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I have a magnificent dracaena which has one stem with the leaves touching the ceiling. I am reluctant to cut down the whole plant. If I cut the tallest part off, will the rest of the plant be affected? When is the best time of year to do this?

I have read various articles about taking cuttings, but they normally refer to a plant that has become bare lower down and is past its best, and therefore the talk is of dumping the tree and making a new one. I don't want to do that as mine is still looking good - just outgrowing its space.

Emma Crawforth

Dear Nightingalebrook,

I am sorry to say that you are right to be reluctant about cutting down your dracaena stem to stop it from touching the ceiling.

As you say, cuttings can readily be taken from the stems of dracaenas. Leaf bud cuttings also work. This should be done in early summer. Taking cuttings works well and should give you some fine plants in the future. However your original plant will certainly not continue to grow in the way that it is now. If it survives then you will get new branches, rather than a single stem.

Unfortunately the solutions seem to be to find a new home for your plant or to bite the bullet and try making cuttings. However, you should wait until next year before you begin.

I hope you are successful, whichever course you choose.

Emma

gardenersworld.com team.

I have also got a Dragon Tree that has grown too big for the space it lives in - a corner by the window in a relatively bright dining room. It has three stems each with a mop of leaves at the top. The tallest stem (around 2 meters) sticks out sideways and rotating the plant isn't an option. I am wondering if cutting off that stem in spring will be OK and allow the other two stems to develop more evenly. At least that should provide material for cuttings but I would like to keep the plant too if possible.

Advice welcome! 

Thanks, Jacky

If you look at the post above yours, you really have the answer to your query.

You can remove the stem you mention but it will, if the plant is healthy, eventually start to sprout - either from below the cut or elsewhere. You will then end up with more stems than you have now.

If you aren't able to rotate the plant throughout the year, then you will always end up with uneven growth.

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