Update: Dragon Trees from Cuttings!

Last month, I had to make the painful decision to trim a few branches off of my dragon tree (also known as a drago tree and Dracaena draco). Dragon tree cutting, photo 1Dragon tree cutting, photo 2As mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to see if I could propagate new drago trees from these cuttings. So far, the cuttings, in pots, appear to be alive! This is so exciting! The  photos are of 2 different cuttings. The one on the left appears to have new young leaves. The one on the right shows more mature leaves and a common characteristic of Dracaena plants: shedding older, lower leaves to make way for newer leaf growth up top.

The dragon tree seeds that I planted in pots do not yet show any signs of sprouting or growing, but it’s only been about a month, so I’m going to keep watering as usual and hope for the best!


8 Responses

  1. Hello!

    I have been reading your series on the Draco. I got a couple of seeds and I want to sprout them indoors. I have read in some websites that it does “ok” as an indoor plant, and in others that it needs a strong sun light. Would it be ok if I try to raise it indoors? if so in what kind of light? I lack of a lot of natural light indoors, and I am zone 11 so i cant leave it out all the winter. Would it be ok in artificial fluorescent with some direct sunlight during the early morning?


  2. Dear Alessa,
    Thank you for your question. Indeed, you can raise your draco indoors. It will grow to about 4 feet. In terms of sun light, the draco will do fine in light shade and will even tolerate a bit of dry air – it’s a tough plant.

    I am not sure about artificial light, though, since I’ve not tried that myself. My guess is that if you use artificial light, it would have to, at minimum, approximate the conditions of a natural light environment so that the plant does not get stressed from the difference between the two lighting circumstances. That is, the amount of light would be similar in terms of intensity and amount of time the draco would have received had it received natural light. You may need to research that a bit, though.

    The dryness given off from artificial light may also be a consideration since the light most likely will be fixed directly upon the plant and not fade out as natural light does. I’m supposing this will require a bit of trial and error, e.g., varying the wattage of light bulbs, position of the lights, etc.

    The potting soil should be kept moist but not soggy. In the winter, watering can be less frequent, but the soil should not be allowed to dry out.

    Let me know if you are successful in sprouting your seeds from indoors. I sprouted my outdoors and it took a few months to sprout during the summer.

    My very best wishes for success to you, Alessa, with raising your indoor draco. Thank you for reading my blog!

    • Dear Jane,
      hello! I’m very very happy to have finally found your blog. I was looking a lot at something detailed about growing a draco, and particularly indoor. The environmental conditions here do not allow me to let my draco outside all the winter long.
      Some 25 years ago I received three seeds and planted them in pots. After a month or more I was curious, so I checked and I killed one germinating seed (too sad). The other two survived, and I started growing them but I did not know very much their needs (even if I have some education in plants and gardening). In summer they stayed happily outdoor. In winter indoor and unfortunately the first winter I kept watering them some, so they were not very happy with the light-water-temperature combination. So the second one was killed.
      The third one survived, and “she” is still alive and healthy after 25 years, a coupe of moving and different environments. In the summers everything went well. In the winters I kept the temperature in the lowish (for me to comfortable as well 🙂 ) like 16-20 °C, I bought a big light that stayed at the top of the plant all the day long, and I watered her very sparsely. The Draco is now more than two meters tall (7 feets), it is beautifull. Of course she is not in the optimal environmental conditions for flowering. I don’t know what do you mean when you refer to your Dracos as being “mature plants”. Mine surely can’t grow much more than that (it is reaching the ceiling 🙂 and I have troubles keeping the light on on top). Along the stem some adventitious roots volunteered in the recent years. So I have to plan some cutting. You can imagin I’m a bit scared: I do not want to kill her, after all the years together …. I’d like to try and save her, maybe split her ….
      So, I’m sorry for the long message.
      What do you think about this plant?
      Thanks, eli

      • Dear Eli,
        Thank you for your note. I’m glad that your dracaena draco is doing so well. By “mature,” I meant that the tree was at an age and in a physical condition when it was ready to reproduce and develop seed stalks. These are the same seeds that have produced the many dracaena draco trees at my home, and the same seed that produced your tree. That is one way to produce a new dracaena draco tree.

        You can also produce another dracaena tree by taking a cutting of the tree and planting the cutting into soil. The cutting does not have to be large to successfully start growing on its own. You could cut a small part of a branch. I have not tried to grow another tree using the adventitious roots, but it is worth trying. The soil for your tree(s) should be kept moist but not soggy (in other words, do not over-water) throughout the year.

        Please note that these trees, as they get older and taller, do need to be repotted into larger pots so that the roots at the bottom of the tree have enough room to grow.

        Very best of luck to you during your tree cutting – you need not be scared. This is a strong tree. And please do keep me updated on your tree, and thank you so much for visiting my blog!

      • Dear Jane,

        thanks for yoy kind answer!
        It is encouraging that you succeded in obtaining plants from cutting.

        The reason I’m scared of cutting is that my plant, in spite of being about 7 ft tall (more that 200 cm) and 25 years old, it is not “mature” in that it is not branched and never made flowes. So, if I cut it, I basically cut the head off. For that reason I want to be very careful (and because I’d like to improve the plant instead of damage it or simply generate more plants).

        Where to cut it? When?
        I tend to think the higer the better, maybe just under the adventitious roots growing at about 1 meter under the lowest green leaves.

        I may make a picture of the plant and try to post them-

        Congratulation on your blog!

      • Dear Eli,
        Since your tree has never branched or flowered, I would say, as you suggest, cut at the top – the higher the better – but you do not need to cut too much off. A small piece, planted in soil that is in moist soil, should produce roots and eventually a new plant.

        A note of caution: The tree is very heavy and will require great care (and maybe somebody to help you) in moving it and cutting it. When I removed branches, I found each branch to be quite heavy. I used a chainsaw to do this so it was quite messy. If the tree cannot be moved outdoors for the cutting, I would suggest covering your floor with a tarp or other protective cloth so that cleaning up is easier.

        Sending you my best wishes for success!

  3. Hey Jane, I share your passion for these beautiful trees 🙂 about four months ago I moved a 3.5 X 3.5m and had to sadly cut a few branches to get passed obstacles. The cuts I tried to strike in soil after 2 months of a brutally hot summer looked great and one I left leaning on something looked brand new 🙂 after another hot month the two in pots rotted yet the one leaning against something is still looking great with new branches forming 🙂 it has taught me a lot about them and after watering in once I have to restrain myself from watering the big guy knowing it has enough within it to keep it going until it finally rains 🙂

    • Congratulations, Rob, on your successful propagation of your dragon tree, and many thanks for visiting and following my blog!

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