Posts in Plant Care
Fact or Fiction: Do Plants Feel Pain?
Alive and thriving, yes. But do plants feel pain? Pictured: the  Monstera Deliciosa .

Alive and thriving, yes. But do plants feel pain? Pictured: the Monstera Deliciosa.

We get a lot of questions from our plant-loving community, from specific care inquiries to which plant will thrive in a certain space. But we’ve been surprised to find how often one particular question seems to come up:

Do plants feel pain?

You’re walking through your living room when you stub your toe on the coffee table and stumble— hard — right into the foliage of the potted plant sitting in the corner. You’re reeling in pain of course, but as it quickly wears off you realize that you’ve ripped a frond from your innocent plant, and the severed piece is lying helplessly on the floor. To make matters worse, there’s a bit of ooze coming out of the branch.

But is your plant in pain? Is it distressed, much like you were when you stubbed your toe?

Plants are sentient

While many recent studies have proven that plants are indeed very sentient beings constantly responding to the stimuli around them, that does not necessarily mean they can feel pain.

Take the “sensitive plant” (mimosa pudica), which shies away to the touch. Other plants pick up on the sound of pests, say caterpillars munching, and release chemicals as a defense mechanism to ward off attackers. The simple act of a sunflower turning towards the light or a carnivorous plant closing its trap are yet other examples of how plants very much respond to environmental stimuli around them.

So plants respond, but do they feel pain?

The answer to this question comes down to comes down to one simple fact: plants do not have a nervous system or brain, and thus they cannot feel pain.

All the same, given plants do respond to different stimuli, and this response requires a fair amount of energy, a plant that is frequently say bumped into or brushed against may not look as healthy as a plant left alone. Alternatively, while some plants dislike temperature fluctuations or cold environments, they may very well show it, but that doesn’t mean they are actually feeling cold. And of course, a “sad” under-watered (or over-watered!) plant may indeed look very sad, but in no way is it literally suffering.

Given our innate connection to nature, it is no surprise that we often attribute human characteristics to the plants in our lives. And while your plant might not be feeling pain the next time you accidentally snap a branch off, we find that sympathizing with our greenery is very much therapeutic and good for us — and our plants!


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7 indoor plant care tools to step up your green thumb game
Indoor plant care tools

We’ll be honest: when it comes to indoor plant care, just two basic essentials are required for survival: the right light and a solid watering routine.

That said, there are dozens of neat indoor plant care tools out there designed not just for optimal plant health, but also to make your life easier when it comes to keeping your greens glowing. Below are a few of our favorites!

Watering can for indoor plants

House of Botanicals Watering Can

This lightweight watering can is the perfect size for potted plants, and comes with a convenient, built-in mister. Water cans a great for two reasons: they’re comfortable to water with, and they more closely mimic actual rainfall for your plants.

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Our favorite indestructible office plants.

Self-watering hydrospikes

Speaking of watering, self-watering tools are a fantastic way to water while on vacation. They are designed to slowly release water into the plant’s soil and can last up to two weeks! They work so well that some people prefer to use them as their regular watering method.

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Fertilizer for indoor plants

Plant elixir

Plant elixir is a concentrated blend of nutrients to dilute in water and mist onto your plant’s foliage. Plants not only absorb these nutrients through their leaves, but the blend also acts as a natural pest repellant. Best of all? It smells heavenly.

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Fertilizer for indoor plants

Houseplant Vitamin Boost

Fertilizing your plants is up there in the list of things you might not but should be doing in your plant care routine. Of course your plants will likely survive without it, but fertilizing once or twice in the spring and summer is a great way to ensure your plants shine— literally.

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Our favorite indestructible office plants.

Moisture meter

Did you know the number one way people kill their plants is by improper watering? If you tend to have a heavy hand when it comes to watering, a moisture meter for plants might be just what you need to correct. Easily monitor the moisture levels of your plant’s soil to ensure no overwatering (or underwatering for that matter!).

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Indoor plant care tools


Aerating your plant’s soil is a great way to ensure even watering, and chopsticks are our #1 favorite tool to do it. Recycle old chopsticks for the DIY ultimate soil aeration tool.

