Dracaena plants are not only beautiful, but they are also easy to care for. One of the best things about them is that they can be propagated relatively easily. Here are some simple steps that you can follow in order to propagate your own dracaena plants.

When To Propagate Dracaena

If you want more plants, or if your plant is looking leggy and needs a boost, propagating is a great option. You can also propagate your plant if you notice that it’s beginning to die off for whatever reason. Sometimes plants just get old, other times we’ve forgotten to water them for too long, but either way, as long as there is still a relatively healthy looking stem, you can try propagating it.

Best Time To Propagate

The best time to propagate Dracaena is in spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. However, you can propagate at any time of year if you have a healthy plant that is not too stressed.

Preparing to Propagate Dracaena

Before actually taking a cutting during your propagation, it’s important to gather all of the tools you’re going to need for the project. Below are the items you’ll want to have ready to use before you cut your plant to propagate it.

Sharp Tools

One of the most important tools is the item you’re going to cut the stem with! I highly recommend using a sterilized set of pruning shears to take your cutting. Here are my favorite pruning shears that I use every time. Make sure to clean yours by wiping it with bleach and then rinsing it with clean water.

Jars or Containers

You will need either a jar filled with water or containers to fill with potting soil, depending on the propagation method you wish to use. Whatever jar or container you use needs to be cleaned prior to using. You don’t want to risk contaminating your newly propagated Dracaena accidentally.

Water or Soil

Depending on the method of propagation you’ve chosen, you’ll need to fill your container with either water or soil. If you’ve chosen to propagate in soil, it needs to be a well-draining potting blend, such as this one.

Rooting Hormone

One of the best ways to propagate Dracaena is to use a rooting hormone. This will help encourage root growth and will also help to prevent disease. You can purchase rooting hormone at most garden centers or online. Be sure to follow the directions on the package, as too much rooting hormone can damage the plant.

The Best Way To Propagate Dracaena

There are a few ways you can propagate Dracaena plants. The most common way is by air layering, followed by rooting in soil and rooting in water by taking a stem cutting. There are pros and cons to all three ways of propagation, so read on to learn more about each method so you can choose the best method for you and your plant.

Air Layering

One of the easiest ways to propagate Dracaena house plants is by air layering. This method can be used on plants that are too large to be propagated by other means. All you need to do is find a healthy branch on the plant that you want to propagate, and then make a cut about halfway through the branch. Next, you will need to create a small wound on the bottom side of the cut using a sharp knife.

After that, you will need to moisten some sphagnum moss and wrap it around the wounded area of the branch. Be sure to keep the moss moist during the entire process. Finally, you will need to wrap some clear plastic around the moss-covered area and secure it with a twist tie or rubber band.

The plastic wrap will create a mini greenhouse effect and cause the wounded area of the branch to produce roots. Once roots have formed (which could take anywhere from one to three months), you can then cut the branch below the rooted area and pot it up in some fresh potting mix.

Stem Cuttings

Another easy way to propagate Dracaena plants is by stem cuttings. To do this you’ll want to prepare all of your tools and find a newer stem of your Dracaena plant to cut. Newer stems tend to propagate faster than older stems, giving your plant a better chance of survival against possible diseases or root rot.

Identify one of the healthiest branches on your plant, this branch is likely going to give you the best success rate for your propagation.

Where To Cut

The best place to cut is just below a leaf node. A leaf node is where a leaf meets the stem of the plant. Make sure to use a sharp knife or pair of scissors when making your cut. You’ll also want to make sure that the cutting you make has at least two sets of leaves. This will give your cutting the best chance of taking root and growing into a new plant.

Preparing Your Stem Cutting

After cutting off the stem you want to propagate, dip the end of the stem that’s going to be planted into a rooting hormone or a high quality propagation promoter. This will give your cutting the best chances at rooting and becoming a new, beautiful houseplant for you to enjoy. After this step, you can either plant your cutting in soil or in water for it to grow its new roots.

Propagating In Soil

Soil propagation is fairly easy as long as you have the proper soil to accommodate your new plant. As mentioned above, make sure the soil is well-draining soil to prevent excess moisture from harming your cutting. After you’ve dipped the end of your stem in rooting hormone you can plant it directly into your prepared soil.

Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and don’t let it dry out. Although you won’t be able to see it, your plant should grow new roots in 4-8 weeks. You can transplant to a bigger pot after a few months of good stem growth.

Rooting In Water

Many people choose to propagate in water because it seems to be easier and you get to physically see the roots grow instead of just hoping they’ve begun growing.

