Propagate dragon tree: Here’s how to do it

dragon tree
dragon tree

If you want a new dragon tree, you can easily propagate the low-maintenance houseplant yourself. Here are the best methods for propagation.

The propagation of a dragon tree (Dracaena draco) succeeds even beginners without problems. The indoor plants with the bushy head of leaves are not only appreciated for their striking appearance: The green plants are also particularly frugal and easy to cultivate. Instead of buying new plantlets, you can successfully propagate the dragon trees yourself.

How to propagate a dragon tree by cuttings?

Most species and varieties of dragon tree can be propagated by cuttings or offshoots. In principle, cutting the cuttings can be done throughout the year. It is highly recommended in spring or summer: many people prune their dragon tree then anyway and cuttings automatically accrue. In addition, the warm, bright days promote the rooting of the shoots. But cuttings propagation is also possible in winter, it just takes a little longer.

As for the plant parts, you can use both head cuttings and stem cuttings from the dragon tree for propagation. Cut the shoots at any height, it has proven successful to use cuttings with a length between 10 and 30 centimeters (4 and 12 in). To avoid bruising, be sure to use sharp secateurs or a sharp knife for cutting the cuttings. In addition, the cut should be made as horizontally as possible.

If present, remove the lower leaves on the cuttings. These will quickly begin to rot on contact with water or soil. And importantly, remember or mark very precisely where is below and where is above. Because new roots form only at the bottom of the cuttings, according to the original direction of growth. If necessary, close the wound on the plant with a little tree wax and let the freshly cut shoots dry for about a day.

Method 1: Rooting cuttings in water

Particularly convenient with the dragon tree is that the cuttings root easily in water. Fill a container with lukewarm water and place the shoot cuttings, in the correct direction of growth, in it. Place the container in a bright, warm place without direct sunlight. About every two to three days the water should be changed. As soon as the first roots have formed, this is usually the case after three to four weeks, the shoot pieces can be planted vertically in pots. Do not wait too long to move them into soil, however, and proceed carefully: Otherwise, many plants quickly suffer a shock.

Method 2: Rooting cuttings in soil

Alternatively, you can also put the cuttings in pots with moist, nutrient-poor growing soil and place them in a bright, warm place. To root, the cuttings need a soil temperature of at least 25 °C (77 °F) and high humidity. You can ensure this by covering the cuttings with a foil bag immediately after moistening the soil. A mini-greenhouse with a transparent hood is also suitable.

However, to ventilate the cuttings and prevent mold growth, you should briefly remove the hood every one to two days. Also, make sure that the soil remains well moist at all times. After three to four weeks, new shoots should appear, the rooting of the cuttings has succeeded. You can remove the foil bag and transfer the plantlets into larger pots with potting soil. You can also move several young plants as a group into one pot.

How to propagate a dragon tree by sowing?

The Canary Island dragon tree (Dracaena draco) can in principle also be propagated by sowing, but this usually requires imported seeds. If the seeds were freshly harvested, they should germinate without problems. With older seeds, however, germination is very irregular and can even take several months. It is recommended to sow the seeds in spring. At a temperature of about 25 °C (77 °F) in evenly moist growing soil, the seeds should germinate after about three to four weeks. Here, too, ensure high humidity with a cover that you regularly lift for airing.

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