe to grow around children. However, these plants are toxic to your cats and dogs.

In fact, they cause vomiting (with blood), hypersalivation, and weight loss to your pets, while it can also cause cats’ pupils to dilate.

Do Dracaenas Like to be Root Bound?

As a matter of fact, most Dracaena species tolerate being pot-bound. However, too much tenure in such a manner will cause it to show a sign of stress, such as wilting.

When your Dracaena is severely rooted bound, shift to plant it to a bigger pot.

Should I Cut Brown Tips off Dracaenas?

The brown tips on Dracaena are a sign of underwatering, and yes, you should remove them.

You should use clean pruning sears and cut carefully, leaving a tiny margin of brown so as not to damage the remaining healthy foliage on the plant.

Conclusion

Often regarded as a common houseplant, Dracaena has an appearance like bamboo and is well-known as lucky bamboo.

It often works perfectly as a seasonal display and brings colorful accents to your plant addition. Also, thanks to their flexibility, Dracaenas are easy to take care of.

Why not give them a try and propagate them on your own at home? With the above information, Dracaena propagation will be much easier.

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