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How to root a dracaena marginata

Posted by highalttransplant z4/5CO (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 19, 07 at 19:37

Purchased a dracaena marginata a couple of weeks ago that had four separate trunks in the pot. I transplanted one of them to a smaller container, but I don't care for the "stick look". I would like to cut off most of the trunk, and stick the top part back in the dirt. Will this work, or do I need to do something special to get the top part to root?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

I think it would be difficult to root anything right now...spring is the best time. But for some reason I think the top would be difficult (or maybe not possible) to root. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong...I'm just guessing. But if you cut off the top, you'll be very happy with the branching out that will occur. I agree, I don't like the "stick look". I have a Marginata with 3 sprouts (branches that come out of the sides)...I just love the look. I think maybe you should focus on the bottom part of the plant that is already rooted. But I'd love to hear what other's have to say about whether the head can be rooted. Either way, I'd probably wait till spring to do anything.
Gabi


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Hi Gabi,

I did a search on Dave's Garden for dracaena marginata, and one poster said you can root the top, but didn't go into specifics as to how you do it.

Here is a picture of the trunk I just transplanted, in one of my new pots we discussed at length : )

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Maybe in the spring, I will get of the courage to wack the top off, and just place it back in the same pot.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

I THOUGHT that the container looked familiar!!!! ;-)


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Hi There again. I like your dracaena...they all seem to grow a little differently. I have one that is "stick-like" (just one stalk), and it's not all pointed up like yours, some leaves are hanging and some are pointed up. I like both looks. Now are you talking about cutting the head to make the stalk thicker or cutting it to force more branches to grow? I initially thought the latter. Anyway, I'm attaching a link to a thread i posted so you can see my pics of a dracaena with 3 branches offshooting off the one stalk. I really like the look!

Here is a link that might be useful: my d. marginata


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

I guess I just don't like the look of the stalk. It is too thin to me, and makes the plant appear top heavy. I would like to cut the top, and try to root the top portion, so that I have less stalk showing. Maybe I could take the bottom part that's left, and just cut a few inches off so that mine would branch off like yours, just closer to the bottom. It's not that I need more of them, there are still three more stalks in the original pot, but I can't throw a plant away, unless it is 100% dead!

Do you think the top would root if I just stuck it in potting soil, or do I need to do something more to it?


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Oh...now I know what you're talking about. They actually sell D. Marginatas with practically no stem, but you already have 4 so you don't need another! The only thing is, even if you cut it down and propagated the top, it would grow a long stalk again eventually. I really don't know if these can be rooted....but if they can, I'd really wait until Spring to do it. I'm sure others on here know how or if they can be rooted, but since you're not getting responses, do a search on here or on google. I found this site that may be helpful. I've attached the link on the bottom. Just scroll down to where it says "Air Layering". I guess it's worth a try, especially since you have a bunch more in case it doesn't work. But I think you'd have better luck using the rooted piece instead of the head...the good thing is you can try both at once (the head and the rooted stem). Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.
Gabi

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Dracaenas


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

The tops can be rooted. I do it all the time, when my dracaenas get too leggy. Also you can root the sections of trunk, as long as you take care to keep them right side up. I agree that spring is better for this. Be careful not to overwater the cutting, otherwise it will rot.

Brenda


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Thanks Gabi for that very informative link. I had no idea it could take 2 1/2 months for roots to develop. I guess I have been spoiled by all of the pothos/philo plants I've propagated over the years, LOL!

Brenda, do you use the air layering method described in the link that Gabi provided? Or is there an easier or quicker way?


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

That's good to know Brenda, thanks. But how do you root them? What method?

Highalt...glad you found the link helpful. I'm not sure if Brenda is talking about rooting in soil. I'm thinking that would be easier than air layering. And yes, other plants are really easy to propagate..this one seems tough because of the woody stem. I find that anything you can root in water is always the quickest/easiest, but not all plants can be rooted in water unfortunately (and even if they can the transition to soil might be tough on the plant). My favorite to propagate are spiders...SO fast and easy!


