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How to take stem cuttings from dracaena


The practice of taking stem-section cuttings is useful for rejuvenating overgrown house plants such as dracaena.

Dracaenas are striking architectural plants, native to western and tropical Africa. Plants produce bold rosettes of strap-like leaves at the tip of each shoot, as older leaves gradually fade and fall to leave bare stems at the base. Dracaenas rarely branch out, so cuttings of various heights are usually planted together for a bushier effect.

Each section of stem has the ability to develop roots from its base, while new shoots will emerge through the tip and sides.

How to do it


Chop up the stem into sections 20-30cm long. Note which end is the base and which is the top.


Place the base of each section in a jar of water and stand it in a warm position. Top up the water regularly.


Check for white nodules around the base of the stem, which will develop into long roots.


Look for swellings emerging and pushing through the bark.


Leave the stems to develop shoots and form bushy new plants.


Once the stem sections are well rooted, pot each one up in a small container. Water and feed regularly. When the plants are root-bound, pot up several plants of different heights into a large container.

Our tip

You can take stem-section cuttings from other house plants, including cordyline, rubber plant and yucca.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to take stem cuttings from dracaena
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Newcastle 24/11/2011 at 15:28

I was interested in this method of taking stem cuttings and have found that it works quite well for geraniums too. I know that that may not be the correct method but it is easy and quick if you have no suitable compost to hand.

cath55 24/11/2011 at 15:29

Hi I have got a Cordyline that has got 4/5 shoots around it's stem. It is still thriving and would like to know how do I get these shoots to grow on their own without damageing the parent plant? I have lost 1 Cordyline to frost damage last winter. Cath

nightingalebrook 07/12/2011 at 17:54

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?