How To Prune A Dracaena The Right Way

Is your Dracaena looking untidy and/or discolored? Is it starting to appear overgrown? Are the branches seeming to be more tangled? Or maybe it’s just becoming a hassle to care for at the moment? Good news – that’s normal! And even better words – I have a simple way to mend each of those problems potentially! It may be time for a good pruning session, so grab your gardening shears while I walk you through three quick and easy techniques you can use to prune Dracaena.

Tip: Before conducting any of the following methods, you will need to clean your shears thoroughly, as well as keep some water nearby to hydrate your Dracaena afterward.

dracaena leaves
Photo by webentwicklerin via Pixabay

Occasional Pruning

It’s pretty easy to determine when your Dracaenas will hit a growth spurt, as this usually happens during the spring months. Therefore, as the spring months begin to approach, you could start trimming a bit occasionally. You can do this on a weekly and monthly basis, depending on how fat your Dracaena appears to be flourishing. This process should be redone again once the season is concluded – about the time that fall is about to begin. 

Snip At the Leaves 

A common issue with Dracaenas is leaf discoloration, which can potentially cause damage to your plant’s leaves. If this issue is not taken care of, it can spread to further plant portions or even cause the leaves to weaken. Keep in mind that weaker leaves make it harder to save the plant later on. To keep this from happening (or to resolve it when it does happen), simply use your gardening shears to snip off the wrong parts of the leaves. These spots are easy to locate due to appearing as a brown or yellow discoloration. You’ll need to snip right below the colored dots and right where the green begins to make sure you remove all of the inadequate portions. 

Stem Pruning 

This technique is usually the most nerve-wracking to do as it requires you to remove parts of the stem. Owners tend to wonder if doing so will damage the Dracaena – it won’t. However, it will motivate your Dracaena to grow more. This process is most common when your Dracaena is beginning to look overgrown. To prune your Dracaena via the stem, simply establish the height you desire for the stem and cut it with your clean shears. When trimming your plant’s stem, you must cut at a 45-degree angle. It will keep the plant’s health intact and ensure that it will continue growing.

dracaena fragrans leaves
Photo by lin2015 via Pixabay

When Is the Best Time To Prune A Dracaena Plant?

If you choose to prune your Dracaena, you can do it whenever you like. However, the best (and most recommended) time to prune the plant is if/when it is discolored or overgrown. In addition, pruning is easier to do during the spring and summer months, while the dracaena is in its blooming stages.

Benefits of Pruning Dracaena

Pruning has several benefits for a Dracaena succulent. Not to mention it’s good for the plant to be pruned every few years to keep up with its healthy growth rate. Aside from that, here are a few benefits of pruning a Dracaena:

Removes damage done to the plant

Often, when a Dracaena experiences pest infestations or diseases, the damage done to the succulent can be fatal to plant growth. Sure, pesticides and other solutions can potentially solve these issues at hand. Still, root rot or untreated toxins left behind from pests can kill the plant. In those instances, pruning may be the only efficient way of saving the plant. Simply pruning off any dead or damaged areas, giving the plant some fertilizer, and watering it can help tremendously.

It gives the plant a full-of-life look.

When Dracaena’s grow for years without being pruned, they tend to get a bit out of control and messy-looking. An occasional pruning can not only prevent that from occurring, but it can also give you a chance to shape the succulent themselves – you can prune to make your Dracaena look fuller! This can be done by determining which branches, leaves, or stems are entangled or growing into a bunch. Simple trimming those off and untangling them can benefit the plant’s growth.

Height Care

Partially continuing what’s been said above about the succulents growing out of control, the same goes for the plant’s height. Whether your succulent has grown to reach the ceiling or you’d like it to be much shorter for appeal, pruning the succulent can help manage that.

Pruning for propagation

Pruning also primarily benefits any plans you may have for propagating the succulent. Who wouldn’t want two beautiful, lively Dracaena’s? While pruning your Dracaena, keep in mind that those trimmed-off pieces can be used to propagate a new succulent. After trimming them off, rinse them and allow them time to dry up before planting them in a new pot.

beautiful dracaena leaves
Photo by webentwicklerin via Pixabay

Propagating Dracaena Cuttings

One of the most common ways of propagating a Dracaena is by using the cuttings from the parent plant. This method is much quicker than the alternative methods that one could use and is simple to do.

To propagate a Dracaena with the leaf cuttings, determine which leaf is fully grown and healthy to use. Carefully cut the entire leaf off with your clean scissors. After doing that, there are two ways you can plant your cutting to prepare it for growth. One way to do it is by placing the leaf-cutting near a window in some water so it can begin growing. Another way to plant it is by planting it right into the soil in a new pot. Don’t forget to water it and keep an eye on it as it starts to grow.

In Conclusion

Dracaenas are the type of plant that can remain healthy and beautiful regardless of being pruned. These low-maintenance plants are great for beginner gardeners because they can survive on a small about of attention. However, as you just read, they are a simple plant to prune if the occasion ever comes up – plus, you never have to worry about harming them in the process. So what do you think? Would you consider trying out a pruning technique on your dracaena?


Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

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