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Beginner Houseplants: where to prune dracaena marginata tricolour

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Forum: Beginner HouseplantsReplies: 15, Views: 197
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cruz4him
Toronto, ON
(Zone 6a)

May 16, 2008
5:00 PM

Post #4960190

I've got 2 of these plants with very skinny trunks. As such, I don't think air-layering (even if I knew how to do it) would be the best way to prune a root the cutting.

Can I just chop it down about halfway down the trunk and then stick the top part in the soil again or do I have to root it in water?

Thumbnail by cruz4him
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kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 16, 2008
7:04 PM

Post #4960638

Yes, you can root in soil. You can root it in water too, but some people say that water roots don't do well once you transfer them to soil. Water roots are thinner than ones that grow in soil, so you may loose it once you potted it up. I just did this to mine, a few weeks ago, and so far my cuttings are still alive. I've been keeping the soil moist, but letting it dry out a little before I water it again, and I've been keeping the leaves misted. Good luck!

Kristie
cruz4him
Toronto, ON
(Zone 6a)

May 16, 2008
7:33 PM

Post #4960772

Do I need to let the end callous over and apply rooting hormone before putting it in the soil?
growgirl59
Saint Louis, MO

May 16, 2008
8:06 PM

Post #4960926

This plant roots easily and doesn't need either. However, it wouldn't hurt to do one or both.
cjolene
Emporia, KS
(Zone 5b)

May 17, 2008
3:08 PM

Post #4964333

Except don't let it callous. That would work for cacti and succulents but not for this kind of plant.
cruz4him
Toronto, ON
(Zone 6a)

May 18, 2008
2:41 AM

Post #4966971

Gotcha! I'll do it on Tuesday, when I get back to the office.
plantladylin
South Daytona, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 18, 2008
2:58 AM

Post #4967022

Cruz:

I find the dracaena marginata very easy to root. And, where you make the cut, you will eventually see new sprouts coming out where it will make new branches. Check out this picture: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/32643/ ... see where the nubs are? That's where it was cut and has branched out.


Here's the link to Plant Files on D. 'Tricolor': http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/59787/
cruz4him
Toronto, ON
(Zone 6a)

June 2, 2008
3:08 PM

Post #5040579

Ok, I did the deed last Thursday. I cut the stems about halfway down and stuck the top part back in the pot.

When I came to work this morning, both cut off plants (2 diff pots) were a little droopy and they lost a lot of the bottom leaves. Is this normal? I heard that this plant is really sensitive to changes so I'm hoping it's just a case of transplant shock and that it will rebound quickly.
plantladylin
South Daytona, FL
(Zone 9b)

June 2, 2008
3:54 PM

Post #5040843

Cruz:

The Mom plant might have gone a little "shocky" from the surgery but should bounce back quickly. These things grown in the ground here in Florida grow tall and skinny with just leaves at the top. Here's a photo of one I have needed to transplant for years ... it has been sitting out behind my shed for about 8 years and survived temps in the high 30's and low 40's a few times. I am getting ready to plant it in the ground in the backyard.

I was just at the P.O. this morning and wish I had taken a picture of the one planted outside in front by the parking lot. It's just like the one in my picture.

Thumbnail by plantladylin
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cruz4him
Toronto, ON
(Zone 6a)

June 2, 2008
4:35 PM

Post #5041038

It looks a lot nicer outdoors when it's that skinny but it's kind of pathetic-looking indoors. Maybe I just need to group it with a bunch of other shorter plants indoors so the stems don't look so lonely.

If I were to put the top part I cutoff in a pot all by its own, what size pot should I start with. I'm just asking because the pot I stuck it back in is already pretty crowded.
plantladylin
South Daytona, FL
(Zone 9b)

June 2, 2008
5:16 PM

Post #5041225

I would pot according to the size of the stem ... you don't want a really large pot or I think it would be struggling to try and fill the pot with roots. You can always pot up a size later as the cutting grows. With the tall skinny plant you could always plant something shorter in the bottom of the same pot to fill in if you don't like the looks of the skinny branches. Or as you said, group different size plants together with the taller skinnier ones in the back. I love grouping plants like that with tall ones in back then medium sized ones and the shorter ones in front. I have also been known to sit a smaller potted plant on top of the soil of a pot that has a taller plant in it.
Tap6
Pompano Beach, FL

June 18, 2008
10:42 PM

Post #5124613

I recently saw 5 trunks braided together. Looked great, more organization and some thickness to the trunks as a whole. I'm starting to try 2 methods, actually braiding existing trunks and training trunks to grow that way. Any good advise out there?

This message was edited Jun 18, 2008 5:43 PM
Tap6
Pompano Beach, FL

June 18, 2008
10:51 PM

Post #5124674

for filling in the skinny trunks, I've had luck hacking small notches along the trunk wherever you want new growth to fill in
gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

June 19, 2008
3:16 AM

Post #5125811

Here is an example of what TAp6 is speaking about. (I just ran outside in the dark to take pics)...I just tied two pieces that I wanted to root. Then they started branching at the top of each cut.

Thumbnail by gessiegail
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gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

June 19, 2008
3:18 AM

Post #5125822

This is what the plants look like with philodendron in the same pot. I had to angle the camera so you could see where the two stems started to branch.

Thumbnail by gessiegail
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cruz4him
Toronto, ON
(Zone 6a)

June 20, 2008
2:57 AM

Post #5130981

Thanks! I get what you mean about bunching the trunks together. I couldn't imagine braiding them when they're so stiff!

I'm regretting cutting one of them right now because, like I said, pretty much all the bottom leaves fell out and what's left makes it look like what I had to start with, only not as nice. :-(
Guess I'll have to be a bit more patient and wait to see how the new sprouts will look.

Can anyone suggest any other plants I can pair them with in the same pot? I'm not too keen on the philodendrom/pothos/ivy or other trailers. I'm thinking of something a similarly stem-my but in a softer way, almost like grass, just to keep the aesthetics to follow that pattern and hide the skinny trunk a bit.

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