Indoor plant care tools

Brass Mister

Misting your plants may seem unnecessary, but many indoor plants love the extra humidity. Plus there is something innately therapeutic about doing it. Any spray bottle will work, but a beautiful, incredibly functional mister that can also hang with the rest of your living room decor? We’ll take it!

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How To: Moving with Plants
Moving with plants: a few of our expert tips!

Moving with plants?

As if moving isn’t stressful enough, finding a way to transport houseplants to your new home can be a bit of a nightmare. Whether it’s across the city or across state lines, read our tips for moving with plants to make sure they make the journey all in one piece!

  • Water one week out- this may seem obvious but in case it isn’t — plants are heavier when they’ve recently been watered, so water them a week prior so that they have time to drink up before the move.

  • Prune before the journey - if your have any large, top-heavy plants, prune them before travel so that they don’t tip over.

  • Protect the foliage - if your plant has delicate foliage, wrap the leaves with paper or in a plastic bag to avoid damage. A plastic bag will also help retain moisture if you have a humidity-loving plant!

  • Cover the soil - Very tall plants may need to lay down in order to fit in your car or moving van. Cover the soil with newspaper and tape it to the pot so it doesn’t spill out.

  • Protect from the elements - If you’re traveling overnight through cold climates, this can be tough. Most indoor plants won’t survive a freeze, so take this into account before taking the trouble to move with them! If they are smaller plants, you could potentially bring them inside for the night (like pets!), but be wary of leaving them in the car overnight with below freezing temps.

Can’t move your plants?

If for whatever reason your plants can’t move with you, here are some ideas of what to do with them before you go!

  • Take a cutting - Take a small cutting off each of your plants, wrap the cut area in wet tissue, and place in a plastic bag. You can propagate the cuttings in your new home, and enjoy a piece of your old plant!

  • Give them to friends - Plants make great gifts, and can be an incredibly symbolic (and much desired!) parting gift for a friend.

  • Donate to a school or other organization - This is another way to give your plants a new life and let others enjoy them as much as you have!

Once you’ve moved your plants, remember that they may take some time to adjust to their new home. It is not uncommon for plants to drop some leaves during this time,, but as long as you keep a consistent watering schedule and give the plant the light it needs, all should go well. Good luck, and happy moving!

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What To Do About Leaf Drop
The  Fiddle Leaf Fig  can be especially prone to losing its leaves.

The Fiddle Leaf Fig can be especially prone to losing its leaves.

The latest in plant care tips for keeping your foliage happy and healthy, brought to you by premium plant delivery service Léon & George.

Houseplants drop leaves for many reasons, but most are related to one of the following mishaps in care or growing conditions. Some troubleshooting may be required, but read the most common reasons your plant may be losing its leaves.

Water: either too much or too little watering, getting on a consistent schedule with your plants is important.

Dry air: tropical plants prefer humid environments and if the air is too dry, they may drop leaves to show their discomfort. Use a humidifier or mister to add moisture to the air.

Fertility: lack of sufficient nutrients - usually you’ll notice leaves lighter in color first, so you have a chance to correct this before leaves drop by adding a small amount of diluted fertilizer.           

Chilling: tropical plants are sensitive to low temperatures - plants on windowsills or in the way of air drafts may get cold and drop leaves     

Often, slight adjustments to your plant’s conditions is all that’s needed. Occasional leaf drop is okay as sometimes our plants need to focus their energy on new growth, and shedding the old, unhealthy leaves is normal.


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The Ten Commandments of Fiddle Leaf Fig Care
The ten commandments of fiddle leaf fig care

A post by resident plant expert Claire Akin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource.

What does your fiddle leaf fig need to thrive?

Caring for your fiddle leaf fig can be complex and overwhelming, especially if you are a first time plant owner. Good care makes your plant stronger and more resistant to disease. But poor care creates a downward spiral of sickness and problems. Luckily, there are ten critical components to successfully caring for your fiddle leaf fig plant. Follow these ten commandments of fiddle leaf fig care for a happy and healthy plant.

1. Provide Proper Drainage
Your plant’s root system is the basis of its health. Many people are not aware, but to work properly, roots need both water and oxygen. Proper drainage allows your plant’s root system to breathe and stay healthy. Without adequate drainage, root rot can set in and kill your plant.

