An Ultimate Guide How To Propagate A Dracaena

It may seem like an uphill task for those beginning their gardening journey with many questions arising. What plant to choose as a beginner? How to plant and care for such a delicate species? How to ensure the plant will remain healthy and strong for years to come?

There are a variety of plants available for these times, with the dracaena plant being one of the best species for a beginner to own and raise. Dracaenas are not very demanding plants – they can go days without interaction and up to a week without water. Not to mention they are perfect as an indoor, nature-based decoration staple. So much so that any company passing through may be interested in owning one too!

With its unique features that imply the structure of both a tree and a shrub, and the beautiful, green hues, the plant will probably become a famous sight. Luckily, it`s possible to share your dracaena if you choose to do so. This can be done by carrying out the process of plant propagation. If you have not owned a dracaena, or any plant, before, this process may seem challenging. However, if you read on, this article will walk you through the basics of propagation and how to perform the act on a dracaena plant.

So, have you ever been interested in owning and/or raising a unique dracaena? If so, would you choose to propagate said dracaena to expand your collection? The propagation process takes as little as just a few weeks and is as easy as can be! Sure, it can be intimidating to do on such a delicate plant at first, but what if we could assure you that it will not hurt or damage your plant? Read on to discover how you can propagate your dracaena like a pro from home!

leaves of dracaena trifasciata
Dracaena Trifasciata
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski via Unsplash

What Is Propagation?

Propagating a plant essentially means duplicating the plant by using portions of an already existing plant. This process can be done using parts of any desired plant, such as seeds, leaf trimmings, seeds, and plant bulbs. Two specific methods may be used when propagating a plant; however, the plant species usually plays a huge role in which method is used. These two methods are known as asexual propagation and sexual propagation.

Asexual propagation is when the stems, leaves, or even the roots are used to reproduce a new plant identical to the initial plant. This method can be much more straightforward than sexual propagation, depending on the species of plant being duplicated. This process is best for when specific duplications need to skip around the pre-mature features that the parent plant may carry.

Sexual propagation is a method that uses any existing floral aspects of a parent plant in order to reproduce another plant. This method includes using the genes from two chosen parent plants. This process is typically cheaper than other methods and is great for skipping over potential diseases; however, it is only reliable when used with particular plant species.

Tools For Propagating Dracaena

  • Shears, a knife, or possibly scissors (depending on the method of propagation you’re using).
  • Potting Mix.
  • New gardening pot.
  • Disinfectant for sterilizing the tools before propagating.
potted snake plant on the couch
Dracaena Trifasciata
Photo by Darya Sannikova via Pexels

Why Should Plants Be Propagated?

Believe it or not, propagating plants is a pretty important step in raising a plant. A common thought about plant propagation is often that the process is only done for duplicating one kind of species. And while that’s true, that’s not all there is to it. Propagation is necessary for keeping plants alive and thriving. Not to mention, taking part in a propagation method has some great benefits to it as well. A few of those benefits are:

  • Propagation is a cheap, easy, and effective way to grow your plant collection from your top favorite species.
  • Plants that have been a part of (or a result of) a sexual propagation method are less likely to transmit diseases.
  • The reproduction plant will either be identical to the parent plant or have a mix of two-parent plants, depending on the species of plant and method used.
  • Female parent plants reproduce the newer female plant.
  • If a plant is propagated using leaf trimmings from a parent plant, the newer plant has a higher chance of developing sooner than others.
  • Propagating plants prevent the species from becoming extinct or running low.
dracaena sanderiana
Dracaena Sanderiana
Photo by Severin Candrian via Unsplash

How To Plant Dracaena

Of course, you have to have one before you can propagate a dracaena! You can skip ahead for those who already have the species or have had. For those new to growing dracaenas, this guide will help you understand how to plant your dracaena and care for it properly.

Dracaenas can be grown indoors and outdoors, as long as they are provided with the essentials to flourish. Regardless of where you choose to plant the tree, the guidelines are the same. Before planting, you will need to ensure a good spot for the plant. Somewhere where the natural sunlight is still bright, indirect as direct sunlight will burn the dracaenas leaves. If you’re planting indoors, placing it near a window will suffice, as long as there is some barrier between the window and the plant – a sheer curtain will do the trick perfectly. Once the placement has been established, you’re set to start planting.

  1. Find a deep enough pot for the plant’s roots to expand. Dracaenas can grow up to six feet tall, so a good amount of room is necessary. A good tip for finding the perfect pot size is to look for almost half the size of the plant’s root. The pot should also have holes in the bottom for good drainage support.
  2. Pour your choice of soil into the pot. Dracaenas aren’t too demanding about which ground should be used, as long as it’s well-draining soil or compost-based. It would help if you filled a little less than half of the pot with your soil.
  3. Now, you can plant your dracaena root in the pot. When planting the tree, the origin should never reach the bottom of the pot, as it will be expanding downward as well. Therefore, it’s best to place the plant’s root towards the top of the soil, about an inch or so buried within it. You may need to add some soil surrounding the root to ensure complete coverage.
  4. Water the dracaena. The watering steps seem to be the most delicate with any plant. You want to avoid both overwatering and underwatering your dracaena. Using fresh water, water the plant thoroughly – once a bit of water starts draining out of the bottom of the pot, that’s your indication to stop pouring. Water routines can be set up to about once a week or when the soil is primarily dry unless the soil is too dry or the plant appears droopy.
  5. Feeding your dracaena. Fertilizing and/or providing your dracaena with plant food should begin after your plant is about a month into its growing stage. Like watering, this feeding step can also be a once-a-week routine. Simply place the plant food within the soil and water the plant. If you’re using fertilizer, it’s best to use a compost-based mix and apply it during the spring and summertime. Fertilizing dracaenas only needs to be done about once a year.
potted snake plant on wooden floor
Dracaena Trifasciata
Photo by Charlotte May via Pexels

How To Propagate A Dracaena

Whether you’ve taken part in propagating a plant before or not, doing so with your dracaena will be easy to do. There are about four main ways to propagate a dracaena; however, as mentioned before, some techniques work better than others. The only real difference in each method is that some of them will make for a faster growth period for the new plant. Therefore, the way the parent plant reproduces entirely depends on whichever method the owner uses.

dracaena fragrans
Dracaena Fragrans
Photo by Severin Candrian via Unsplash

Using stem trimmings

The method is the most used when propagating a dracaena parent plant as it is the perfect option for those who may want multiple reproductions. To properly use this method, simply cut some of the stems from the parent plant with garden shears. The portions being cut off should be up to about 20 centimeters long. You’ll then need to set the portions in some soil with a little bit of water, followed by placing the pot in the same vicinity that the parent plant was/is in – in bright but indirect sunlight.

Use portions of the top of the parent plant

This method requires you to cut portions of the parent plants on top. Not to worry, doing so will not damage the plant – the growth process will continue shortly after. The portions you cut should be from the top of the plant to about the beginning of the stems. You can choose to plant these top trimmings in water or soil; however, ornaments placed in water may take longer to begin growing.

Using the process of air layering

The air layering method typically means that you’ll be cutting parts of the parent plant stem to begin a new root. This method also requires using moss, which can be found online or in some garden sections of stores. Now, to start, you’re going to cut off the length of the stem you choose to use. With shears or a knife, carefully make a small incision into the stem and place your moss (it needs to be wet). You’ll then need to wrap some plastic wrap around the stem tightly. Eventually, you’ll notice roots forming within the plastic wrap – carefully remove the wrap and cut the root with garden shears to plant into a pot.

Propagate Dracaena using the parent plant’s ripe seeds

As your dracaena grows, it produces seeds. Those seeds can be removed for propagating a new dracaena plant! To properly use this technique, remove the seeds, mush them, and place the mushed contents into a container with water. The mushed seeds will float to the bottom, indicating which ones are good to use for propagation. Remove the seeds from the container and place them into a gardening pot with some starting mix. The growth process will take up to a few weeks, but they can be removed and placed into bigger pots once they’re a few inches tall.

When Is the Best Time To Propagate A Dracaena Plant?

A commonly asked question of owners of dracaenas is whether or not there is a specific time for propagation to occur. And while there is not a specified time, there are a few options that suit the plant. Before propagating your dracaena, the parent plant needs to be matured – maturing will take anywhere from a few months to up to a year. Once it’s grown, you can establish the best method for you. Dracaenas can typically be propagated during any season desired. However, it’s recommended to do it within the spring or summer months because it will be easier to do. Nonetheless, you can choose to propagate during the winter or fall, but keep in mind that doing so will make for a prolonged rooting stage.

Caring For New Dracaena Plant After Propagation

Caring for your newly propagated Dracaena plant entails nearly all the same steps as caring for the parent plant before propagating; however, there are a few differences. While these plants certainly do not need much attention or care, they could use a bit of a supportive boost to get them started. If you’re planning on propagating your Dracaena, or you already have done it, check out the following care tips to help your new Dracaena grow!

  • Keep them in warmer temperatures, anywhere from 80 degrees Fahrenheit down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Avoid overwatering, but make sure the soil stays at least somewhat moist.
  • Keep it in direct sunlight until the leaves start to grow.
  • Always keep the plant in well-draining soil.
  • Only water it when the soil has dried chiefly up.
  • Fertilize the new Dracaena during the spring and summer once or twice yearly, as long as it’s matured.
  • Allow the new Dracaena to experience some humidity, preferably 60% to up to 80%.
person holding dracaena sanderiana
Dracaena Sanderiana
Photo by Teona Swift via Pexels

Final Words

That concludes this guide on how to propagate your unique dracaena plants properly. I hope this article has provided you with enough helpful tips to try these propagation methods for yourself soon. Of course, propagating your precious plants is entirely up to you; however, as you can see, doing so includes many great benefits. Just remember, if you choose to take part in propagating, always care for the newer plants just as well as the parent plants. This will make for happy dracaenas and less of a chance of the beautiful, lively species going extinct! With that being said, whether you’re a beginner or not, considering to propagate your dracaenas will result in you having a beautiful garden of these trees. Not to mention they make great gifts for family and friends!

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Posted in Guides & Care Tips