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Dracaena Propagation [Easy Use of Cuttings & Air-Layering Method]

Dracaena Propagation is an easy process to salvage an unlimited supply of this serene houseplant, and the rules are surprisingly simple, get the cuttings and root.

The methods of Dracaena Propagation include rooting the top and stem cuttings in porous soil or hormonal water for 2-8 weeks. Also, an easy option is to air-layering the mother plant in a sphagnum moss wrap and then transplant the rooted stem portion in the soil.

So if you plan to cut down your leggy Dracaena, propagate and multiply them by following the tips in the article below!

When is the Best Time to Propagate Dracaena?

Dracaena is a tropical evergreen plant that grows throughout the spring and summer. 

However, the plant remains dormant in the fall and winter, which ceases its growth.

So, the best time to start would be spring or early summer when the plant shows natural growth.
Image represents Dracaena growing in a white pot
Dracaena cuttings can thrive even in little moisture and are easy-to-propagate houseplants during spring or summer when the plant shows vigorous vegetative growth.

Doing so will help the cut ends of the cuttings to develop roots quickly, and the mother plant can also heal by itself. 

However, you can take the cuttings while pruning the plant in spring or summer and propagate the plant in fall or winter.

But, the slow growth rate of the cuttings will raise several issues during the propagation process.

Dracaena Propagation: A Complete Guide

To successfully propagate Dracaena, you must take the healthy top or stem cuttings or select a robust stem for air-layering.

You don’t need to cut your Dracaena mother plant for air-layering, but you must ensure a correct incision point for stem or top cuttings.

Image illustrates tips for taking Dracaena cuttings
To obtain cuttings from Dracaena, you must make clean cuts at the correct points on the stem.

Furthermore, it would be best to propagate them to freshen them up when their leaves are brown and dropping.

Additionally, top cuttings are shorter than stem cuttings but will sprout roots rapidly.

However, to make the cuttings grow faster, you can root them in water and later transport them into suitable soil.

Indeed, you can grow a healthy plant from Dracaena seeds, but they take longer germination time or may be unviable.

1. Dracaena Propagation from Cuttings

For top cuttings, chop below the last leaf using a sterilized knife to have a 6-inch long cutting and expose the lower 1-3 leaf nodes by removing the 1-3 sets of leaves.

As for stem cuttings, procure an 8-inch long top cutting with additional 2-inches long stem section attached along the leaf line. Remove the lower leaves to reveal the nodes.

After you harvest the cuttings, they are ready to root in water.

A. Dracaena Propagation in Water

  • Plop the cutting in a clean jar full of rooting hormone solution, but ensure to keep the leaves flaring out from the water.
  • Situate the set-up in the path of dappled sunlight, such as adjacent to an east-facing window.
  • Sustain a temperature of around 50-75°F with 40-50% surrounding humidity.
Image represents a rooted Dracaena stem cutting in water
Dracaena cuttings take a short time to root in water, but the roots are weak and need a few weeks of the hardening process before transplanting in the soil.
  • Change the water every 3-5 days or when it turns murky.
  • Within 2-8 weeks, the cuttings shall sprout a creamy white bundle of roots from the nodes at the cut end.
  • Once the roots are 5 cm or longer, the cuttings are ready for soil transplant. 

B. Dracaena Propagation in Soil

Go after these steps to propagate the rooted Dracaena cutting in the soil.

  • Fill a 6-inch wide terracotta planter 1/3rd with a fluffy potting mix.
  • Push the cuttings about half to an inch deep in the soil.
  • Hydrate the soil thoroughly to keep the top layer moist but not soggy.
Image represents transplanting rooted Dracaena cuttings in the soil
Root the cuttings in the soil after they grow 2-5 inches long and become strong enough to hold the skyward growth of the plant.
  • Dust off a thin layer of dry compost on the topsoil.
  • Check if the roots have hardened enough to support the plant by gently tugging the cuttings weekly.
  • After a month, the roots grow strong enough to prop the plant against the usual care.

If you come by several cuttings, plant the individual cutting in separate jars and pots to avoid jamming.

2. Dracaena Propagation from Air Layering

This method tricks your Dracaena plant into creating roots on its stem and later propagating it.

Follow these simple steps, and your new Dracaena will be ready.

  • First, use a sterilized blade to scrape away a 1/2-inch wide layer into a healthy stem.
  • Sprinkle rooting hormone on the wound, wrap wet sphagnum moss around the cut, and secure it firmly using a plastic wrap and thread.
  • Following it, you must patiently wait to see new roots inside the plastic wrap.
  • When the roots start developing, carefully remove the wrap and cut the stem below the rooted part.
Image represents the process of air-layering in Dracaena Plant
You can cut just below the layered stem after it sprouts root strands and plant it in well-draining soil.
  • Pot the plant in a well-draining potting mix, just like the cuttings.
  • Place the set-up in bright indirect sunlight by sustaining favorable temperature and humidity for the plant.

After propagation, your Dracaena plant might sometimes 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.

Tips to Take Care of Newly Potted Dracaena

Providing tropical care for your Dracaena plants after propagation ensures they thrive well.

  • Offer Dracaena cuttings 2-4 hours of eastern sun exposure daily or locate them 3-5 feet away from a south-facing window.
  • Keep the soil moist by watering every 1-2 weeks in spring and summer
  • Let the soil stay dry between watering bouts in fall and winter.
  • Sustain a temperature of around 50-75°F and 40-50% surrounding humidity.
  • Repot the plant every 1-2 years in a 2-3 inches wider and deeper terracotta planter.
  • While repotting, combine compost or fine bark chips, peat moss, and organic perlite in a 1/3rd ratio each.
  • Begin feeding the plant 2 months after propagation with a balanced liquid feed every 2-8 weeks in spring and summer.
Image illustrates the tips to fertilize Dracaena
To fertilize Dracaena, you must keep checking the light requirements or inspect the sunlight intensity for the plant.
  • Withhold fertilizing in winter to prevent mineral salt accumulation and fertilizer burns.
  • Groom once or twice a year in spring and summer to remove the spent leaves or flowering stalk.
  • Use neem oil sprays to discourage pests (thrips, mites, mealybugs, and scales) and diseases (blights, spots, and rots).

FAQs About Dracaena Propagation

How to take cuttings for Dracaena Propagation?

You can take the Dracaena cuttings for propagation while pruning the plant in spring or summer by cutting the stems or top at 45°.

Can you propagate Dracaena when it gets root bound?

Root bounding offers a chance to repot the plant in a new container between which you can easily select and salvage some healthy cuttings from the mother plant.

From Editorial Team

Dracaena cuttings rooted in water should be kept open with a daily fresh air supply to prevent them from decaying due to high humidity.

A humidity dome or plastic wrap will create a humid environment that infects the cut part, and the transplants will perish.

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