By Barbara Falconer Newhall
I did it. I cut the dracena marginata growing wild in our living room down to size.
One of its stalks was eight feet tall. It had hit the ceiling of our living room months ago and, stymied, had proceeded to grow around and around itself in painful contortions. It hurt to look at that plant. But the thought of cutting off the stalk and throwing it into the compost bin was to me even more painful.
My Minnesota gardener friend came to the rescue with this advice: “Be brave, cut it off at an angle about 4-6 inches up from the soil. Pretend you are giving it a much needed haircut. New shoots will grow from that. The plant will thank you.”
As for the cut-off stalk, she said, “You can take the part of the stalk with leaves still on it, cut it off from the main stalk at an angle and let it root in water. When roots form, plant it back in pot.”
Armed with that advice and a steak knife from the kitchen, I proceeded to give the dracena a haircut. Here’s what happened next: