The Madagascar Dragon Tree or the Dragon Plant can be propagated using techniques such as layering, stem cutting, and beheading (sounds dramatic, we know!). Dracaena marginata is known for its unique green leaves resembling swords and scarlet edges.
This plant is a favorite among gardeners because it is simple to care for, resilient to drought, and unlikely to die from neglect. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be taken care of.
Dracaena marginata has tiny white blooms that bloom in the spring and grow very slowly. Just to let you know, the plant usually doesn’t produce blooms when grown inside.
A tree may grow to a maximum height of around 1.8 meters indoors, but if it grows outside in a pleasant, warm climate, it can grow to a maximum height of 6 meters.
The plant is more frequently used inside, and since it can tolerate various lighting conditions, you may move it about your house to follow the light or change up the décor.
Plant Propagation: Explained
In essence, plant propagation creates a new plant with all the traits of the parent plant. The more common form of plant propagation is seed culture. Sexual propagation is the name given to the practice. Another method is vegetative or asexual propagation, which uses diverse plant components such as roots, leaves, and stems.
Sexual or seed-based reproduction is both simple and efficient. On the other hand, vegetative propagation is a novel and somewhat sophisticated method. But it produces fruit—in this example, new plants—quite fast. Additionally, certain trees and plants lack the seeds necessary for sexual reproduction. Bananas, jasmine, fig, and rose are a few examples. Such plants should be asexual.
An overgrown dragon tree can be revived by cutting plant stems and spreading them. Plant propagation promotes the growth of a certain plant genus and safeguards threatened plant species. Additionally, it enhances the traits and quality of the plants.
Dragon trees have stunning architecture. They hardly ever diversify, which gives them a thinner appearance in general. The plant may be cut at various heights, and the rooted cuttings could be replanted in the same container as the main plant. You might also decide to put them in a separate pot.
Propagating the Madagascar Dragon Tree
Direct germination of Dracaena in either water or soil. With water, your cutting will be less likely to get dehydrated, and you may see the roots develop. However, when you plant fresh roots in the soil, they must adjust since they have become acclimated to the water.
Any roots that form in soil have an advantage because they are completely matched to the growth medium. The soil must be maintained wet to prevent the cutting and new roots from drying out and failing.
Use the sharpest instrument you have to cut. Use bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or rubbing alcohol to clean your instruments to lessen the chance of bacteria getting into the plant.
At least once a week, better twice, change the water. This will stop the growth of bacteria and fungi in the water. Hydrogen peroxide should be diluted very slightly in the water. A little hydrogen peroxide also extends the freshness of cut flowers. Keep the cuttings in your best available indirect light. Avoid bright sunshine and dim lighting.
The plant won’t be able to keep up with too much light. It has no roots and is in a vulnerable stage, so warmer weather will offer it a greater chance. The bottom leaves on the cutting will often turn yellow and drop off. Consider some of this. The plant is shedding its leaves and preserving energy.
On Madagascar dragon plants, both layering and air-layering are effective. Most plants you’ll find at garden centers are layered plants since it’s a particular approach to start a new plant without having any die-off. Check the pouch for dampness. It shouldn’t be swamped with water but shouldn’t be completely dry. If the area is arid, inject a small amount of water or drip down the stem from above.
To make a funnel, round the stem with a piece of translucent plastic and knot it at the bottom. You don’t want to choke the plant, so don’t make it too tight. You should start to see roots extending to the edges of the pouch after 2-4 weeks. Cut the branch from the bottom once they grow bigger and start to circle in the bag before potting the plant.
Different stems sprout from a central stem. Any of these branches can be chopped off to obtain top cuts. You want to choose a mature stem branch that is sound and not displaying any signs of illness or dissatisfaction. If you attempt to propagate a piece of the plant that displays signs of disease, your chances of success will be compromised.
Cut off the stem part now that you’ve found it! A piece of the stem with around 5-8 leaves on it is what you want to take off. With too many leaves, the cutting will require a lot of energy to stay alive, increasing the likelihood of problems. This will guarantee the cutting is mature enough to produce roots.
To prevent contaminating the plant with dirt or an illness, perform the cut with clean scissors or shears. Making a clean cut diagonally through your plant using your instruments is crucial as it expands the cutting’s surface area, which will promote root development.
So, when’s the best time to propagate the Madagascar Dragon tree? Spring or the beginning of summer are the best times to prune. The plant will recover considerably more quickly when it enters a time of rapid development. Additionally, the cutting will have greater vigor, increasing its likelihood of success.
After cutting, use grafting wax to seal the stump of the old plant. Candle wax will do if grafting wax is unavailable. You can brush or wipe a portion of the bottom of a candle that has been cut off onto the stump. Heat the piece until it barely melts. Avoid overheating it since doing so will harm the live tissue at the cut end.
Since you’ll be storing your cutting in water for a few weeks, you should take care to remove a few of the lower leaves that could fall into the water. Cut them off immediately since they will decay if they are submerged in water for an extended length of time.
Skip this step if your cutting has a few leaves, and check that the water level isn’t too high. The next step is to put your slice into a glass filled with fresh, temperate water. Ensure the water isn’t too hot or cold because doing so can shock or burn the cutting, resulting in it wilting and dying.
By changing the water every couple of days, you can keep it from stagnating and clear of microorganisms that might damage your cutting. Avoid stagnant water since it will start to smell pretty awful.
Lastly, pot your Dragon Tree, cutting into new soil after the roots have grown nicely and are several centimeters long. You should always use a high-quality potting mix to aid drainage and aeration and ensure that your plant receives all the necessary nutrients.
The top of the stem you cut off will sprout roots, and the bottom section will regenerate new leaves, producing two new plants due to this approach. Trim the stem’s leafy tip. Avoid cutting the dragon plant too high by including at least one or two nodes in the cutting.
A node is a swelling lump that appears in rings around the stem at regular intervals—the cutting in a vase or water glass. Nodes need to be submerged. Within a few weeks, nodes will produce roots (months if in winter). When the roots of your young Dracaena marginata are approximately an inch (2.5 cm) long, transfer them into a container.
To multiply a Madagascar dragon tree:
- Cut a length of stem at least 20 cm (8 inches) long.
- Note which end goes downward.
- Put the cutting in some water or damp soil. When the plant is actively developing, which is most likely in the spring or early summer, it is the adequate time to take a cutting.
- If you have rooting hormone, use it to hasten the growth of your roots.
Utilize cutters or knives that have just been sterilized with rubbing alcohol, or you can also use vinegar. Keep the soil wet, or replace the water at least once every week if you’re hydroponically propagating.
It is possible to propagate stems with no leaves and “tops” or rosettes. Rosettes have a higher likelihood of surviving. Keep the cuttings away from direct sunlight and in the brightest light possible.
It’s not easy to grow a dragon tree or any other plant, for that matter. Although the tasks at hand aren’t challenging, several variables affect how cuttings fare after they are cut off from the mother plant. Your initial attempt to spread your dragon tree will likely end in utter failure, but don’t let that get your spirits down.
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- Madagascar Dragon Tree Repotting
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.