Dracaena is one of the most popular and beautiful fuss-free houseplants. Great for beginners, this plant thrives in almost any location in your home. Better yet, dracaena propagates easily, turning one plant into many more plants. You can decorate your whole house, keep the plant healthy and happy, and gift cuttings to friends and family!
Keep reading to see how easy it is to propagate dracaena with cuttings with our step-by-step instructions. You’ll have your own indoor oasis in no time with these easy-to-follow beginner techniques.
Why You Should Propagate Dracaena
Not only are you getting a whole new plant for practically free, but propagating dracaena is also a healthy practice for your plant.
You’ll want to propagate once your dracaena becomes too leggy. A lot of the time, this causes the plant to become top-heavy and fall over, which in turn can cause damage to the dracaena.
Giving your dracaena more dimension creates more of a tropical vibe. Propagating is excellent for creating a staggered-looking plant for a more natural appearance.
Or, you can give these cuttings to friends and family as gifts because everyone can benefit from a bit of green.
Propagating dracaena is also perfect for when you want more plants around your home. Instead of heading to your nearest home and garden store, create more plants from the ones you already have. Before you know it, your home will be the urban jungle of your dreams.
When To Propagate Dracaena
Technically the best time to propagate dracaena is during the summer months when the plant is showing signs of new growth and is healthy and not under any stress, but you can propagate in the winter months if you would like, the roots just may take longer to grow.
A plant may become stressed when repotted or moved into a new environment, so this would also be the time to wait until the plant becomes more established before trying your hand at propagating.
Tools You’ll Need
You’ll need just a handful of items when propagating dracaena; you probably already have most of these items on hand.
Firstly you’ll need a sharp knife or a pair of gardening shears. Sharp garden shears make this job much easier, but a sharp knife will do the trick.
You’ll need to make sure it has been washed with soap and hot water, whether using shears or a knife. This way, there is no chance of spreading disease to your new cutting or mother plant.
You can use any clear glass vessel for water containers, like a mason jar, water glass, or vase. The size can vary depending on the size of your cutting. Of course, if you’re looking for a little more decorative options, you can purchase this set of two beautiful propagating vases. These not only add some stylish flair to a room but they come with a sturdy base and a lid to keep the cutting from falling over.
Planters, Pots, and Soil
If you choose to propagate your cutting in soil, you’ll need a planter pot and some potting soil. The soil should be soft and well-draining. You can incorporate some peat moss for even better drainage and less of a chance of root rot.
Pick up some of these adorable little plastic planters that will add some color while awaiting your new cutting to grow its roots. Not only are they super cute, but you’ll receive 24, so you’ll be very busy propagating new dracaenas.
Lastly, although this is optional, is rooting hormone. Rooting hormone encourages root growth and will help prevent disease and the cutting from drying out before the roots can establish. Make sure to always follow the package’s specific instructions if using.
Propagating Dracaena From Cuttings: Step By Step Beginners Guide
Propagating dracaena from cuttings is the most popular method because it’s so simple.
Where To Cut
While looking at your dracaena, you’ll notice white rings around the stems. These are the leaf nodes.
When making a cut, cut below a leaf node and include at least four full leaf nodes in your cutting for the best chance of propagation.
Preparing The Stem Cutting
To prepare the stem cuttings, dip the bottom end in the rooting powder, and depending on whether you’re propagating in soil or water, place it into the correct vessel.
Propagating In Soil
If you choose to propagate your new cutting in soil, you’ll need a small pot with drainage holes, a plate or plastic catch to catch any water, and well-draining potting soil.
Place the stem directly into the potting soil after dipping your cutting in the rooting hormone. Make sure to water the soil so it is moist but not overwatered, as this will cause the stem to rot instead of rooting.
Check the soil every few days to ensure it has not dried out and remains evenly moist.
New roots should grow anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. Once a robust root system develops, around 3 to 5 months, you can transplant your new plant into a larger pot.
We must emphasize not to overwater a new cutting. Overwatering leads to rot and will kill the stem before it can even root.
For an even healthier and more vigorous plant, fertilize with a well-balanced fertilizer diluted by half once every two weeks. If fertilizing during winter months, it can be done once every month since it is not focused on new growth.
Pros And Cons of Soil Propagation
When debating whether to propagate dracaena in soil versus water, there are a few pros and cons.
- Creates a stronger root system
- Has more balanced nutrients
- More susceptible to root rot
- Have to watch the soil moisture and humidity levels
Propagating In Water
Placing your cuttings in water is more straightforward than putting them in the soil. By placing them into the water, you can see if the roots are growing, unlike when placing them into the soil.
To do this, place your cutting in a vessel of water, make sure no foliage is touching the water, and ensure that two of the leaf nodes are submerged.
Keep your cutting in a bright room with plenty of indirect light. Within 2 to 8 weeks, you’ll notice root development. Once the roots are substantial, repot them into a pot with soil.
When propagating dracaena in water, the only care tip is to change the water once to twice a week or if you notice the water is cloudy. Other than that, just let mother nature do the work for you!
Pros and Cons of Water Propagation
There are a few drawbacks among the benefits of water propagation.
- Less mess
- Low stress to the plant
- Can visibly see roots growing
- Does not create the strongest root system
- Actual plant growth will be slower than other methods
- Chance of rot and fungus is high if water is not changed regularly
Light and Temperature Requirements
Regardless if you choose water or soil propagation techniques, your dracaena cutting requires bright indirect light to get enough energy to form a root system.
Although a rooted mature dracaena can handle low light conditions, this will cause the immature roots to grow even slower.
If you’re having trouble finding the appropriate lighting for your new dracaena cuttings, investing in some grow lights may be the way to go. These lights are full spectrum and perfect for all house plants.
It is important to place the new cutting in a spot with a consistent temperature of about 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Because dracaena is a tropical plant, it cannot handle low temperatures, especially during propagation.
Drafty areas have you worried about your new cutting? You can purchase this wonderful indoor thermometer that can monitor indoor temperatures as well as humidity levels and have it sent straight to your phone. That way, you won’t need to keep guessing if you placed your plant in the right area of your home.
What To Expect
After your cuttings have grown substantially, it’s time to repot into its new home. Once you have done this, you can care for this plant like any other mature dracaena. At this point, your plant will grow fresh new leaves and look fabulous in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to propagate dracaena cuttings in water or soil?
Both! There is no “better” or “best” way to propagate dracaena cuttings. Placing your new cuttings into water is simpler than getting a pot ready with soil, and it is easier to see new roots forming. But just because it is easier doesn’t mean it is better.
Do you have to add in rooting hormone if you’re placing your cutting in water?
You can add rooting hormone to your cutting before placing it in water. This gives your plant the boost it needs to form its new roots. Of course, this is an optional step. But, it does help and give your plant a better chance at thriving.
Will new shoots from the already-rooted mother plant?
Do not fear. Your mother plant, or the plant you took your cuttings from, is not dead. Instead, it will form new shoots and create another plant.
Wrapping Up Propagating Dracaena
With this easy-to-follow beginners propagation guide, you’ll propagate new dracaena plants to create your indoor tropical paradise. Or enough to share, at least.
Make propagating dracaena even easier with the help of indoor mini-greenhouses. These keep humidity and temperature levels consistent for even smoother propagating processes.