The second youth of dracaena
Natives of the tropics dracaena - very popular indoor plants. They easily reproduce vegetatively, are extremely decorative, caring for them is simple. Dracaena do not need bright light, they can not be grown by the window, moreover, direct sun is contraindicated to them. We need regular watering, infrequent top dressing during the period of active vegetation and transplantation once every two years.
Description of dracaena
The genus Dracaena (Dracaena) belongs to the family of agave (Agavaceae). Sometimes taxonomists separate them into a separate family of dracenaceae (Dracaeneae).
The most common in the culture is fringed dracaena (D. marginata): reddish-violet thin strips pass along the edges of its dark green leaves. Known form D. m. tricolor, which is followed by a yellow stripe after the extreme stripe, emphasizing the contrast of the green middle of the leaf and the red edge. The form of D. colorata is characterized by a wide red border.
The most common fringed dracaena looks like a small palm tree. This similarity is especially pronounced in specimens with a lone stem. So that the trunk does not bend, the plant must be regularly turned to a light source. And if you drop several dracenes of different heights in one container, you get a beautiful cascading composition. If a plant is grown from a stem cuttings, then several stems can form on its top, and here is a bouquet of two, three or more “palm trees”.
I would like to give some tips on caring for dracaena.
There must be drainage in the container in order to drain excess moisture. Summer watering is plentiful, but despite the fact that dracaena is a water-loving plant, do not flood it in winter.
Do not leave dracaena in the windows at ajar windows: for people of tropical nature, such contrasts can be disastrous.
If a spider mite is wound up on some houseplant, remember that dracaena will also be enjoyed by this pest, so treat it too.
The main disadvantage of home dracaena is that after 5-7 years the plant reaches a height of 120-150 cm, the stems are exposed and, whatever you do with them, are bent. It is often difficult for such a giant to find a place at home.
Of course, you can buy a new plant as a replacement, but not everyone will raise the old one. And do not throw it away! Dracaena, as already mentioned, easily propagates vegetatively, using this quality of it, you can improve the situation. It takes only a little courage.
The best time to rejuvenate overgrown dracaena is spring. However, a positive result happens even in winter, only all processes will be slowed down and some losses are possible.
A "surgical operation" can be carried out practically without waste, using everything cut off as cuttings. On the trimmed part remaining in the container, it is necessary to immediately outline the desired levels, at the ends of which sleeping kidneys will wake up in 1-2 months, and there will most likely be several new shoots. If desired, the extra can be plucked.
You need to cut it with a sharp knife, because the pruner inevitably wrinkles the tissue. The container with the cropped skeleton of dracaena can be placed in the far corner before the awakening of the sleeping kidneys, just do not forget to water it occasionally.
From the cut off parts, first of all, you need to take the apical cuttings. The optimal length of such cuttings is 25–40 cm; it will provide the new plant with a “teenage” age. The choice of the length of the cuttings will be affected by your intentions for their further use. If there are several such cuttings, for example three, and you have planned to plant them all for yourself in one container, then you need to choose a different length - to create a cascading composition.
Immediately planting the cuttings is impossible, you need to allow to dry and taper the cut one or two days, otherwise the cuttings can rot. At the same time, it is desirable to preserve the leaf apparatus, which will accelerate the rooting and growth of a new plant. To prevent the leaves from fading, they need to be shortened by 2/3, sprinkled with water and placed in a bag so that the ends of the stems are outside, if there are segments of stems without leaves, then they can simply be put in for several days to dry the slices.
Now we will prepare the soil for rooting cuttings. It is easiest to take washed coarse sand (2 parts) and horse ginger peat (1 part) as the basis. Sand can be partially replaced with perlite or vermiculite.
In order for the roots to form faster, it is better to use root stimulants, for example, based on indolylbutyric acid. The drug Kornevin is convenient in that it is difficult to overdose. The active ingredient in Kornevin is mixed with talc, and the slightly moistened ends of the cuttings can only be dipped in powder.
Cuttings are buried in the soil by about 5 cm. The apical cuttings will have to be covered with a transparent large packet to reduce the loss of moisture from the leaves and slow down their wilting.
Keep rooted cuttings in a warm place. But during rooting, most of the leaves fall, they must be periodically cleaned, otherwise they will be covered with mold.
The start of new leaf growth will be a signal that rooting has been successful. Now you need to make holes in the package to gradually accustom the dracaena to the dry air of the room. And after you remove the bag, spray the plants more often.