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

I have 5 Dracaena Limelight plants that are getting brown crispy tips on the leaves. A couple of the plants have entire leaves turn brown very quickly. They are not in direct sunlight, but do get nice indirect light. The average temp inside is probably 70 degrees. It is very dry inside the house right now. I water once every week or 10 days, but the soil always seems very dry. I live in Chicago and they did much better in the summer than they are doing now (winter). Their growth has slowed tremdously. Does anyone have any advice? thanks
mike


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

I just cut off the top of the dracena with a pair of secateurs. If the trunk is very long I take off a couple sections of trunk as well. I agree that the single-stick look is not that pretty, so I try to stick 2 or 3 sections into the same pot. Stand them up in a smallish pot and fill in around them with potting soil, packing it down a little so it holds the sections upright. Water it well once and then keep it on the dryish side.

Do not neglect to water and keep the old root and trunk, too. It will sprout again from the cut at the top. It sometimes takes a month or so for things to get going. If you do it now you should get some action by spring.

Brenda


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Mike (Stopka),
I would repost your question on a new thread. You'll have better luck getting people to notice it since we're talking about something COMPLETELY different here. Good luck.
Gabi


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Okay, here is what I've done so far. One of the three stalks that was left in the original pot had a section of the trunk that was without leaves. It was also the smallest stalk, so if I messed up and killed either half of it, I wouldn't feel quite as guilty. I cut it at the bottom of the section that was leafless, and stuck it in the pot with my other transplanted stalk, and a little piece of an ivy that I just acquired : )

I also got rid of that awful soggy soil that the Dracaena's came with, and put the transplant and cutting in something faster draining. Here is a picture of the cutting, and also the original plant that it came from.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The stalk that I cut is the one on the front right.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

I think you did a great job. Love those 2 big leafy dracaenas in the 2nd pic! Good luck.
Gabi


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

I have one of these I bought really young in 2002. Well I bought it as a small houseplant and continued to repot it as it got older. Now it's 6 years older and a good 7 feet tall. I have a HUGE sentimental attachment to the plant now but I can not have a TREE growing on my front door step when I live in an apartment complex. I thought of letting it grow hoping it would stop at the limit of the pot I have it in, but it has grown at least a 6 inches or more in the past year (and that's after a traumatic move from iowa to florida).

To sum things up, I saw this chain and was trying to figure out what to do about my monstrous plant.

I am afraid to chop it off at the base but that may be my only option. I know a few of you posted that sectioning the cane and planting the sections would work, but I would be devastated if i chopped it into pieces and it didn't recover. Though I would love to multiply the plant.

I looked at the "air-layering" link (Which was really helpful buy the way) and thought of just doing that as a safer route but I am not sure if it is too big to try that or if I am too in-experienced to attempt such a task.

I can post an image so you can see how huge it is. But I just wanted to see what suggestions you all might have. THANKS!


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Wow, I had no idea they would grow that fast. I would love to see pics of yours Leia! I'm going to talk to mine to see that she grows that fast.

Highalt, I love your pics. Yours haven't lost any leaves at the bottom. I love how full they are. Good job!

Sherry


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

My Dracaenas live outside in my front yard. I have two huge bushy ones. Most of them died last winter when we had freezing temps for a while so they were cut down to almost ground level, they came back beautifully. However, there were some original stalks left that survived the frost. To give the bushes a more uniform look, I chopped off the taller ones and plugged them into individual pots. They lost the lowest leafs but after 3 weeks, all of them had rooted and they are now enjoying a sunny spot once again in the front yard. So yes, you can cut off the top and re-root it. Just make sure you don't overwater them. Dracaenas don't like it soggy


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

I just inherited a large Dracena. The stalk is nearly two inches across. Can I still cut it at this size and expect it to put on new growth?