2. Don’t Drown Them
In addition to providing proper drainage, it’s important to let your plant’s soil dry out a bit between waterings. Too much water is one of the most common mistakes fiddle leaf fig owners make. Be aware of your plant’s water requirements and make sure you aren’t drowning your plant.

Read the complete guide to watering the Fiddle Leaf Fig if you are still not sure about your watering routine!

3. Give Them a Rest in Winter
During the winter, your plant receives less sun and as a result, it has less energy to complete its metabolic functions. As a result, it uses less water and nutrients. Water less and suspend fertilization during the winter to give your plant a chance to rest.

4. Accept the Loss of Older Leaves
Plants are always growing and shedding older leaves in favor of new growth. Fiddle leaf fig plants will drop their lower leaves as they grow taller. Don’t worry if your plant regularly drops its lower leaves, so long as it has healthy new growth.

5. Give Them Humidity
The ideal humidity for a fiddle leaf fig is between 30 and 65 percent. If you live in a very dry climate, you may need to supplement your plant with extra humidity by misting it or providing a humidifier. Be sure not to put your fiddle leaf fig near a heater vent, which will dry out your plant.

6. Treat Problems Immediately
Fiddle leaf fig plants are relatively slow growers, since their large leaves require a lot of energy to build. This makes treating ailments quickly even more important, since it takes them so long to recover from problems. Be sure to act quickly if you see brown spots, leaf drop, or an insect infestation.

7. Repot When Needed
If your fiddle leaf fig is healthy, its root system will begin to outgrow its pot in a few years. If you see roots growing near the bottom or edges of the pot, it may be time to repot to give your plant more space to grow. If you’ve reached your maximum container size, top-dress instead of repotting, by removing the top four inches of soil and replacing with new soil.

8. Feed Them Properly
Fiddle leaf fig plants require a lot of nutrients to grow their large leaves. Feed them with a liquid fertilizer like Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food, which is specially formulated with a NPK ratio of 3-1-2.

9. Use the Proper Tools
To take proper care of your plant, it’s important to keep the proper tools including a watering can, moisture meter, sharp pruning shears, and even a rolling plant stand that allows you to move and rotate your fiddle leaf fig.

10. Check on Your Plant Every Week
The best way to take good care of your plant is to get to know it better. Take the time to check on your fiddle leaf fig every week. First, take a look a the soil to see if it’s wet or dry before you water. Look at the leaves for any signs of wilting or brown spots. Rotate your plant to make sure it gets even sunlight. Finally, take an overall assessment of your plant and make a note of any changes like new growth.


About Claire

Claire Akin is a Fiddle Leaf Fig lover and created the Fiddle Leaf Fig Resource to share what she's learned about growing healthy and vibrant plants. She even created her own fertilizer specific to the needs of Fiddles! Learn all you'll ever need to know about these gorgeous plants at



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5 Things To Know About Watering Your Plants
The  Silver Evergreen  (left) and  Cast Iron  (right)

The Silver Evergreen (left) and Cast Iron (right)

Watering an indoor potted plant seems obvious, right?

You just take the water and pour it in – what more is there to know!? Well for the most part, that is it. But if you want to ensure the perfect environment for your leafy friend, here are a few tips:

1. Avoid overwatering

This is the big one. Plants that have more water in the soil than they can consume will develop root rot. This happens when roots can’t get the air they need because they’re surrounded by water for an extended period of time, and start to decay. Avoid this by using lighter soils (really when we say soil, we mean potting mix), as well as pots with drainage holes, and simply watering your plant in moderation.

2. Feel the soil before watering

The best way to know if a plant needs water is to check if the soil is dry. Gently stick your finger in the top part of the soil and check the humidity. If it’s still wet, it means it probably has enough water for now. If there’s some decorative moss over your soil, make sure to feel below it. Do note that generally plants in smaller pots will need to be watered more often simply because there’s not as much potting mix to keep the moisture in.

3. Water the soil evenly

Make sure to water all around the plant, not just in one area. The plant will develop more evenly and will be less stressed if it’s getting water through all its roots.

4. Use room temperature water

Don’t use water that is too hot or too cold. Plants like to be comfortable too!