Rooting in water is one of the easiest ways to propagate dracaena houseplants. To do this, simply take your already cut off piece of healthy stem and remove the lower leaves. Place the stem in a jar or vase of water and make sure that the bottom leaf nodes are submerged. Keep the jar in an area with bright, indirect light and wait for roots to develop. This can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks. Once roots have developed, you can then transplant your new plant into soil.

How Long Does Rooting Take?

Rooting a Dracaena houseplant is a relatively easy and quick process. However, the amount of time it takes for the roots to grow can vary. In general, it takes anywhere from 2-8 weeks for the roots to develop enough to support the plant. Once the roots are established, the plant will continue to grow and thrive.

How To Care For Your Newly Propagated Dracaena

Assuming you have followed the steps in the article to successfully propagate your Dracaena, congratulations! You are now the proud parent of a new plant. Here are some tips on how to care for your newly propagated Dracaena so it can continue to grow and thrive.

When it comes to watering, be sure to err on the side of caution. It is better to under water your plant than to overwater it. Allow the soil to dry out completely in between waterings. If you notice the leaves start to droop, that is an indication that your plant needs more water.

Dracaena plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so be sure to place your plant in a spot where it will receive plenty of light without being in direct sunlight.


Fertilize your newly propagated Dracaena every two weeks using a half-strength fertilizer solution. Be sure not to over-fertilize, as this can burn the roots of your plant.

As with all plants, your Dracaena will occasionally attract pests such as aphids or mealybugs. If you see any pests on your plant, gently remove them with a damp cloth


Watering your Dracaena plant is one of the most important aspects of plant care. These plants are native to tropical regions and prefer moist soil. water your plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Be sure to avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot. Allow the excess water to drain away and never leave your plant sitting in water.

During the winter months, you can reduce watering slightly. Fertilize your Dracaena plants every two weeks using a balanced fertilizer diluted by half, and do this less often in winter months as well. You can also use a daily plant food such as this to feed your plant a small dose of fertilizer every day instead of a large amount every once in a while.


One of the most important things to remember when propagating Dracaena is to maintain a consistent temperature while your new plant’s roots are developing. Dracaena are tropical plants, so they need warmth to thrive. The ideal temperature range for propagating Dracaena is 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can provide this consistent temperature, your plants will have the best chance of success.


Light is another really important factor when trying to propagate your plant. If you want your plants to thrive, make sure they have plenty of bright, indirect light. Dracaena plants can also tolerate low-light conditions, but they will grow slower in these conditions.

Transplanting A Rooted Dracaena

If you have a dracaena that’s getting too big for its pot, or if you want to multiply your plants, it’s easy to propagate dracaena by transplanting a rooted cutting. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cut a 6-8 inch piece from the end of a healthy dracaena stem, making sure to include at least 2 sets of leaves.
  2. Fill a pot with a well-draining potting mix and make a hole in the center.
  3. Gently insert the cutting into the hole and firm the mix around it.
  4. Water well and place the pot in indirect light. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  5. In 4-6 weeks, your cutting should have rooted and new growth will begin to appear. At this point, you can transplant it into a larger pot or keep it as is.

Potential Problems

One of the most common problems when propagating Dracaena is that the cuttings can rot before they have a chance to root. This is usually caused by too much moisture in the air or in the soil. Make sure to provide good drainage for your cuttings and keep the humidity low.

Another problem you might encounter is that your cuttings might not root properly. This can be caused by several factors, including using old or damaged cuttings, not providing enough moisture, or it could be simple transplant shock. If your cuttings are not rooting properly, try again with fresh, healthy cuttings and make sure to provide adequate moisture and nutrients.

Transplant Shock

One of the biggest problems when transplanting or propagating houseplants is transplant shock. This is when the plant experiences stress from being moved and it can result in the plant dying. To avoid this, it’s important to take care when transplanting your houseplants.

Here are some tips to prevent transplant shock:

  • Water the plant well before transplanting. This will help to keep the plant hydrated and reduce stress.
  • Transplant or propagate in the morning or evening. Avoid transplanting in the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest. This is more of a precaution and not a tried and tested reason for plants not propagating well or handling transplants well.
  • Be careful not to damage the roots when transplanting, or the stem while propagating (more than required for the cutting itself).
  • Add some organic matter to the new planting hole. This will help the plant to settle in and reduce stress.

How To Propagate Dracaena FAQ

How do I propagate Dracaena Limelight?

You can follow the same steps as outlined below for all variations of Dracaena plants, including the beautiful Dracaena Limelight.

Can I cut the top off of my Dracaena plant and replant that?

As long as you make sure to have a node where the new roots will grow, you can cut the top off and replant it. Follow the same procedure as above for the best chances of success.

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