How to Propagate Dracaena Fragrans

Dracaena Fragans has the common name, Corn Plant. It is a popular house plant worldwide, native West Africa and Tropical Africa. The plant is also referred to as Dracaena Massangeana. This plant is many people’s favorite due to its beautiful shiny leaves and its pretty easy to maintain. Keeping it healthy for a while might cause it to produce beautiful white flowers, which only accentuates the beauty you enjoy in your house from the plant. The leaves clean the air so that many common indoor toxins are no longer a problem for you.

There are several ways to propagate Dracaena Fragrans, and we shall discuss them shortly. Before we get there, let’s look at the plant a bit more closely.

Dracaena Fragrans Varieties

There are several varieties of Dracaena Fragrans, they have minor variances in morphology, but you propagate them the same way. They are as follows.

Dracaena Fragrans

This is the original plant. It has solid, green leaves. Some people prefer it, but you are more likely to find the variegated varieties in most homes due to the color they add to the houses.

Dracaena Fragrans ‘Massangeana’

This is the most common variety of the plant. Its yellow corn-like stripes run at the center of the leaf. The type in color is why most people prefer it over other less colorful varieties. This plant is commonly known as Dracaena Massangeana though it is from fragrances. The yellow stripe on the leaf is thinner in Massangeana than in some of the other varieties we shall discuss below.

dracaena massangeana
Photo by @asc_garden via Instagram

Dracaena Fragans ‘Lindenii’

The corn-yellow stripes on its leaves are found on the edges of the leaves as opposed to massangeana’s center.

Dracaena Fragrans ‘Victoriae’

This plant is also known as ‘victoria.’ It has many similarities with ‘massangeana,’ mainly because the stripe runs through the middle of the leaf. The difference between the two is the leaves. Massangeana has long, thin leaves close to corn leaves in appearance, while victoria, on the other hand, has short, broad leaves with a triangular shape. The yellow stripe in the middle is also wider in victoria than in its counterpart.

Many people consider the victoriae cultivar to be more attractive than all others. Its beauty is due to the shape of its leaves and the color.

Propagating Dracaena Fragrans

This plant is the favorite of many people, especially those at the beginning of their gardening journey. New gardeners love it because it doesn’t take a lot of skills to propagate and maintain, yet it gives you a high-quality appearance and effect in the house. Even seasoned gardeners love dracaena due to its rich appearance.

There are two primary methods you can use to propagate for Dracaena Fragrans. Beheading and stem propagation.

Beheading

As the name suggests, this method requires you to cut off the head of the plant to propagate it. Beheading Dracaena Fragrans and other dracaena plants aren’t strange. These plants can grow to up to seven feet which might be too high for a house plant. Beheading, therefore, is one of the routine practices you can undertake to control dracaena’s height. You can use the cuttings you get during your normal controls for propagation. The following are the steps to take when beheading.

  1. Get a sharp knife or other cutting tool and sterilize it. It is critical to sterilize lest you infect the plant and the cutting with diseases or get harmful substances into them.
  2. Snip the plant just below the leaf line and ensure that you cut it below a node. Having a node as part of the cutting is necessary because rooting happens on the node.
  3. Put the cutting in soil or in a clean water bottle to facilitate rooting. Avoid using tap water for rooting because it usually contains salts that make rooting difficult. Tap water may also contain fluoride and chlorine, which are poisonous to dracaena. Get some distilled water for this purpose. Also, it is better to use distilled water to water your pottage if you decide to propagate Dracaena fragrans using soil.
  4. Put the bottle or pot where you have placed the cutting at a warn spot under indirect sunlight. Please note that dracaena doesn’t do well under direct sunlight, and your cuttings will not survive it either.
  5. The time within which rooting occurs depends on the season. They appear faster during Summer and Spring than they do during Winter. It is always better to propagate these plants in summer because they grow. Even the mother plant will recover faster this season than it would if you beheaded it in Winter.

Just in case you are wondering: Beheading dracaena doesn’t ruin it. There will be leaves growing on the nearby nodes within a short time of cutting it, especially if you are propagating in warmer seasons.

Propagating From Stem Cuttings

Beheading enables you to get a single new dracaena plant, but maybe you want more. You can get more plants by using this other propagation method to create many dracaena plants at home or for a nursery. Take the following steps.

  1. Sterilize your cutting tool and cut off the head as you would do if you were propagating by beheading.
  2. Remove as many cuttings as you can. Each cutting should be eight inches long and have several nodes; remember, rooting occurs at the nodes.
  3. Place the cuttings in soil or distilled water and wait for rooting. Like beheading, rooting will be quick in winter, but the cuttings have no leaves. It will take longer for these to be formed into complete plants. The leafy beheaded section will grow faster than the stem cuttings.

The lower nodes of the cutting will produce roots, while the ones above the surface will bud and produce leaves. The best stem to use this way is one that has been allowed to grow for some time without being beheaded. It will have the space to produce several suitable stems.

Air Layering

This propagation method lets the daughter produce roots before cutting them off the mother plant. To propagate this way, you need the following:

  • A sterilized knife
  • Plastic wrap
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Rooting hormone

The following are the steps to take:

  1. Determine the position where you want roots to appear in the new plant.
  2. Use the knife to scrape off the bark where you want the rooting to occur. It is best to strip on a nose. The width of the deprived area should be about half an inch.
  3. Dust the rooting hormone on the stripped section of the bark. You can still propagate Dracaena fragrans without using the rooting hormone, but it will allow the stem to produce roots faster.
  4. Dip your sphagnum moss in water, position it around the stripped part of the bark, and secure it with the plastic wrap.
  5. You can cut off the head below the roots and transplant it to a pot when you see roots growing on the wounded section.

Potting Dracaena Fragrans

Once the cutting has produced roots, put soil in a pot where you want the plant to remain permanently. The soils should be rich in organic matter, but you can add mild houseplant fertilizer. Avoid superphosphate fertilizers since they contain fluoride, which negatively affects dracaena.

Water the soil evenly and make a hole at the center. Put the plant’s roots into the hole, taking care to ensure the roots remain in a natural position as they possibly can. Return the soil and press it in. After doing this, water the plant again and give it time to grow.

The following are some observations on the propagation of Dracaena fragrans.

  1. Thicker stems take longer to root: If you have an option, you should propagate dracaena using medium-sized stems as they will take less time. However, all you have are thick cuttings. You can still use them. Only you will need a little patience.
  2. Non-transparent vases produce better rooting: Putting your cuttings in transparent bottles makes the rooting more fun to watch, which is a good thing. However, the cutting roots faster and better when not exposed to light.

We have already discussed using tap water for propagation to use distilled or bottled drinking water for best results.

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