5. Water less during the winter

Plants use less energy during the winter because it’s not their growing season. There’s less light and part of their natural lifecycle results in them being slightly dormant that time of the year. As the days become shorter, even in the fall, adjust your watering routine to make sure your plant is not getting too much.

Good luck, and remember that for most indoor plants it’s best to err on the side of under watering — it’s much easier to fix a thirsty plant than one that’s been drowning!


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Insect Control
Before and after of Pothos being watered

The latest in plant care tips for keeping your foliage happy and healthy, brought to you by premium plant delivery service Léon & George.

It's fall, everything is cold, and our plants aren't drying out as quickly in between waterings. Increased moisture in our plant's soil is dangerous for a handful of reasons, but maybe none more annoying and frustrating than insects. Specifically, flying insects like gnats and mosquitos. While typically harmless, these pesky flyers can do serious damage to the roots of plants if the infestation goes uncontrolled. Follow these quick and easy steps to prevent and treat any infestations this fall, winter, and beyond!

  • Most pests lay their eggs in damp soil. Allowing the soil to dry between waterings is key to prevention.

  • If pests arrive, start watering from the bottom up to prevent top layers of soil from being too wet.

  • Use Neem Oil, a soap and water mixture, or any other organic insect repellent at first sight of bugs. Thoroughly cover leaves, stems, and the first two inches of soil in order to drench all bugs and prevent larvae in the soil from hatching. This method typically takes multiple applications in order to be successful.

  • As a last resort, systemic insect control granules are effective for protecting and ridding your plants of pests over time. #plantcare #plantlove #leonandgeorge

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An easy-care planta with smooth and leathery heart-shaped leaves.

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How to Repot Your Plant
Repotting indoor plants, like this  Pilea Peperomiodes , is a simple process.

Repotting indoor plants, like this Pilea Peperomiodes, is a simple process.

Thinking of repotting your plant?

Repotting houseplants may seem like a scary endeavor if you’ve never gotten your hands dirty, but anyone who has ever repotted will agree that it’s not only simple but also quite fun and enjoyable as well! Learn when to repot, and how, with this simple guide.

Do you have to repot your plant?

Our Plant Doctors receive many enquiries about when to repot plants, or if it’s an absolute must for the plant to thrive. The truth is that most indoor plants only need repotting once every one or two years (though some slow growers can survive many years in the same pot!), and even then, it isn’t necessarily required to repot them in a bigger container.

The primary reason why we repot plants is to give them fresh, nutrient-rich soil, which can easily be done by removing the plant from its pot and shaking the old dirt off the roots. At that point, if you’d like your plant to stay the same size, you may simply repot it directly in the old pot, of course with fresh new soil. If you’d like your plant to grow bigger, you can repot it in something about two inches larger than what it was in before.

Of course depending on the plant, it could potentially survive years without repotting. But if you want your plant to thrive, think about giving it some fresh soil every few years!

When to repot your plant

As mentioned above, it’s good practice with indoor plants to repot once every one or two years. However, sometimes your plant may also send you signals that it’s time to repot. Here are some signs you may look for:

  • Matted roots on the soil surface, as can be common with Fiddle Leaf Figs

  • The roots are coming out at the bottom, through the drainage holes for example, not uncommon with Birds of Paradise

  • The roots are seemingly “busting” at the seams, as sometimes seen on the Snake Plant or Zanzibar Gem (and if the plant is in a plastic nursery pot, it may well break it!)

  • The roots are quite literally “pushing” the plant out of the pot

  • The plant dries out very quickly, for example in a matter of days

The best time of year to repot your plant is in the spring or summer, as this is when plants are actively growing. That said, is not the end of the world if for whatever reason you need to repot in the middle of winter!

How to repot your plant

Before repotting your plant, make sure you have the necessary materials to repot:

  • Fresh, indoor potting soil

  • If desired, a new bigger pot

  • Sharp, clean shears

When your plant is dry, or before it's next watering, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Remove the plant from its pot. For smaller plants, you can do this by simply turning over the pot and letting the plant slide out. For larger plants, you may need to lift it out while holding the pot to the floor (pro tip: spread newspaper over the floor for easy clean up!). If your plant is difficult to remove from the pot (the roots are twisting out the drainage holes), you may need to simply cut these roots off to get it out.

