cuttings from Dracaenas
dragon tree has got lots of shoots off the main trunk and the leaves
are getting a bit crowded. Can I cut off one of these shoots and
create a new plant? If so, do I cut it off where it has split from
the main trunk and repot the woody stem and the leaves growing off
the top, or do I cut the green leaves off?
this a Dracaena draco, a Dracaena marginata or a Yucca?
If it is a Dracaena
draco it is unlikely you will be successful in removing a stem
and replanting it. Although it can be done, it is best done in summer.
is the preferred method where stems are encouraged to produce adventitious
roots before removal.
If your plant is a Dracaena
marginata or Yucca elephantipes you will have more success.
Cut the shoot from the base as close to the stem and as cleanly
as possible. If the stem becomes bruised, this could lead to disease
entering the plant and the stem rotting.
Sometimes, if you are
lucky, plants will have already developed adventitious roots off
the side. Take care not to damage them.
Plant the stem cutting
into a well-drained mix such as seedraising mix or a 50/50 mix of
potting mix and fine gravel or pumice. Water the mix before putting
your cutting into the mix. Remove leaves from around the bottom
of the stem cutting. At this time of year you should not need to
reduce the amount of foliage on the plant by cutting it back. Plant
the stem directly into the potting mix and water.
To help the cutting root,
you can use a rooting hormone powder or gel such as Clonex, although
this is not essential; rooting will take a bit longer. Place the
cutting away from direct sunlight on a sheltered deck, patio or
windowsill. Keep the potting mix moist but not wet.
You can create a mini
greenhouse by covering the cutting with a plastic bag and tying
around the base with a rubber band or similar to prevent moisture
loss. Place three to five holes in the plastic bag for ventilation.
Remove the bag after four to six weeks. At this time of year it
is not essential to cover the cutting with a plastic bag as temperatures
are cooler and less moisture is lost.
Spring and summer are
the best times to take cuttings. Cuttings will always take longer
to root in winter than in spring or summer, so be patient.
In approximately 2-3
months you should start seeing roots coming out of the bottom of
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH