Dracaena is one of the most popular houseplants for it is low maintenance requirements and outstanding beauty. I know you are wondering: can dracaena grow and live in the water? Isn’t even greater if you can grow them in water. In order to further lower their maintenance requirements and lower the risks of pest infection.
In this article, we gonna answer the question of whether you can water propagate the different types of dracaena like dracaena marginata ( dragon tree), Dracaena fragrance, dracaena reflexa, and other dracaenas.
For the sake of simplicity, I will use the word “dracaena” in this article to represent the different types of dracaena. Therefore whatever dracaena type you hold in your hand, The information in this article applies to it.
We also gonna guide you through the propagation process. And how effectively you can grow dracaena in water.
But before diving deep into the details, we will put the answer to our main question as simple as this: can dracaena grow in water? Dracaena can grow and live in water as long as the water changes periodically. And fertilizer added to the water during the growing season. And it is exposed to the right growing conditions. Let’s dive deep into how you can do it
How to propagate dracaena in water
Some plants like cast-iron plants can not be propagated nor grow in water because of their stem nature. But luckily dracaena is not one of them.
Dracaena can either be propagated in soil or in water. The soil propagation is straightforward. Just cut a stem from an established dracaena plant and plant it in the soil.
The water propagation is not complicated too. You just need to remember a few things to get your new plant rotting in water.
By using sharp sterilized scissors cut from an established dracaena a stem cut. Make sure to cut about 2 cm below a node. Cut all the leaves from the cutting or leave just a few leaves at the top of the stem.
In this step, it is important to use scissors. Because scissors are sharp enough to cut without damaging the cut cells. We need those cells to be as healthy as possible because it ensures healthy and fast roots growth under the water.
A void cutting the stem only by your hand as such a thing will damage the cells that are supposed to support the new roots’ growth. Also, it is important to cut below a node because the node is where the new roots will grow from.
Put the dracaena cutting in a dry place for two days in order for the cutting wound to dry. By doing so you minimize the risk of rot.
Bring a water container. All the containers that can hold water will work just fine. Although choose a container that allows the submergence of only a few inches of the lower end of the cutting. Put the cutting in the water container
Use rainwater or distilled water. Many people use tap water as a growing medium for their dracaenas but it is not optimal.
Because tap water contains a lot of minerals and salt that will hinder the dracaena from absorbing the necessary nutrients.
In soil, there is a difference as the soil works as a filter that filters those salts. But in water, the plant will be exposed to those minerals directly without any filtration.
Fill the water container with water to reach slightly above the end of the lower dracaena’s stem.
Change the water every week. Changing water is important in order to decrease the odds of algae and mold growth.
Wait for 60 days. During this period the dracaena will develop new roots and become an independent plant.
From this stage, you can either choose to transfer it to the soil or just let it live and grow in water.
If you want to transfer it to the soil. Pull the plant from the water and put it in a dry place for two days for the roots to dry out. This will save your plant from potential root rot when it is transferred to the soil.
Can dracaena Just grow and live in water?
Dracaena can grow and live in water indefinitely without a time limit. As it is weird as it sounds but plants are very adaptable species.
The same inherent quality that made dracaena exists now. It will make it adapt and live in water.
It will develop roots that are different than the roots that will develop if it is planted in normal soil.
The roots that it will develop underwater are designed to absorb oxygen from water. This is why it will not rot in water.
Below are the things you should do if you planning to grow it in water permanently:
Changing the water
Changing the water every week is ideal. Especially if you host it in a clear water container. Because the light will allow the algae to grow.
Cleaning the water container
Through time algae and molds will grow in the container because it has the perfect condition both from light and nutrient perspectives. So it is important to clean the container at least once every three months.
Dracaena is native to tropical forests where the weather is relatively hot and humid. Therefore keeping your dracaena in an environment that has temperature degrees between 60 F to 80 F is ideal.
It will tolerate a temperature above that. But it will not tolerate temperatures below 50 F degrees.
As I mentioned before that dracaena is native to tropical rainforests. It lives under the canopy layer. Where there is bright indirect sunlight.
So make sure to locate it in a place that gets bright but indirect light. The brighter the better. It will pay back with faster growth and denser foliage.
I think now the idea of growing dracaena in water became logical. Since we talked about how it can breathe underwater. But still, there is a concern! yes, it is food.
how it will get food. simply, feed your dracaena every two weeks with liquid fertilizer by pouring it into its water during the growing season ( at the end of spring to summer).
Use weak balanced fertilizer as dracaena is not a heavy feeder. And only apply 1/4 of the manufacturer’s recommended strength.
Stop fertilization completely at the end of the summer and during winter as it will go dormant.
It will not need any nutrients or fertilization as it will focus on resting rather than growth.
Whether your dracaena plant grows in water or soil pruning is not a negotiable part of keeping it thriving.
In case you want to grow your plant in the water for a long time don’t neglect cutting old leaves to let your plant focus its energy and resources on the young leaves and growth. Avoid excessive pruning at once as such a thing may shock your plant.
Benefits of growing dracaena in water
The risk of pest infection will decrease substantially as there is no soil to host them.
It will lower the maintenance requirement. Because you don’t need to water it. Just changing the water from time to time.
The clear water container will allow you to see the plant’s roots. Therefore your response to root diseases will be faster.
Dealing with root rot in a timely manner can mean the difference between saving or losing your infected plant.
It allows you to better arrange your dracaena for decoration purposes. Dracena is one of the most used plants by interior designers.
Because of its special shape that fits the modern design. Growing them in water will allow you to control their foliage density and locations.
And for sure growing dracaena in water is funnier. I wrote an entire chapter about growing plants in water in my book Container Gardening: A Step-by-Step Practical Guide. Download your copy now through this link to master water gardening and container gardening in general.
In this article, I hope I answered one of my readers’ most frequently asked questions” can dracaena grow and live in water?”. Dracena can grow and live in water indefinitely if the water changed periodically and took the required food during the growing season. And placed in a location that supplies it with the right conditions. Also, growing dracaena in water has advantages. Those advantages are lower maintenance requirements, better arrangements, and lower pest infection, and it will allow you to respond faster when it came to root diseases.