  2. Shake the soil off the roots, removing about half of the old soil. You may need to gently detangle some of the roots to do this. Don’t panic if some of them rip or break. You may also prune some roots, especially if you are planning on potting it in the same pot as before.

  3. Pour a couple inches of fresh potting soil into the pot and pat down so it’s firm.

  4. Place the plant in the pot and fill with more soil until it’s secure in place and standing straight. Pat down again until firm.

  5. Fill with soil to the top of the pot, but make sure to leave about an inch so that water does not overflow when you water your plant.

  6. Water thoroughly and let the plant completely drain.

Voilà! You’re done. Remember that your plant may be a little unstable the first few weeks in its new pot, so take care when moving it back to its home.


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Treating Scale (And Other Tough Leaf Dwelling Bugs)

The latest in plant care tips for keeping your foliage happy and healthy, brought to you by premium plant delivery service Léon & George.

We're advocates for all organic everything - even when it comes to pest control. Unfortunately, sometimes Neem Oil just doesn't cut it. Especially when it comes to Scale. Not sure what Scale is? Let us explain...

Scale insects are small, hard-shelled bugs that appear on leaves and stems and suck out vital nutrients from your plants (yeah, kinda gross). This can cause your plants to lose color, vigor, and in extreme cases, death.

So you've drenched every leaf in Neem Oil but they just won't go away? What next? Rubbing Alcohol.

  • Dab a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and pick off the scale bugs one by one.

  • Moisten a paper towel or cotton ball and thoroughly wipe down the more infested areas

  • Continue to use Neem Oil at the base of the plant to control Scale growth in the soil.

  • Repeat this once a week for 3-5 weeks, or until you're no longer finding scale on the leaves.

Recovery will take some time, but be optimistic - indoor plants can be surprisingly resilient. Once you've controlled the issue, your plant will thank you with color and life springing back into their foliage!



A popular indoor plant for creating that instant jungle atmosphere.

3-4ft tall plant with ceramic pot

Late Summer Rotation Reminder
The  Rubber Tree  ready to be rotated. Photo credit:  @minima_organizing

The Rubber Tree ready to be rotated. Photo credit: @minima_organizing

The latest in plant care tips for keeping your foliage happy and healthy, brought to you by premium plant delivery service Léon & George.

We hate to even acknowledge it, but summer is winding down (😢). Make the most of these brighter, longer days and give your plants a 180-degree turn. This provides the foliage an even chance to soak up the last of the warm summer sun. You'll have this technique to thank when you see full and even growth come autumn.

*Pro tip*: Give your plants a vitamin boost (aka fertilize) before temperatures cool and growth starts to slow down.



A unique indoor plant option with dark leaves and crimson colored casings. Easy care and air-purifying.

Trimming Brown Edges Promotes New Growth
The  Calathea Rattlesnake  after a quick trim.

The Calathea Rattlesnake after a quick trim.

The latest in plant care tips for keeping your foliage happy and healthy, brought to you by premium plant delivery service Léon & George.

If you're a first time plant owner, you might be alarmed when seeing browning edges and drying leaves. This is your plant's natural way to express itself! While you make adjustments for its comfort, don't be afraid to give it a makeover. Trimming is completely safe and allows your plant to redirect more energy to new growth. Here are a few simple tips as you prepare those scissors:

  • Check that the blades are clean or disinfect them with rubbing alcohol

  • Trim off whole leaves as close to the root as possible

  • Follow the leaf's natural lines when reshaping edges


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How to Care for and Grow Your Dragon Tree

Dragon Tree

AKA dracaena marginata

A timeless indoor plant with a striking appearance, the Dragon Tree (dracaena marginata) is known for its slender striped leaves that burst out of strong trunks. One of the easiest plants to care for and a fabulous indoor air-purifier, the Dragon Tree requires little maintenance to bring beauty and elegance to any space it graces. Learn how to care for and grow your very own Dragon Tree.


Dragon Trees prefer bright indirect light, though they can adjust to medium to low levels of light. Keep them out of harsh direct sunlight, as too much of it can scorch their leaves.


