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Pruning Dracaena: A Complete Guide

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Pruning Dracaena: A Complete Guide

Dracaena plants are those lovely leafy ones you might have around your home or garden. They’re pretty tough, but they need a little care to stay looking nice. Pruning Dracaena is one way to keep them healthy and looking good. In this guide, we’ll show you how to do it right, whether you want to tidy up your plant, make it shorter, or help it grow better. Let’s get started and keep your dracaena happy and green!

When to Prune Dracaena

The best time to prune your dracaena is at the beginning of spring. This is when the plant is gearing up for its most vigorous growth phase, allowing it to quickly bounce back and grow new leaves and stems after pruning. However,if you need to tidy up your plant at other times of the year, go ahead and prune when necessary. Just be mindful that while spring is ideal, your dracaena can handle a trim whenever it’s looking overgrown or messy.

The Tools You’ll Need

Pruning shears are your go-to for making clean, precise cuts that will help your dracaena heal quickly and look its best. A good pair of gloves is also essential to protect your hands from sharp edges and any sap that might irritate your skin. High-quality shears and sturdy gloves will make pruning easier and more effective. Investing in these tools is definitely worth it for the long-term care of your dracaena.

Pruning Dracaena: A Complete Guide

How to Prune Dracaena Step-by-Step

Now, let’s get down to business. You want to focus on the leaves and the stems while pruning:

1. Pruning Dracaena Leaves

  1. Inspect Your Plant: Look for any brown or yellow areas on the leaves. Identify unhealthy leaves that need to go.
  2. Remove Discolored Leaves: Use your fingers to peel off the discolored parts. Rip the leaves where the discoloration starts so only the green areas remain.
  3. Shape for Uniformity: Cut your leaves at an angle to match the shape of the other leaves. This way, your dracaena looks polished and symmetrical.
  4. Trim Damaged Leaves at the Base: Snip off any damaged leaves growing from the base of the cane. Make your cuts as close to the cane as possible to keep the plant tidy.
  5. Final Check: Take one last look around the entire plant and remove any remaining discolored spots. This helps keep your dracaena healthy and looking its best.

2. Pruning Dracaena Stems

Once you’ve tidied up the foliage, turn your attention to the stems of your dracaena.

  1. Remove Out-of-Form Stems: If a stem is growing out of form or looks unattractive, use your pruning shears to cut it off. You can cut it at the base or to your desired height.
  2. Encourage Upper Growth: Prune stems to encourage new growth at a higher point. Cut the stem to your desired height, and it will grow a new branch at that height.
  3. Create a Compact Shape: If you want a bushy, round dracaena, cut off the top of the main stem. This can be between ¼ to ¾ of the total stem length, based on your desired height.
  4. Optional Pruning: If you prefer a full, wild appearance, you can let the stems grow naturally. Pruning is optional and can be done as needed.
  5. Angle Your Cuts: Make cuts at a 45-degree angle to keep the plant healthy. This reduces the risk of infection and helps the plant heal quickly.

Rejuvenating Older Dracaenas

For older dracaena plants that have become tall or sparse, consider giving them a more thorough trim to rejuvenate their growth. Gradually remove about one-third of the oldest stems, especially those that are woody or unproductive. This helps fresh, vigorous growth emerge from the base, bringing back the plant’s youthful look and enhancing its overall appearance.


After pruning, give your dracaena some post-trim pampering. Water the plant and provide adequate sunlight to promote recovery. Remember, Dracaena does not need to be soaked, so make sure you are not overwatering it.

Pruning Dracaena: A Complete Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you prune Dracaena

You don’t have to prune Dracaena regularly, but if it starts looking messy or too tall, trimming it back is totally fine. It can freshen up the plant and keep it looking neat and tidy.

Can I cut the top off my Dracaena?

If you want to grow a more compact plant, you can cut off the top of your Dracaena. They will bounce back relatively fast with fresh growth.

How to make dracena bushy?

Cutting off branches of your dracaenas will encourage new growth just below the stem cut. This way you can make your plant bushier.