Houseplants – Dracaena

Today’s topic should really be called “Cool plant tricks.” We’ve had a large pot of Dracaena marginata (“Dragon Tree”) in our family room for nearly nine years. The long spikey leaves are a deep green with burgundy-colored margins. I selected it because I knew those burgundy edges would coordinate nicely with our couches – not the best of reasons but hey, it works.

Over the years, the three main stems have gotten quite leggy and one in particular decided it wanted to bend over which didn’t look very attractive. So now what?

I suddenly remembered my days of working in an office at The Spokesman-Review and watching (with horror, I might add) the plant-care folks chop off wayward or sick-looking spikes only to have them sprout again. It seemed amazing to me that the plants could survive such an attack and grow with renewed vigor.

OK, back to our Dracaena marginata. I decided to try my hand at it so I randomly picked a new height of about 14 inches for the wayward stem and did the deed. My husband Bill was a bit concerned but we both figured it was worth a try.

Amazingly enough, within about 10 days, small sprouts could be seen coming out of the top of the shortened stem. Wow. It has taken a few weeks but as you can see by the photo, I now have a nicely-shaped spike. In a few more weeks, I’m going to chop off one of the other two spikes a little higher and slowly rejuvenate the plant. Pretty cool, huh?