Let your Dragon Tree dry out between waterings. Water thoroughly when topsoil is dry, usually once a week. Avoid overwatering, and note that your watering schedule may be less frequent during winter months.


The Dragon Tree is a slow grower, though it is constantly unfolding new leaves and shedding old ones. Indoors, the Dragon Tree can reach up to eight feet tall.

Common problems with Dragon Trees

Leaves falling off

If you see your Dragon Tree leaves falling off, worry not! The Dragon Tree naturally sheds its leaves, so it is not uncommon for you to find them at the base of the soil or on the floor. To avoid them falling to the ground, you may periodically prune your Dragon Tree by simply removing any dead leaves once a week or so. Also consider fertilizing your plant in the spring and summer to make sure there are enough nutrients to go around the many many leaves!

If your Dragon Tree is losing many leaves (think the floor is covered in leaves and/or the plant in general is showing other signs of distress), you may actually have a problem. Check first to make sure you are not overwatering — the soil should dry out in between waterings. Overwatering can lead to more severe ailments and that may eventually require you change the soil.  

Leaves drooping

If you see leaves dropping on your Dragon Tree, it’s very possible you are either overwatering or underwatering. If you suspect it’s underwatering, give your Dragon Tree a thorough shower and let it completely drain out — it should perk up in within 24 hours. If you suspect overwatering, check the soil, particularly at the bottom of the plant. Is there moisture? Let the plant dry out before watering again, and if you expect a case of root rot, you may need to repot the plant with fresh soil.

Leaves turning brown

Are the new leaves of your Dragon Tree turning brown? This could be due to temperature fluctuations. The Dragon Tree does not like drastic temperature changes that could be caused by air vents (AC or heating) or drafts. Make sure your plant is protected from


How to maintain a beautiful and healthy Dragon Tree

How to care for Dragon tree dracena marginata

Take care of your Dragon Tree and it will take care of you! Below are simple tips to continue caring for your Monstera over time.

  • Pruning - Remove dry or dead leaves all year round, but save any major pruning for the spring and summer months. If you would like to remove an entire stalk or branch of your Dragon Tree, simply cut them off at a 45 degree angle with sharp pruning shears.

  • Cleaning - With so many thin leaves, the Dragon Tree can be difficult to clean! We recommend regularly misting to keep dust off, and occasionally cleaning the leaves with a moist towel.

  • Repotting - Houseplants grow much slower than they would in the wild. Depending on the size of your plant and the density of the roots, this is nice to do every 2-3 years to provide fresh nutrients and encourage new growth.

    • When to repot - If the roots of your Dragon Tree are outgrowing its pot, it will let you know by bulging out at the sides.

    • Pot sizing - if you want your plant to grow taller, find a nursery pot that’s 2” in diameter larger than the current pot. If you want your plant to stay the same height, you can reuse the same pot and simply change the soil. You may need to cut back some of the roots to do this.

    • Get your hands dirty - spread out newspaper on the floor, remove the plant from the pot and shake off as much of the old soil as possible so that you have clean roots. Place the plant in the center of the pot, add new soil and pat down firmly. Water the soil thoroughly and place the plant in an area with bright indirect light. Your plant will take 2-4 weeks to settle from the shock and adjust to its new home.


How to propagate a Dragon Tree

The Dragon Tree is a simple plant to propagate. Though there are many ways to do this, water propagation is generally the easiest way to go about it. Follow these instructions to propagate your Dragon Tree:

  • Select a branch or stalk to propagate - Using sharp, clean scissors or shears, cut a branch off your Dragon tree at a 45 degree angle.

  • Place in water - Find a clear glass and fill with water. Make sure only the stem is submerged, and no leaves are sitting in the water.

  • Place in a bright area and wait! - Avoid any direct sun. You may need to change the water out every few days to keep it fresh. It usually takes just a few days for the root to start growing.

  • Transfer to soil - After a few weeks, transfer to indoor potting soil. Depending on the size of the branch and its roots, make sure to choose an appropriate size pot — you do not want an overly large pot for a small cutting or roots.

  • Keep hydrated - During the first few weeks, or until your plant feels firmly rooted in its soil, regularly water and drain your Dragon Tree. The soil should be just barely moist to the touch at all times.


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