Should I prune my dracaena?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Elodie, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Elodie

    Elodie Member

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    Hello, I have a beautiful dracaena which looks super healthy and I love it. Thing is, it is growing in height and although it still looks balanced, I'm wondering whether I should take some action and cut one or two heads. Any thoughts? Cheers!

    Elodie
     
  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    post a pic so we can see it - will be able to give better feedback :)
     
  3. Elodie

    Elodie Member

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    Hi there, here is a photo. Cheers!

    elodie
     

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  4. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    it is balanced enough (and is very healthy) and doesn't really need trimming.

    it's really your choice. they're not so tall as to be hitting the ceiling yet, so, from that aspect, there's no need yet. from a symmetrical point of view, you could improve it by doing some pruning.

    if you wanted to shorten it a bit and have it appear more 'bushy, you could top off the two tallest trunks. you can pot them up to make new plants - either in the same container to add to the fullness/bushiness or in a separate container.

    if it were me, i'd cut so that the two tallest are evenly spaced above from the middle pair as the lower pair are from the middle pair. i'm really big on symmetry, though, and, since there are 3 pairs there, to me, equidistant would be wanted; more 'balanced'.

    really does look fine as is though!!
     
  5. Elodie

    Elodie Member

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    Many thanks. This is much helpful. If I cut off a trunk, will it split into two or more shoots?

    E
     
  6. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Agree with Joclyn. When I've "shortened" Dracs, I got from 1 to 3 new shoots. Doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for which. barb
     
  7. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    barb is correct, there is no rhyme or reason to how many new shoots will result from cutting a drac.
     
  8. Elodie

    Elodie Member

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    Thank you both. If I do decide to cut my Drac, where on the trunk should I do so? Should I cut at the base, where the two shoots originated from?
    Sorry to be so naive, but I don't want to damage my plants!

    Cheers.

    E
     
  9. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Prune it up 10 - 12". The new sprouts will form at the top of the cut giving you another drac or so, depending on how many sprout. The new shoots can help fill in the bottom of part of the plant. barb
     
  10. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i think we posted at the same time, elodie...see my post right above yours where you ask where to cut.
     
  11. Elodie

    Elodie Member

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    Barbara and Joclyn, many many thanks for your kind help. Much appreciated.
    Elodie
     
  12. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    you're quite welcome, elodie!!

    please post later with updated pics :)
     
  13. Elodie

    Elodie Member

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    Will do!
    Now, I do have another drac-related question. I have got a little dracaena marginata. The fellow is about 8-9 years old and it was just one fairly thin stem (that has corkscrewed over the years as I turn it around regularly) with one head. Not knowing what would happen, I cut off the head a couple of weeks ago. I put the latter in a vase and it's now grown roots so I'll plant it soon. But, the 'old' stem has not produced any shoots and the tip has turned dry. Yesterday, I cut off another inch or so to reach moisture in the trunk, then I watered with added fertilizer. It is hot right now in London, so should I water every day to encourage growth or is this a lost cause?
    Any thoughts will be appreciated. Thank you.

    Elodie
     
  14. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    no, don't constantly water it - the too-soggy soil will cause the roots to start rotting. they like to dry out a bit before being watered again...

    i've never cut a drac (yet ;) ) so, i can't say how long it takes for new shoots to start growing. also, the time-frame for new growth to appear could differ between varieties.

    if the tip was dried up, then trimming it back was the right move. hopefully that's all it needed to spur the new growth on!!

    the piece you have in water - plant it!!!! the longer it's in the water, the more chance you have for rot to set in to the trunk.
     
  15. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Elodie, you might try tenting the cut part with a large baggie hanging from a thin floral stake so it doesn't rest on the cut end. Just mist the inside of the bag when it dries out. Don't keep it dripping wet. Don't seal the mouth of the bag to the container either - allow for air flow. That's how I do my dracaena marginata. You did right to cut off the dead part. And thank you, this is how we all learn. barb
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2009
  16. Elodie

    Elodie Member

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    That's great, thanks, Joclyn!
    I will plant it today and will keep a close eye on the old stem.
     

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