Q. My 13-year-old dracaena is taking over my art studio and getting very leggy! Any advice?
Dracaena (agave family) needs to be near your window. For upright growth, dracaena likes bright light without direct sun.
This palm-like plant is usually repotted with fresh potting mixture each spring into the next size pot, until the maximum convenient pot size (8-10 inches) is reached. If you don't want to remove your plant from its container, you can remove a couple of inches of old soil and replace with fresh soil.
Your plant will also appreciate some fertilizer every two weeks during its active growth period. Standard liquid fertilizer is fine. Here is one example.
Water during active growth (spring/summer) plentifully, as often as necessary to keep the mix thoroughly moist (water all the way through). Toss excess water. Water less often in winter, allowing the top inch to dry out between waterings.
You can grow new plants from cuttings taken from stems that have no leaves. This plant propagation can be done in spring to late summer from tip or stem cuttings. Tip cuttings should be young, comparatively soft and 3-7 inches long. Older pieces can be cut with pruning shears, if necessary into 1 1/2-to 2-inch long pieces, each of which must carry at least one growth bud (a slight swelling). Plant cuttings right end up--i.e. the way the stem was growing originally. Place the cutting in a 3-inch pot of slightly moistened potting mixture consisting of peat moss and perlite. Enclose the whole in a plastic bag or heated case, partially shaded until rooted. No additional water is needed. Rooting takes place in a month or more. Remove plastic and treat as regular plant.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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