Transplanting a Dracaena Draco Dragon Tree
The best way to move or transplant a Dracaena Draco Dragon Tree is to follow these handy tips.
Lucky Jane scored a mature tree approx 10ft tall with five sprouts.
“It was going to be demolished so it was a very hasty transplant. I am worried that it will not survive the transplant because I didn’t prepare the soil well or do much research into what is required.
Do you have any tips that will help with the survival of this gorgeous tree.”
- The worst thing to do is plant a Draco too deep. At ten years, the roots at the base of the trunk should be exposed.
- If it’s over six foot you’ll need two stakes and at ten foot three stakes to support the Draco for the first year. Don’t try to get it too support itself as that is the surest way to plant it too deep.
- Trim the leaves, the lower ones aggressively.
- Make sure the area doesn’t get sodden, the Draco will root at the bottom if its feet get too wet.
- Soil should allow good drainage. Like almost all plants Dracos will appreciate good organic matter.
The plant will look wilted and dry for one to two months. Check around the base every week or two, make sure you can see the top roots. Water after the soil has dried out.
If you plant a Draco or any plant too deep it will rot around the collar.
I moved this Dracaena Draco, heroically, by myself with a hand trolley. It almost killed me, but I had already abused the friendship of friends and family in moving my other cacti and succulents, so with more than a little drama I moved and staked up my Draco. See the exposed roots. I staked this plant with three ropes to distant stakes, with hose sections slipped over the rope to protect the plant.
Lucky you Jane. I scored my Bird of Paradise in exactly the same way so know how fabulous it is to give mature plants a new home.
More Tips on Moving / Transplanting a Dracaena Draco Dragon Tree
Once established Draco’s are hardy and should survive transplanting.
- First make sure the plant is as healthy as possible. A good soaking with a seaweed solution prior to transplant is a great idea.
- If you have time dig half way around the plant and undercut part way, say around 1/3 to a 1/2). Cover the root ball with hessian or similar, an old potato sack would work well and leave for a few days or a week if you can. To be safe put some bricks or similar under the undercut section to support. This gets the plant used to the idea of moving and that half of the roots healed and ready for the move. If moving by hand trolley dig this side out so you can get the hand trolley under the Dragon Tree,
- Dig out the other side and undercut. Cover with hessian.
- Prepare the spot where you will be moving the plant to. The new hole should be wider than your root ball. The soil should have good drainage.
- Move plant. Ensure it is planted at same or higher level compared to surrounding soil than it was. Do not plant it lower. Stake up plant for support. This can be done with ropes or a collar arrangement, though in both case make sure you have something soft protecting the trunk.
- Give a good feed of seaweed solution once a week for two weeks, starting right away. Then feed once a month for a few months.
If you don’t have time to do one side first then don’t stress too much as they are hardy and should survive. Either way make sure you leave as big a root ball as possible. The limit is really how much you can move.