How to Propagate Dracaena fragrans (Corn Plant) | 3 Propagation Methods


Dracaena fragrans also called Corn Plant or Corn Palm is an easy-care plant which easily adapts to a wide range of indoor growing conditions and is easy to propagate.

Dracaena fragrans is one of the popular Dracaena Plants on account of its glossy, large, yellow-striped leaves which are a delight in any space.

The plant is also a good indoor air cleaner according to the NASA Clean Air Study, Dracaena fragrans was found to get rid of common VOCs like xylene, toulene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloethylene from indoor air.

Dracaena fragrans has its origins throughout tropical Africa, from Sudan south to Mozambique, west to Côte d'Ivoire and southwest to Angola.

Dracaena fragrans (Corn Plant) can be propagated in 3 ways; by air layering, from stem cuttings or from the top crown of leaves.

Corn Palm, Dracaena fragrans

1. How to Propagate Dracaena fragrans by Air layering

Dracaena fragrans air layering propagation is easy. Following is the step by step process of air layering Corn Palm.

Make a notch on the stem of a healthy Corn Plant and coat the notch with a rooting hormone to hasten rooting.

Surround the notched area with damp moss and then cover it with a polythene film or clear plastic wrap.

Maintain the moss moist through out and allow some time for roots to develop in the notched area.

After the roots have formed and about 2 in. long, the stem is now ready to be seperated from the mother plant.

Sever the stem just below the covered part with a sharp cutting tool like a sterlized knife or a sharp, clean pair of pruning scissors. New shoots will sprout from the shortened stem of the mother plant.

Carefully remove the polythene and get ready to pot the rooted stem of the Corn Plant.

Select a 6 or 8 in. pot and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Fill the pot with loose, free-draining potting mix and make a hole in the center of the pot. Ensure that the hole is slightly wider than the root base of the Corn Palm cutting.

Place the rooted Dracaena fragrans cutting in the previously made hole and lightly firm the soil around the base of the stem while taking care not to bury it too deep.

Water the soil thoroughly and place the set up in a well-lit, warm place until the new plant is well established after which you can begin routine care.

Corn Palm, Dracaena fragrans

2. How to propagate Dracaena fragrans from the top crown of leaves

Cut the top crown of leaves from Dracaena fragrans bearing about 4-6 in. of the stem.

Reduce the leaves to about a third long to minimize water loss. The leaves are necessary for photosynthesis to hasten rooting.

Apply a rooting hormone on the lower cut end of the stem of the Corn Plant to hasten rooting.

Select a rooting container and ensure that there is adequate drainage to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Fill the container with loose, free-draining potting mix and make a hole in the center.

Ensure that the hole is slightly wider than the base of the Dracaena fragrans stem.

Insert about 2-3 in. of the cut end (stem) of Corn Plant crown of leaves in the previously made hole and lightly firm the soil around the base of the stem while taking care not to bury it too deep.

Water the soil thoroughly and place the set up in a well-lit, warm place. Adequate light and warmth are necessary for faster rooting.

Maintain the soil moist until rooting occurs; rooting will occur in about 3-6 weeks.

Once you observe new growth, the new Corn Palm can be transplanted to its own pot after which you can begin routine care.

Corn Palm, Dracaena fragrans

3. How to propagate Dracaena fragrans from stem cuttings

Take4-6 in. long stem cuttings from a healthy Dracaena fragrans and ensure each cutting has some leaf nodes as this is where new growth will come from.

Dip the lower cut-end of the Corn Plant stem cuttings in a rooting hormone to hasten rooting.

Select a rooting container and ensure that there is adequate drainage to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Fill the container with loose, free-draining potting mix and make a hole in the center.

Make sure that the hole is slightly wider than the base of the Corn Palm stem cutting.

Insert about 2-3 in. of the lower cut end of the stem cutting in the previously made hole and lightly firm the soil around the stem cutting while taking care not to bury it too deep.

Water the soil thoroughly and cover the set up with clear polythene sheet to create a greenhouse effect to hasten rooting.

Place the set up in a well-lit, warm place. Adequate light and warmth are necessary for faster rooting.

Maintain the soil moist until rooting occurs; rooting will occur in about 3-6 weeks. When you observe new growth, the new Corn Plant can be transplanted to its own pot after which you can begin routine care.

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