How To Prune A Dragon Tree Plant

So how precisely do you prune the tree in a right manner? By pruning your plant properly, you can ensure that both the parent plant and the fresh, propagated clippings will thrive for a very long time.

Cutting the top off the Dracaena plant

Even while it might sound drastic, taking the top off the dragon tree might be exactly what it needs. As noted earlier, the remaining stem will sprout additional shoots, resulting in a fuller plant. Be aware that it will take some time before you notice that new growth, so be patient.

As long as a sizable portion of the stem is still present, you can also replant the cuttings. You’ll have a second dragon tree on the way once it takes root.

Make sure your pruning shears are clean and sharp

A pair of fine, sharp shears are the perfect instrument for the job if you want to maintain the health of your plant. Jagged, uneven cuttings not only look less attractive, but they also increase the likelihood that the plant will get sick. To rid it of any bacteria, sharpen your knife or blade and wash it in a bleach and water solution.

How to cut the stem of your dragon tree

Snip the stem of your dragon tree at an angle to cut it. This encourages new development while reducing the likelihood that your plant may contract illnesses.

When to prune the dragon tree

The easiest way to keep dragon trees’ height moderate and their leaves full is to cut them at least once every one to two years because of how quickly they develop. Don’t prune it unless the plant is actively developing, which is in the spring and summer. When your dragon tree is dormant in the fall and winter, avoid cutting it because this will harm the plant and prevent further growth.

How are dragon trees pruned?

Dragon trees can swiftly beyond their control due to their rapid growth. They can grow up to 10 feet tall if unpruned, which is too tall for an indoor plant. You can maintain your dracaena marginata’s beauty and ensure that it is the right size for your house by regularly trimming it back.

Makes the plant fuller and bushier

Similar to the fabled Hydra serpent, which sprouted two new heads anytime one was removed, dragon trees do the same. Even if you completely remove the head of your dragon tree, fresh sprouts will emerge from the wound. Pruning fosters new growth at the cutting site and makes the plant more voluminous overall. This prevents the formation of long, sparse leaves.

Manages the height of the plant

By pruning it, you can significantly reduce the height of your dragon tree without endangering it. Snipping those canes will help keep the size of your plant exactly where you want it if it is growing too big for your indoor space.

Snipped canes can propagate your dragon tree

What is superior to a single dragon tree? The obvious answer is two or three dragon trees. Use the cane pieces that are pruned off to help your plant grow more. The stem’s rooting end, which was the downward-pointing end before you snipped it, needs just to be placed in water or wet soil for it to develop roots and sprout another lovely sprout.

When should a Dragon plant be pruned?

When dracaena plants are pruned, they grow into full, healthy plants with two or more new branches, each with their own cluster of leaves. Pruning dracaenas is not at all challenging. Here are some useful dracaena pruning suggestions.

In the spring and summer, when the plant is actively growing, is the perfect time to prune dracaena plants. Avoid cutting dracaenas in the fall and winter when the plant is dormant.

To ensure smooth, even cuts, make sure your cutting blade is sharp. Rough cuts look bad and promote infection. To check if your pruners or knife are pathogen-free, dip them into a solution of bleach and water.

To lessen the chance of infection, cut the canes at an angle. Take out any weakened growth, brown leaves, or broken canes.

Can I cut the Dracaena plant’s top off?

My plant (I don’t know the name, but I believe it belongs to the palm tree family) is bending and very weak despite growing as high as my ten-foot vaulted ceiling. I nailed it to the wall with twine and thumbtacks to help stabilize it. Should I remove the top? Is it acceptable to chop if it is top heavy? If you will, or trunks, have thin bark. Is there a technique to assist in making them thicker? As you look at the photographs, please let me know if you have any recommendations on this plant.

Expert response from Hailey Plant:

You possess a sizable Dracaena. To keep it healthy within your home, it does indeed need to be trimmed.

I went ahead and changed your photo to demonstrate how to top your plant. A red box outlining a portion of the Dracaena stem may be seen in the image to the right. You can chop off the plant’s top anywhere along this stalk. Make sure the stem is cut at a 45-degree angle. By doing this, the plant will be certain to mend well with little to no dieback. For a few days after the cut, I prefer to mist the area to help the cut heal more slowly. Once daily, mist it with lukewarm water.

