When and how is dracaena marginata pruned?

Dracaena marginata lives well in a hall

Image – Wikimedia Commons / David J. Stang

Dracaena marginata is a plant that we usually have at home. It has a very thin stem (false trunk) and numerous lanceolate leaves that make it very beautiful. And although its growth rate is rather slow, that does not mean that it does not need a potting change later, or even a little pruning.

In addition, we cannot forget that the usual thing is that the roof of a house, let’s say common, is usually 3 or 4 meters away. But our protagonist can measure up to 5 meters, with which, we will have no choice but to know when the dracaena marginata is pruned, and how.

When should dracaena marginata be pruned?

The dracaena is pruned from time to time

The dracaena is pruned from time to time

The first thing that must be very clear is that the pruning that we will do to the dracaena has nothing to do with the pruning that we would do to a common tree such as an oak or a maple, for the simple reason that its genetics, and therefore the evolution they have had, is very different. That is why it is so important to know the best time to prune it, since only if it is done at the right time, we will get it to recover sooner.

And what is to be done about this? Well, that the dracaena marginata It is a tropical plant, which cannot bear the cold at all, which is why it is used to decorate homes. Also, It only grows when the weather is good, that is, when temperatures remain between 18 and 35ºC. In autumn and, above all, in winter, it hardly remains active: it only performs its most basic functions, such as breathing, but its rate of growth slows down so much that it can even stop.

With all this in mind, pruning will be done when it starts to come out of that state of restbecause it is when the sap begins to circulate at its normal rate and, therefore, when it can recover faster from injuries. Now, what is that moment exactly?

I like to have more patience with indoor plants than with outdoor ones: I prefer to wait for temperatures to drop to at least 20ºC for a while and for those weeks to see that the weather is improvingbecause if you prune as soon as winter is over but a cold wave comes soon after, even if you are protected at home, you will notice that drop in temperatures (unless, of course, at home we always have more or less same degrees, and that in the room where we have it there are no drafts).

What is the objective of pruning the dracaena marginata?

Another thing to keep in mind is that a young plant should not be pruned. What’s more, the normal thing is that it takes many years until we have to prune it, because as I said, it takes its time to grow. Sometimes in nurseries and garden stores we can find pruned specimens, but these usually measure at least 1 meter in height or more.

That’s why The real objective of pruning this plant is none other than keeping it at a lower height so that it does not touch the ceiling.. No more no less. If our intention is to have it in the garden or on the patio, we won’t even have to worry about this issue.

Can you prune a diseased plant?

Sometimes it can happen that we have watered our dracaena too much, and that its stems begin to rot. Well, in this case, yes we can prune it to try to save it, regardless of the season of the year in which we find ourselves and the age of the plant. But I repeat: only in this case.

If the problem is that it has pests, for example, pruning is totally unnecessary because there are insecticides and home remedies that we can apply. It will not even be difficult for us to clean it with water and a little dishwashing soap (the dose is 2-3ml of soap in 1 liter of water).

How should it be pruned?



Dracaena marginata pruning will be done using a small handsaw (on sale here!) that we will have disinfected with soap and water. This will help us to cut those stems that are one centimeter or more thick.

Also, it is important to know that it will only be pruned if it has more than one stemsince otherwise we would leave it without leaves, and it would cost it much more to resume its growth.

Once we know this, we will simply take the hand saw and cut the stem by placing the tool above the older leaves. In addition, it must be borne in mind that the lower it is cut, the longer it will need to produce new leaves, so if we leave some leaves during pruning, we will help it to recover.

By the end, we will apply healing paste (on sale here!) on the wound. In this way, you will avoid getting sick.

What to expect

After a few weeks we will see that new stems emergewhich will be new branches. Well, once they have developed a bit, we can start fertilizing the dracaena with a fertilizer for green plants such as this.

As you have seen, pruning this plant is not very complicated.

When and how is dracaena marginata pruned?

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