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Need help shortening.

Need a little help with a couple of old men. have these 2 Dracaena ( I think ). I want to trim them and maybe get some cuttings for new plants. But no idea how to do that. So much conflicting info on the web. Problem is I have no idea exactly what they are.  Any help would be appreciated. 



  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,081
    The RHS site says they can be cut back as low as 15cm and will make new shoots.  You can also take semi hardwood cuttings from lengths of the stem in spring and give them some bottom heat.

    If you're planning to try cuttings, I suggest you give them a liquid feed or two now and again before spring so the plants have some energy to help them regrow.

    Looks to me as tho they're in a very dry atmosphere and all your plants are leaning to the light so maybe give them more light, spray regularly with a mister to moisten their foliage and atmosphere and turn them regularly.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you. Not sure what you mean by heat. Temperature? They are 12 years old. Sad part is the forward one is mix planted so I cannot turn it. When do you think it would be best to cut? I have a weird connection to these plants. Bought my wife this planter when my we found out we were expecting. Like I said that was 12 years ago.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,081
    Spring - first para!  Bottom heat means using a propagator with temperature control.  If you haven't got one and still want to try, maybe a warm windowsill above a radiator but make sure it's not in full sun. 

    If you can't turn them, try putting a mirror on the wall opposite the window to reflect light back. 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337
    They are definitely Dracaenas and I have successfully propagated several over the years, including ones similar to yours.  All I did was simply cut the main stem down to about 15cm above the soil in the pot.  They then produced side shoots - usually 1 or 2.
    To get more plants, I then cut the removed stem into pieces about 20cm long and left them for 2-3 days until the cut ends had calloused over.  At that point they were planted 3cm deep into small pots filled with a 50/50 mixture of multi-purpose compost and grit or perlite (have used both) where they rooted and produced a side shoot to two after a few weeks.  It's important to only water the cuttings once, when you first pot them up and not again until you see signs of life.  It's also crucial to remember which end of each section of stem is 'down'!  If you forget, the leaf scars on the stem have a slight curve - make sure those are 'smiling' not 'frowning' and you are good! :)
    However, I wouldn't do anything at all until mid-late spring to much reduce the chances of any of them rotting.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,081
    Love the "smiling" tip @BobTheGardener
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks Bob. Great advice from everyone. 
    If you don't want the plant to look too bare you can cut just one stem down and wait for it to get new shoots before you cut the other ones down. We did that and it worked well.
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,808
    If new ones are not too expensive donate them to a friend or local hospital ward and start agin

    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.
  • Great thought but I can be very sentimental sadly.
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