EasyBloom Forum

How To Propagate Dracaena

5 messages - 5001 views Feed-icon
An EasyBloomer asked a question about how to propagate a couple of species of Dracaena so that they would have clones of the original plant. This is called vegetative propagation and a gardener would take semi-ripe stem cuttings during the summer months. A semi-ripe stem cutting is one that is not too "woody". You would find this type of cutting towards the top of the stem. The part of the stem that is at the base would be harder and more difficult to properly root.
The idea is to cut a part of the stem and then make it reform roots from the base of the new cutting. Once those roots are established you can plant it like you normally would. This is your new clone! With Dracaena and Cordyline (both genera of plants are closely related), you most likely will not need any extra push to create roots, but I would still use some type of rooting hormone. The rooting hormone mimics a natural plant hormone that would normally initiate new root development. The following would be how I would make these cuttings...
I would prepare some small pots with light and airy soil. You can make light and airy soil by getting some regular potting mix and mixing it with a good amount of perlite. Perlite will add porosity to the mix. This is important because roots need oxygen to grow. I would water the new airy potting mix so that the soil is completely saturated. I would allow the potting mix to drain so that it is very moist. Water should not be pooling on the top of the mix. I would then use my thumb to dig out holes in the mix (1 for each cutting). Then I would use shears to cut the top parts of the stem (before you make the cutting be sure to remove the leaves from the stem; I recommend this for species of Dracaena and Cordyline, but not every plant would need to have their stems leafless). I would cut about 1 cm above the stem node (a node is where the leaf is attached to the stem). The cutting that I just removed from the plant should be dipped into some rooting hormone. I've normally used powdered rooting hormone in the past, but you can premix it to acquire the desired concentration of active ingredient. The bottom of the cutting should be covered in powdered rooting compound out this point. Gently place the cutting into the previously formed indentations in the soil. Try not to rub off too much rooting hormone. Pack some soil around the cutting so that it can stand up on its own. Repeat this until you have the desired amount of cuttings.
The primary difficulty your new cuttings will have at this point is drying out. Your cuttings do not have roots to absorb water, and you will want to decrease the rate at which your cuttings lose water. This can be done by increasing the relative humidity around the cuttings. Constant misting can do this. Placing the pot in a plastic bag (it's important that the bag is not sealed) and then pouring some water into the bottom of the bag can also increase the relative humidity around the cuttings. Unfortunately, increasing the relative humidity will also increase the chances that a microbial pathogen will germinate and possibly cause disease.
The cuttings will need some time to develop new roots. This can take a number weeks to months depending on several factors. The cuttings will need some light, but the light should never be allowed to dry out the potting mix. I hope this is helpful. If anyone has any questions about making cuttings feel free to reply to this thread or post a new topic. Cheers...Robby