Saving Dracaena – Rooting in Water Attempt


Few years ago I cut our tall Dracaena (corn plant) into three parts and replanted them in potting soil. They grew quite well.  Later on, I gave one (the top cutting) to a friend. Yesterday she gave me back the plant because it was not growing very well. The leaves were wilted and the cane looked crinkle.

Dracaena - Wilted dehydrated - March 08-2018

Unhappy Dracaena, leaves are wilted.

Today, after I thoroughly watered the unhappy plant, I took it out of the pot to check the root system. I found that the roots were very dry and after being watered well, the soil mix was still dry. It seemed to me that the soil mix repelled water. Why this happened? Perhaps my friend left it dry quite a while. Very dry potting mix can become water repellent, in which the water cannot penetrate all the soil and just runs out of the pot holes.  To continue


Indoor Plants

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Yesterday I redid our terrarium. After few years, one plant, the Begonia rex dominated the limited space in the glass container. I hardly watered it so it went unchecked. If only I regularly trimmed the plants, probably it would never happen.

Other indoor plants seem to be good.

Terrarium and Begonia rex:


Dracaena fragrans: Growing from Cutting


Dracaena fragrans - Cornstalk Dracaena

A forgotten plant! The many readings about Dracaena lucky bamboo lately have reminded me of a similar species Dracaena fragrans  ‘Deremensis / Janet Craig’ that we have. It was a wedding present for us almost 30 years ago which was still growing lanky and tall. It was not repotted for a long long time. No branches, just a single trunk almost 2 meters tall. It looked ugly and was still standing against the wall for support. Otherwise it would fall.  Though a bit dusty, the crown were  green and quite healthy, but the long and bare cane was just too thin to support the heavy leaves on the top. So I had to do something about it.

Yesterday I decided to repot the Dracaena fragrans which is also known as Corn-stalk Plant. It was named fragrans because of its sweet smelling flowers. Mine never flowered though! Anyway, I decided to chop it into three parts.

The bottom cane cutting with roots which I am sure it will grow new shoots. The middle cane, completely bare and rootless. With this one is a gamble, if lucky it will develop roots and later will also grow new shoots. Then the top part with leaves. I stripped many of the long and healthy looking leaves to help it concentrate more into producing roots. They say this top cutting will give me  a better chance.

I used multy purpose potting mix which was mixed with cactus soil (1 : 1) to make it more well drain. I used potting media that has no fertilizers added. Dracaenas are sensitif with too much fertilizer.  As tap water which contains chlorine and other chemicals not good for Draceana, I watered them well with rain water. If I keep the soil moist all the time, hopefully with fingers cross, they will grow!!

Dracaena - Repotting and Growing From Cuttings

PS: Hubby was really worrying about cutting this plant into 3…. he still thinks that I will kill them!!

Update March 5, 2013:

The two cuttings have started to grow new leaf buds. The bottom cane with the roots has faster growing rate and the middle cane is much slower as the leaf buds still very small. The top cutting with leaves still looks very fresh, shiny and green. I keep the soil moist and give them light/very weak seaweed drink:)

Dracaena new leaf buds March 5, 2013

Update: October 28, 2013:

It has been nine months since I cut our Dracaena plant into three to make three individual plants. The two bare stems have grown leaves.

Dracaena - Nine Months Later

Photo taken January 30, 2014 – One year after cutting and transplanting.

Dracaena fragrans