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Air Layering Houseplants

Don’t compost that overgrown leggy dumb cane or dracaena.  Try air layering and pruning to get it back down to size. 

Leggy dieffenbachias, known as dumb canes, and draceanas are a common sight in many indoor gardens.  Simply cutting the stems down to size may work, but it can be stressful on the plant and gardener.

Increase your success by air layering these leggy plants.  Simply cut halfway into the stem just below the lowest leaf.  Prop open the cut with a toothpick, sprinkle with a rooting hormone and pack with moist sphagnum moss.  Cover this with plastic.

Continue to provide proper care and watch for white roots to appear in the plastic covered area.

Once roots appear, remove the plastic, cut the stem below the rooted stem.  Then plant the top, roots and all, in a well drained potting mix.  You now have a shorter more attractive plant.  Now you can cut back the remaining plant and wait for new growth to appear.

A bit more information:  Stake top heavy or extremely tall plants during the air layering process to prevent breakage.  Secure the stake in the soil or anchor it on the edge of the pot.  Use twine or other soft ties to secure the stem to the stake. 

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