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

What you want to do is unclear (this size?), but when cutting back a plant hard, what the plant will comfortably tolerate, and what you can get away with is largely dependant on the current vitality and where the plant is in its growth cycle. Temperate plants that utilize the protective mechanism of dormancy can be cut back hard during the winter dormant period, but extensive reductions, both above and below the soil line, are best performed in summer on tropicals/subtropicals (houseplants), when the plant has good energy reserves and cultural conditions are conducive to rapid recovery


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Let me see if I can describe it better. The leaves are about 18" long and 2" wide. Dark green and leathery. Overall it's about 7' but arches dramatically to where the top then points up at about 20 degrees. It was in distress a year or two ago, and lost the original top, and put out a new one. It was nursed back to health and has about 2' of healthy leafed stem. The top is over 3' from the center of the pot. There does not appear to be any new leaves forming at the moment. There is about 1.5' of straight stem at the bottom, and that is where I would like to ultimately cut it to. I could start by cutting the top with a foot or so of stem and rooting it. The stem near the top is is a little over 1". I could leave the rest until summer, then cut it back more. There is another couple of feet of arched stem, I would ultimately like to cut into smaller 10" or so pieces and hopefully start more from them.

Thanks for the help!


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

There are several ways to cut and root the new cutting on woody stem indoor plants.

Method 1. Use rooting powder and spagnum moss. Cut the stem at 45 degrees up toward the top but do not cut all the way thrugh. Put a piece of toothpick in the cut to keep it open. Put some rooting powder into the cut carefully making sure to get some on the upper face of the cut, the new intended rooted plant side of the cut. Wet some of the sphagnum moss till it is soaked. Squeeze out the excess water till it is only damp. Wrap the cut surface with the damp moss about an inch and 1/2 or so on both sides of the cut. Wrap the moss with kitchen clear wrap and secure the ends with twist ties. This is fool proof and I have doe it many times. You will see the roots growing into the moss ball. That means it is time to remove your new rooted pland and pot it. New foliage stems will grow out of your lower portion.

Option 2. Same method as above but completely sever the top foliage portion and treat the cut end with the rooting powder and wrap in a moss ball as above. This works too and has for me numerous times.

Option 3. I am trying this now. Completely sever the piece you wish to root. Remove leaves so you have enough stem to push down into the pot soil to support the remaining soil. Water with fertilizer that encourages root growth. It is available in any planting supply store. I believe this will work as well as theie plants are bomb proof with a little care.

Bonus tip. Lay your plant down flat in the pot so the side rests on the supporting surface. Raise it upright only to water. The plant will exhbit photo tropism and begin making a 90 degree bend on its own over time. Do this repeatedly as you wish to create interesting 'trunk' character to make your plant unique while still looking totally natural.

Peace, out.

Bill


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Hello, I see a lot of response on this forum, so I thought this would be a good place to ask my question. I'm not sure what this plant is, but I thought it was a Dracaena marginata, until I saw the photo here. Does anyone know what this is? http://www.pjkinann.com/dracaena.html

We are "forced" to move from our home of 25 years due to the economy, and I don't want to break this tree in the move, so I was considering cutting off the branches and repotting, but I don't want to kill it either Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you. PJ


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

pj, feel free to start a new discussion for your question. It will be seen by more people that way.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

I have a dracena marginata with pink edged leaves. It only has one stem and the leaves and the stem are thin. I am trying to get it to become stronger by fertilizing it now and again. Will it branch out if I cut off the top and if so how long does it take for new branches to develop ? How far down the stem can I cut it off? I would like to root the top in water which I have had success in getting other plants' cuttings to root in whereas I have never mangaged to propagate cuttings in soil.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Hi, Edwin, welcome to Gardenweb! You've got a nice D. marginata 'Tricolor.' It's normal for this plant to have thin stems, and the thin leaves are all it is capable of making.

When it makes new tops, they come out like the pic below. The circled red spots are swollen nodes that could have produced more branches. The nodes that grew new tops looked like those circled in red before they popped out. I would suggest cutting just above a swollen-looking node like this, but if you don't see any, that's OK.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

The piece below took root in water, although I have had one or two pieces rot in water. No pieces stuck in soil have failed to propagate.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Thank you for your answer. I was afraid it was not so healthy since I have only just started fertilizing it. That is why I thought of taking a cutting to make a new one. I had another but it died due to my not watering it when I worked. If cuttings of it can rot in water then I shall not take any as I do not want to lose it. I am fond of it and if it is not too thin then I shall let it grow as it is. It is at least 10 years old and I have it in a bucket of hardened clay marbles (I do not know the correct word in English) with a water level gadget so I know when to water it. As a rule I pour in water once a week and add a little diluted urine (1 to 20 water) once a month.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

You would likely end up with 2 plants, but if you like the plant how it is, then by all means, let it be as tall and grand as your space will allow. Other than bumping the ceiling or developing a lean, there's no compelling reason to cut/propagate besides desire.

If you come to that point, I would just suggest using some type of potting mix instead of water. Not sure if I made that point clearly above. As these trees can live for a very long time, I wish you luck in reaching this point! After a decade, I'm sure you're quite attached to it.

As you have seen, these trees like a porous, chunky mix for their roots. A humidity dome or tent might be helpful in keeping a cutting moist for propagation, if nature doesn't naturally provide such. Since this is best done during the summer, shouldn't be an issue for most, but accidents do happen and sometimes it's necessary to try inside during winter.

You've obviously been rotating it to prevent it from leaning toward the light, which also helps the trunk to be straighter and stronger. Does it spend time outside? That's helpful also in allowing exposure to winds which require the trunk to strengthen to keep the tree upright.

It's not unusual for these kinds of Dracaenas to arbitrarily sprout new tops at times. They can come from the crown or anywhere above. Should your plant do that in the future, you would be able to sever the original top without sacrificing the appearance, just the height.

Does your plants' bucket have drainage holes?


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Thank you for your good advice. So far I have not had my Dracaena outside on the balcony. The pot is rather heavy and awkward to carry. Also it is not warm enough yet to have it on the balcony all day which is a prerequisite for my putting it out in the fresh air. In the summer I shall put it on the balcony as you advised. It does not grow very fast so I shall never need to cut it down. I have used rooting powder for other cuttings before but I do not think it was very helpful. Since too the cuttings I have put in soil mostly died I stick to rooting in water which I usually get good enough results with. I like the shape of the Dracaena and the way the leaves hang. Also I have read that it is an air cleaner.It is one of the few green plants I have. Mostly I prefer colourful flowering plants. I have 3 Phaleonopsis in bloom (one all white, a Yu Pin Pearl and the latest a pale lemon yellow one), a red Busy Lizzy, a cerise Azalea and 2 orange Kalanchoes. They have all brightened up the dark winter months. I intend to take another, larger cutting of a sky blue Hydrangea later and other coloured Busy Lizzies. The formert minute one I took last September survived the winter but was so frail that it withered and died unfortunately when the plastic bottle I had over the pot to keep it moist and warm brushed against it while I was taking it on to the balcony. However with the glorioius sunny though very cold weather lately I am gardening and have sowed cherry tomatoes and potato eyes to grow on my balcony. I have 21 healthy tomato seedlings from last year's harvest and the potatoes are growing slowly. Every day I move them all around so that they get a maximum amount of sunlight.Yesterday I sowed a few more tomatoes to try a new method I found on the web . For getting stronger plants the seeds are sown near the bottom of the pot and you add a little more soil each time they grow bigger. I could not do all this before I retired.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

  • Posted by Sugi_C 10a - SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 21:44

Uh, so, Purple...

So...hypothetically speaking, you understand.... are you saying that had you chopped off the new growth from the branch and stuck in soil -- the original trunk would push out new growth and....the stems that, hypothetically, you may have chopped off and stuck into soil, would also root?

I mean...not that I suddenly got a bug up my a$$ yesterday and did just that to one of my few Dracaenas or anything.......................and 24 hours later am wondering why I did that...............

.
. .
. .
. .
Chopped Dracaena Marginata


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Edwin, if the balcony gets sun for many hours per day, it could be a sunburning shock to your plant if it's not been out there before. From the pic, it looks like your tree is currently getting a lot of light, but even so, if suddenly put outside in a lot more sun, there could be burn. Just something to keep in mind as you consider putting it outside. Your other plants, or even a chair or other objects on your balcony, may be able to provide some partial shade so it's not such a harsh transition.

