How To Prune A Dracaena The Right Way

How To Prune A Dracaena The Right Way featured image

Is your Dracaena looking untidy and 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 now? Good news – that’s normal! And even better words – I have a simple way to mend each problem 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 to prune Dracaena.

Tip: Before conducting any of the following methods, clean your shears thoroughly and keep some water nearby to hydrate your Dracaena afterward.

dracaena leaves
Photo by webentwicklerin via Pixabay

The Dracaena Stem Pruning Method

This technique is usually the most nerve-wracking to do as it requires removing 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, establish the height you desire for the stem and cut it with your clean shears. It will help to cut at a 45-degree angle when trimming your plant’s stem. It will keep the plant’s health intact and ensure it will continue growing.

Note: Remember To 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 addressed, it can spread to other plant portions or even cause the leaves to weaken. Remember 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), 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. 

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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 while the dracaena is blooming.

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 approach, you could occasionally start trimming. You can do this weekly and monthly, depending on how fat your Dracaena appears to be flourishing. This process should be redone again once the season is concluded – about when fall is about to begin. 

Read more: 4 Common Succulent Spring Care Mistakes That You Should Avoid.

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:

Benefit #1: 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.

Benefit #2: Giving the plant a full-of-life look

When Dracaenas grow for years without pruning, they tend to get slightly 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.

beautiful dracaena leaves
Photo by webentwicklerin via Pixabay

Follow Succulent City on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram for more informative & interesting content about succulents & cacti 🙂 Join the discussions at our Facebook Group, “Succulent City Plant Lounge.” Happy planting, and live the moment!

Benefit #3: 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.

Benefit #4: Pruning for propagation

Pruning also primarily benefits any plans you may have for propagating the succulent. Who wouldn’t want two beautiful, lively Dracaenas? 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.

Read more:

The Dracaena Cutting Propagation – Use The Best Out Of What Is Left 🙂

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

Read more about the method: How To Propagate Succulents From Cuttings.

dracaena fragrans leaves
Photo by lin2015 via Pixabay

To propagate a Dracaena with the leaf cuttings, determine which leaf is fully grown and healthy. Carefully cut the entire leaf off with your clean scissors. After that, you can plant your cutting to prepare it for growth in two ways. 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 watch it as it grows.

More Guides On The Dracaena Plants …

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. Below are more guides on the Dracaena plants:

How to propagate a dracaena featured image
An Ultimate Guide On How To Propagate A Dracaena

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

2 thoughts on “How To Prune A Dracaena The Right Way

  1. Hi Richard,
    I got a dracaena from a friend who had it dying on her desk at work. I brought it home in hopes of saving it. She had it in a small pot with no drainage. When I went to repot it, it smelled horrible, so definitely suffering. I took off a few long rotting roots and put the poor thing in a new pot with new soil and drainage holes. The problem is that the plant had grown to about 3 feet tall with only leaves on the very tip top. It looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.
    Can I cut it down? Will it grow back if all of the leaves are gone? I don’t want to kill it. Honestly, it’s been through enough. LOL

    1. Hi Cynthia,

      Thanks for asking! This is the first time I heard of a plant from a Dr. Seuss book 🙂

      Once the leaves are all gone, the plant is hopeless to revive, so for your second question, I think it will not grow back. Saving the plant from the bad root rot (especially when it started to smell) is not always successful, to be honest. Here is a guide that will certainly help you in this situation:

      With only leaves on the tip top, I think the infection in the root is wide and hard to recover. You should also check again to see if you have trimmed down all the infected parts. Only propagate the healthy one!

      Let me know if you can save it successfully! Remember to plant with drainage holes in the future and also mind the watering schedule!


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