Dracaena are beautiful plants, so similar to palm trees. They are very fond of being kept indoors. They are quite tall and this is one of the problems. What to do if your "palm tree" rested against the ceiling? Or the shoots from the lack of light have become long and thin, do not stay upright, but fall apart, from which the dracaena loses its attractiveness? And the lower part of the trunk is already bare, having lost the leaves - it is also not very beautiful ...
And then the question arises about buying a new plant or about reproduction and rejuvenation of an existing one. How to decide on this for a person who has never dealt with large dracaena? How do they reproduce in general and how difficult is it?
I can tell right away that at first glance it is scary and difficult, but dracaena reproduce surprisingly easily. True, not all. The easiest way to propagate in room conditions is Dracena bordered, Dracena deremskaya and Dracena fragrant.
The best breeding time is spring (March-April), when growth processes are activated. But you can propagate in summer, autumn, and even in winter (if there is no other option), just then the rooting process will be longer.
Consider the most popular type of vegetative propagation - cuttings. For reproduction, you can take the upper part of the stem with leaves or the stem itself without leaves.
Apical cuttings propagation
This method is also called "crown reproduction". The top (crown) of the stem with a bunch of leaves is cut with a sharp pruner, knife or saw so that the length of the stem is 10-15 cm (it is more convenient to work with such a handle). The cut can be straight or made obliquely - this does not really matter for dracaena. It is important that it is smooth, the stem should not have bark scuffs and should not be crushed at the time of cutting. If the place of the cut is not smooth, but serrated, the stem is cracked and scuffed up in the bark, it will rot faster than take root. After cutting, the stalk can be dried for several hours in air at room temperature or immediately start rooting.
The dracaena has a bordered stem already without leaves, and the base of the cuttings of other dracaena must be cleaned of leaves before rooting.
What can be rooted in? Rooting of apical cuttings can be carried out in water, in inert materials - sand, perlite, vermiculite, as well as in hydrogel, in soils for cacti and for palms. Rooting in any of the substrates has its pros and cons.
When rooting in water keep it warm, room temperature. You need to change the water as it becomes cloudy, 1-2 times a week. To prevent the water from spoiling so quickly, add an activated charcoal tablet to it (you do not need to grind the tablet). To accelerate rooting, any (preferably liquid) rooting agent can be added to the water. I usually use Zircon, add 2-3 drops to a glass of water. It speeds up the emergence of roots by about a week and a half.
Rooting cuttings in any inert material - sand, perlite, vermiculite, etc., in a hydrogel or soil, they are used as powder (Heteroauxin, Potassium Humate, Kornevin, Kornevit, Ukorenit and others) and liquid (Epin, Zircon, Ekogel and others) preparations. The base of the cutting can be moistened with water and powdered with a powder preparation, soaked in a solution of the preparation, mix the preparation with a substrate, or use the preparation in liquid form for watering the soil during the rooting period - all according to the instructions.
The stalk can rot both in water and in any of the substrates. Rotting occurs especially often when rooting in soil, since the microorganisms present in the soil also eat the organic component of the soil itself, and destroy the tissues of the cuttings. In soil that remains wet for a long time, rotting occurs faster. It is also impossible to overdry the soil, otherwise the tissues of the cutting, where the roots are formed, will dry out, as well as the delicate, recently formed roots themselves.
There are no soil microorganisms in inert substrates, but it is also undesirable to over-soil the substrates. A sufficiently moistened substrate, when rubbed with fingers, crumbles into wet lumps, and does not spread over the fingers. A sufficiently moistened hydrogel looks like transparent or matte jelly pieces; there should be no free water in the container.
It is best to root cuttings at an air and substrate temperature of +20 ... + 22 ° C in a mini-greenhouse (under a transparent bag, plastic, glass). Regularly, at least 3-5 times a day, it is necessary to spray the leaves with settled water at room temperature, and once a week with a solution of fertilizer for palm trees - while the plant has no roots, it feeds through the leaves. To remove excess moisture, ventilate the cuttings in the morning and evening for 15-20 minutes, removing the cover.
Propagation by stem cuttings
Sometimes it happens that the top of the dracaena's head has died - dried out or rotted. What to do in this case if it is a pity to throw out the plant? Dracaena can be propagated by stem cuttings. For this, a living - elastic, normal color, not flabby and not soft stem is cut into pieces 5-20 cm long. The stem is not cut anyhow, but along the leaf scars - these are the places of attachment of leaves that are clearly visible on the stem. The tool must be sharp.
Rooting is carried out in the above inert substrates - sand, perlite, vermiculite, and sphagnum moss is also used, or in soil.
There are two options for rooting stem cuttings - vertical and horizontal rooting:
- when rooting vertically, the stalk is immersed in a wet substrate to a depth of 2-3 cm with its lower part.If you want to root in the soil, then on top of it, be sure to pour a layer of sand 5-7 cm thick.Then the stalk will take root in the sand, and the roots will subsequently penetrate into the fertile soil - in this case, it is not necessary to immediately transplant the cutting into the ground, injuring the roots;
- when rooting horizontally, the cuttings are laid on the surface of a wet substrate and the cutting is slightly pressed into the substrate. The ends of the cuttings are not specially covered with a substrate.
Cuttings root well at an air and soil temperature of +20 ... + 24 ° C, in a mini-greenhouse.
Read more about the technology of rooting cuttings - in the article Cutting indoor plants at home.
If during the rooting of the apical cutting only roots are formed, then during the rooting of the stem cutting, in addition to the roots from the dormant buds, shoots sprout - this will be a sign of successful rooting. And it is not necessary to dig out the substrate in order to see whether the roots have appeared or not yet.
In horizontally rooted cuttings, a piece of the stem collapses over time (all the nutrition from it was spent on the formation of roots and shoots), the shoots switch to nutrition from their own roots, during this period they can be planted in separate pots.
Rooting of cuttings usually takes 1-1.5 months, and shoots appear in 2 months. If the conditions were not suitable (cold, dry or too humid), or the material taken for rooting was poorly viable, the cuttings take longer to root or do not root at all, and die.
Do not discard the stem with parts of the branches left after cutting the cuttings from the pot. You can also try (and quite successfully) revive it. For such a successful revitalization, see the information on the link We Form the Dracaena yourself and learn from the experience.
Don't be afraid to experiment! Try different options and choose the one with the best effect.
Illustrations from the book "Palms" by G.V. Porubinovskaya