That tomato method sounds really cool. I might try a version of that in the ground! Thanks for sharing it. Good luck with your veggies!

There is a balcony forum, if you have an interest in checking it out.

Hey, Sugi! You did get something wild up your nether regions! Not sure where that urge came from but feel very confident about the main trunk making new tops. The tops that were removed are smaller than what I've tried before, but they look lively and vigorous. How much is under the surface?

But hey, what else are you going to do while trying to leave your Gardenia alone, right? I love how your pots always look so clean.

Please keep us updated!


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Thank you. I shall keep in mind what you said about the need for shade when I put the Dracaena on the balcony. The room that I have it in faces the south so it probably gets enough sun but no fresh air. That is why I shall take it out on to the balcony when it is not too cold. I shall have to take a look at the balcony forum. I shall let you know how the tomato seed sown with the new method progresses. So far nothing has come up. It is a little too early for that.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

I just took cuttings from my dracaena marginata and used a rooting hormone and potted the two cuttings how long before new roots start and did I do it the right way?


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Marginatas and I don't get along very well... I had one, suddenly it just wilted away for no apparent reason. The tops just died.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Depending on how warm you have it, should be less than a couple of weeks. I just put cuttings in a jar of water until the roots grew. Never left them long in the water once the roots were noticeable. When planted the cuttings just rocketed along and have grown quite a lot now.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Iluvblue, I've never used rooting hormone and have had only 1 little piece fail to propagate, out of many attempts. Just resist the urge to water it too much. I did put one in water last fall and never got around to planting it in soil until a couple months ago. Compared to those propagated in soil, the water method was totally inferior. That plant is still in suspended animation, not growing all. Cuttings done in soil start growing after a few weeks like Tropic said.

Pelargonium, welcome to Gardenweb. Sorry it didn't go well. I wonder if a fungus or bacteria came into play somehow. Dracs can catch something called soft rot that sounds a lot like what happened to your plant. Probably was something you couldn't have stopped even if you had known. Wishing you better luck in the future!


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

These plants being related to lucky bamboo 'Dracaena sanderiana' can root very easily in a cup of water, as I have done


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

This is my first dracaena, only because it use to belong to my mother. Well I've been caring for it since last summer. So far so good, I haven't killed it. My question is how to re-root this plant.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

When you say reroot, what exactly do you mean, and why do you want to? Do you mean repot? Reroot usually means to cut off a piece of plant and grow new roots from that piece. Your plant looks quite healthy, and not too big, I'm guessing you mean repot, which, again, why do you want to. Dracaena spp, yours looks like a small massangeana, don't need repotting as often as many other plants, unless you REALLY want to get all the growth out of it that's possible. I wouldn't bother repotting unless the plant is so big it's falling over. But if you really want to, repotting is pretty easy. Just get some new potting mix -- anything but moisture-retentive types -- cactus mix with an equal amount of perlite is easy to come by, gently pull the plant out of the pot, wash or shake off most of the old soil, trim back any roots that are curling around the pot, put some fresh potting mix into the same pot, put in the plant, put in more mix, working around and under the roots, water and add more mix if necessary, and you're done. It really doesn't take more than a couple of minutes for a small plant, though you'll probably want to read a bunch more about it.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Just trimmed my dracaena marginata. Not sure if I did it right. Is it gonna die?


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Plants almost never die from being cut. Think about it -- plants have evolved in a world where things routinely eat them. Plants DO die, however, from being trapped in soil (i.e. living in a pot) that never dries out. As long as you allow the soil to aerate sufficiently between waterings, it should be just fine.


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RE: How to root a dracaena marginata

Is the little top to the right something you cut off the main plant to the left? There's a huge range of 'right' and hardly any 'wrong,' but I've not seen a cutting put that deeply into the soil before.

Always hard to tell from a pic, but that soil does look very dense, muddy, which raises concerns about root rot/suffocation.


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