You can start a new plant with the bit you cut off. You’ll need some rooting hormone for this. Once the top has been removed, place the cut end in the rooting hormone and plant it in a pot with damp soil. The portion you cut off will develop roots in a few weeks, giving you a new plant.

On the side of the stem where you made the cut, the old plant is likely to develop new growth. Please let me know how it goes and good luck.

What part of the dragon tree do I cut?


Different stems branch out from a core stem on dragon trees. You can remove any of these branches to get top cuts. A mature stem branch that is healthy and not exhibiting any symptoms of disease or unhappiness is what you want to choose (yellow leaves near the top of the stem, brown leaves or dots on the leaves). Your chances of successfully propagating a portion of the plant that exhibits symptoms of sickness will be harmed if you do so.


The scary aspect is this! You need to cut off the stem section now that you’ve found it! A piece of the stem with around 5-8 leaves on it is what you want to take off. With too many leaves, the cutting will require a lot of energy to stay alive, increasing the likelihood of problems. This will ensure the cutting is mature enough to produce roots.

To prevent contaminating the plant with dirt or an infection, make the cut with clean scissors, shears, or a knife. Make a clean, diagonal cut through your plant using your instruments. This expands the cutting’s surface area, which will promote root growth.


Since you’ll be storing your cutting in water for a few weeks, you should take care to remove a few of the lower leaves that might fall into the water. It is advisable to cut them off immediately because they will rot if they are submerged in water for an extended period of time. Skip this step if your cutting just has a few leaves and check that the water level isn’t too high.


The next step is to put your slice into a glass that has been filled with fresh, temperate water. Make sure the water isn’t too hot or too cold because doing so will shock or burn the cutting, which frequently results in it wilting and dying. To ensure that the levels of chlorine and fluoride are lower than in water directly from the tap, it is recommended to use filtered water.

When compared to other houseplants, dragon trees aren’t usually as sensitive to this, but using filtered water or rainwater will help stop the yellowing of the foliage.


Put your glass in the direct but bright sunlight. Strong light can harm your cutting and jeopardize the viability of your propagation.


By changing the water every couple of days, you can keep it from stagnating and free of microorganisms that could damage your cutting. You want to avoid stagnant water since it will start to smell fairly awful.


The propagation process can become a little monotonous at this point. Nothing more has to be done save changing the water and waiting for roots to emerge from the bottom of your cutting. It’s completely common for this process to take several weeks or months, so don’t be concerned!

You ought should start noticing fresh growth from your mother plant about this time. The stem where you made the cut will produce a new bud, and normal growth should immediately resume.


It’s time to pot your Dragon Tree cutting into new soil once the roots have grown nicely and are several centimeters long. To aid in drainage and aeration as well as to ensure that your plant receives all the necessary nutrients, you should always use a high-quality potting mix. Place your cutting gingerly into the mixture, being careful to protect the tender freshly created roots, and continue normal maintenance.

How is a dragon tree shaped?

Broadleaf evergreen shrub Dracaena marginata, often known as the Madagascar dragon tree, has many trunks and resembles a tiny tree. If planted in a container, it can reach a height of 6 feet, and if planted in the ground, it can reach a height of 20 feet. In zones 10 through 11 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plant hardiness map, the dragon tree flourishes. Long, slender stems are covered in sword-shaped green leaves that can grow up to 3 feet long. The only way to design the tree is to measure the height of the stems and promote branching by trimming because each stalk is capped by a single tuft of leaves. The shrub should be pruned ideally in the spring while it is actively growing.

To make the cut, choose a place on the stem of the dragon tree. Depending on whether you want a low-growing set of branches or only want to remove a little portion of the top of the shrub, you can cut the stem anywhere between 10 inches and 5 feet above the ground.

Use a pair of clean, razor-sharp pruning shears to cut the stem across at the desired height. Cut at a slight slant to prevent water from collecting on the cut surface. A place on the stem just beneath where you made the cut will sprout one to three fresh shoots. If you are pruning to make the plant shorter, keep in mind to account for the height of the new branching growth.

