Dracaena Propagation: Learn About Propagating Dracaena Plants
How To Root Dracaena?
The root system of dracaena plants consists of three main parts: the rhizome (the underground part), the cambium layer (which contains cells which produce new roots) and the cortex layer (which contains many tiny veins). The cambial layer is divided into two layers. One layer is called the “cortex” and it is composed of small blood vessels which supply nutrients to the roots. The other layer is called the “rhizosphere”. Rhizospheric roots are capable of absorbing water and minerals from their environment. They are able to absorb more water than cambial roots. Therefore, they can survive longer under less favorable conditions.
It takes several years before the roots have developed enough strength to support themselves and begin growing. After a few years, the roots will start forming a thick taproot. A taproot is the longest part of the root system and it connects to other roots or stems.
Roots with large taproots are usually found near where rainwater collects in ponds, streams or lakes. These roots can grow very long because they are not affected by wind currents or water erosion. They are able to bring water from very deep underground.
How To Root Dracaena Pots
Dracaena reflexa is the most common type of dracaena you can find in pots. This plant is relatively easy to grow because it tolerates almost any kind of environment. The stems and leaves arise from an underground corm.
The corm is the swollen-looking part that has a thick skin covering it. Young plants do not have a corm. A corm develops when the plant is about 10 years old, or older. Young plants have a slender white rootstock with no thick skin covering it.
The root system consists of a stout primary rootstock and smaller secondary roots. The secondary roots are anchored into the loose soil surrounding the base of the plant and absorb water and nutrients from it. The primary rootstock grows straight down and is buried for most of its length.
It can grow to a depth of 3 meters (10 feet). There it meets the corm which functions like a storage organ. The rootstock transfers water and nutrients to the corm. The corm then releases the nutrients and water into the rest of the plant as needed.
The activity of the corm is influenced by seasonal changes. This means that it functions more slowly in winter, after long dry spells during the summer and when nutrients are lacking. An increase in the rate of transpiration (the loss of water vapor from the leaves) during the summer months stimulates the corm to increase the production and storage of nutrients.
Dracaena reflexa is an exotic plant that has the ability to grow well in pots or in the ground. It tolerates a wide range of growing conditions and is available at most nurseries and garden centers.
How To Care For A Dracaena Plant
As a general rule dracaena plants need the following to thrive: bright light, good drainage, adequate water, and feed monthly (10gms NPK 10-10-10) during the growing season. Red or yellow leaves often indicates a watering problem and brown leaves usually mean the plant is getting too much water. The quicker you notice these problems and correct them, the better your chances for correcting them.
Dracaena reflexa plants are no different than most other houseplants as far as care is concerned. They thrive in bright light but will tolerate low light conditions.
Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Dracaena reflexa will tolerate drier soil, but will grow faster with more water. Feed monthly (10gms NPK 10-10-10) during the growing season.
Be careful not to over-fertilize as this can burn the roots. Over about 3 years, dracaenas grow a “cane” that becomes thicker each year. Eventually it gets so thick the plant has a hard time supporting it especially if it is grown in a small pot.
When this happens you can cut off the top or sides of the cane to encourage branching.
Pruning is usually necessary only for canes that grow very tall, however you can prune anytime. Pruning promotes branching and helps prevent the plant from getting strangled by its own top growth.
Propagating Dracaena Reflexa
Dracaena reflexa is quite easy to propagate as long as you follow a few simple rules.
Start with a ripe cane, which is approximately 7 years old and 1″ – 1-1/2″ in diameter. Cut the top off at a 45 degree angle. This will encourage rooting as well as prevent moisture from collecting at the nodes.
Each cutting should have 4 – 6 nodes. Dust the cuttings with root hormone and place each cutting into a separate starter pot. Sub-irrigate (water from the bottom) until the soil settles around the cutting. Firm the soil around the sides to prevent moisture loss and don’t apply any more water for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks you can start watering as usual. The cuttings should show signs of rooting in 2 months. At this point you can transplant them into their permanent containers.
With a little luck and patience, you’ll soon have a whole bunch of dracaena reflexa plants. Keep them well-watered and they’ll produce lovely white flowers during the spring and summer months.
Dracaena reflexa is a beautiful plant that can really add a lot to any room. It doesn’t require much maintenance and with a little pampering it’ll provide you with clean air, humidity, nice looking foliage, and even a bit of privacy.
Dracaena reflexa is native to Cameroon and grows wild in the rain forests there.
Buy dracaena reflexa plants and seeds online.
(Dracaena sanderiana is also known as the corn plant, and it’s leaves are used to make skewers. However, it’s a completely different plant and neither of these two species have any known negative or toxic effects on humans or animals)
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Sources & references used in this article:
In vitro propagation and acclimatization of Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco) by A Galus, A Chenari Bouket, L Belbahri – Horticulturae, 2019 – mdpi.com
A scheme for commercial propagation of ornamental plants by tissue culture by PC Debergh, LJ Maene – Scientia horticulturae, 1981 – Elsevier
A tissue culture technique for rapid propagation of Dracaena cambodiana Pierre ex Gagnep. by JC Jin, M Bu, XF Luo, XJ Chen, JZ Tan – Guangxi Agricultural …, 2010 – cabdirect.org
Innovation in Propagation of Fruit, Vegetable and Ornamental Plants by SR Roberto, RC Colombo – 2020 – mdpi.com
Rooting of Dracaena sanderianacuttings as influenced by chemical sterilization and IBA application by I Pushpamali, MP Hettiarachchp… – Proceedings of the …, 2004 – ruh.ac.lk
Tissue culture and rapid propagation of Dracaena fragrans Ker-Gawl. and Cordyline fruticosa “compacta” by H Zhanming – Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis …, 2001 – europepmc.org