How to Propagate a Dracaena Marginata

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Dracaena marginata goes by several common names, including Madagascar dragon tree and red-margined dracaena. The species possesses a treelike shape with a spindly trunk topped by an airy crown of slender, pointed leaves, which works equally well as a potted plant and as a garden shrub in frost-free areas. Like most Dracaena species, vegetative propagation methods work best for growing Dracaena marginata plants, but they must be started in late spring and kept warm to produce the best results.

Things You'll Need

  • 6-inch plastic pot
  • Compost
  • Sharp sand
  • Perlite
  • Scissors
  • 0.5-percent IBA (indole butyric acid) rooting hormone
  • Large plastic bag
  • Warming mat

Prepare a rooting container for the Dracaena marginata cutting before taking it. Fill a 6-inch plastic pot with a sterile mixture of equal parts compost, sharp sand and perlite.

Take a 4- to 6-inch-long cutting from the tip or base of a young Dracaena marginata stem in late spring. Choose a stem with young, flexible flesh rather than hardened bark. Sever the stem at an angle using a pair of sharp, clean scissors.

Treat the base of the Dracaena marginata cutting with 0.5-percent rooting hormone liquid. Dip the lower half of the cutting in the liquid hormone, or apply it with a brush.

Bury the lower half of the Dracaena marginata cutting in the prepared pot of sand. Make sure it is steady in the sand and will not move around.

Drizzle 1/4 cup of water into the sand around the base of the Dracaena marginata cutting.

Enclose the potted cutting in a large plastic bag. Set the Dracaena marginata cutting on a warming mat set to 70 degrees F in a shaded spot away from direct sunlight.

Moisten the rooting media four weeks after potting the Dracaena marginata cutting by drizzling 1/8 cup of water around the base. Close the bag after watering.

Check for roots two months after potting the cutting. Hold the base of the stem and gently try to lift it. Roots have formed if the base feels sturdy.

Repot the Dracaena marginata cutting in a large container with standard potting soil three weeks after rooting.

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