Allow the section of plant you cut to dry for a day or two before planting the cutting 3 to 4 inches deep in the soil at the parent dragon tree’s base to begin a new plant. Alternately, start a Madagascar dragon tree by planting the cutting somewhere else.

Should I trim my dracaena’s brown tips?

You have complete discretion over whether to remove the brown tips from your dracaena plant. The worthless tips of these hideous Dracaena leaves are equally as ugly. With a clean, sharp pair of scissors, you may remove brown tips, which are dead plant debris. Take care because doing so could result in uneven and visually unpleasant leaf ends on your Dracaena.

When cutting out brown tips, be careful not to cut into healthy leaf tissue. To prevent overcutting the leaf, which can cause further browning of the leaf, it is better to leave a tiny margin of the brown leaf next to the healthy leaf tissue.

The best conditions for a dragon plant

Dracaena prefer direct, bright light. Experiencing too much sun can cause leaves to burn. For humidity, it’s a good idea to grow them in a bathroom or kitchen.

Let the top few centimeters of soil dry out before watering again because dragon plants prefer underwatering over overwatering.

For indoor plants, I believe multifunctional compost is inappropriate. It is bulky, retains moisture, and takes a while to dry out. Most indoor plants, including Dracaena, do better with a free-draining potting compost like John Innes No. 2 with additional grit. Just make sure to keep an eye on it and water when it gets dry.

Maintain a temperature of 18–32°C for dragon plants, making sure it doesn’t fall below 15°C in the winter.

In the summer, give your dragon plant a balanced liquid feed every two weeks at half strength.

Dracaena can be easily reproduced by tip cuttings. Tropical plants can be propagated throughout the year, but the seasons with the most light and heat are spring and summer. Cut any stem tip that is around 8 cm long and above a node away from the parent plant if your plant has several branches. One-third of the lowest leaves should be removed and placed in a water-filled jar on a windowsill. Regularly changing the water will cause roots to emerge in a few weeks. Plant it in a pot large enough to fit the roots in a free-draining soil. On the parent plant where the cutting was made, a new shoot will also grow.

Why do the brown tips on my dragon tree?

Underwatering or letting your Dracaena lie dry for an extended period of time is the most frequent cause of browning leaf tips in Dracaena plants. When the top 75 percent of the soil in the pot is dry, water your Dracaena. Never let the soil become drenched or moist. In the winter, you can let your plant dry out between waterings more, but be sure to increase humidity by spraying your plant frequently, using a humidifier, or using a pebble tray.

Make sure to water your Dracaena thoroughly enough for the water to drain into the saucer through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot. It’s crucial to empty the saucer of any extra water and to avoid letting your plant stay in any standing water. Wet feet are not good for your dracaena since they will cause the roots to rot and eventually kill the plant.

The dracaena’s leaves may be turning brown due to the quality of your water. The majority of tap water contains compounds that are toxic to dracaena plants. Before watering, use filtered water or let your tap water hang out overnight without cover so that contaminants like chlorine can vaporize.

Dry soil and low humidity make leaves droop and brown on the edges, which is followed by overall yellowing and browning and leaf drop. The humidity will rise if you often mist the leaves of your Dracaena. For a sustained increase in humidity, you might also use a humidifier or a pebble tray.

Dracaenas are more vulnerable to pest infestations when they are stressed or feeble. Spider mites and other sap-sucking insects can dehydrate your plant. Leaflets and fronds quickly start to yellow as a result of this issue. In an interior environment, scale, mealybugs, and spider mites are usually present. These tiny pests multiply and travel into nooks and crannies along frond portions if they are not eliminated at an early stage. The insects’ piercing jaws fatigue your plant and hasten yellowing, particularly if your Dracaena is already unwell due to inadequate lighting, nutrient inadequacy, or insufficient soil moisture.

Is your Dracaena showing signs of fresh growth? This discoloration is normal if there is new growth on your plant and older, especially towards the bottom of the plant, browning and yellowing leaves. Old leaves on your plant are shed, and new growth is energized.