How to Prune a Tall Dracaena

My wife got this plant from her mother’s funeral (5 yrs ago). It is now in 18″ of soil and a 12″ wide pot. How do I trim, water, and such?? The top is at the ceiling and need advice on pruning.

Hi Chad,

Here are some tips on how to prune a tall dracaena and how to use the parts you cut off to start new plants.


It’s a little difficult to tell from the pictures, but I think the exact variety of your plant is a Dracaena fragrans “Dorado.” A  dracaena that is too tall can be pruned during the spring and early summer. Cut off the top part of a cane anywhere along the main stalk as far down as you wish. Remember, you don’t want to do this again next year so don’t be too timid. New leaves develop directly below the cut in the stem. The pruned section can be used to start new plants or be repotted back into the existing plant.

Dracaena cuttings do root in water. However, the preferred method is to use  5″-8″ cane cuttings. Note which end of the cutting is the top and which is the bottom so you can plant it correctly in the pot. Allow the cane cutting to sit out overnight before planting it so the cut end can dry out a bit. This helps prevent root rot. Plant the cane cutting in a small pot  (4″) of moist, very fine potting soil and place the pot in indirect light. If, over time, the soil seems very dry, water slightly. In about 3-4 weeks the cuttings should root and new leaves begin to develop.

The care for a Dracaena fragrans “Dorado”is the same as that for the Dracaena janet craig listed in the Popular Houseplant section of the website. You can find all my care tips on watering, fertilizing, light and more at: