How to Prune Tall Houseplant Trees

Judy – My plant is happy but now has hit the ceiling. I moved it to my center hall 2 story ceiling but it is a bit overtaking. Any thoughts? I am not sure if I top it what will happen? Thanks – Jim

Hi Jim,

Your plant is a dracaena janet craig. You can cut the plant back anywhere along the main stem. New growth will develop directly below the cut in the stem. I would recommend removing about the top 1/3 of the plant. You can use the part you remove to start a new plant. Use a sharp, clean scissors or razor blade to cut off  5”-7″ pieces. Remove the leaves from the bottom 1/3 of the stem sections. Dip the cut end of the stem into a small amount of Rooting Hormone that contains a Fungicide. Plant the stem in moist potting soil. If possible, cover the pot with clear plastic to increase the humidity and prevent the soil from drying out. Check the plant every few days to be sure the soil stays moist. Tug on the stem cuttings after a few weeks, if there is resistance, roots have developed, the plastic can be removed, and the propagation was successful. This is a poisonous houseplant so always wear gloves when pruning it. Let me know if any of this is unclear.

Tall green dracaena janet craig plant

Dracaena janet craig


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Read more about Poisonous HouseplantsIn her new book, Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat!, plant care professional Judy Feldstein shares information about twenty-five common houseplants, each with various levels of toxicity, and the possible consequences if your pet or child snacks on them.

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