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by harimanjaro

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All I did was take pictures...
Sy Parrish

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If you want to use them elsewhere contact me and we'll see if we can come to an arrangement.

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Operation Dragon Tree

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My Madagascar dragon tree is touching the ceiling, and looking very leggy and sad. So the plan is to turn it into two plants using the power of air layering. It's a risky operation, I've never done this before.

1) Touching the ceiling
2) The first incision - I should really have got an adult to help me with this
3) Peel back the bark and the cambium layer (I had to look that up in a book)
4) Too late to turn back now
5) Damp moss and cling-film

Will it work? Watch this space...


fingers exed... I presume this to get it to form roots in the moss, then you lop the top half off and the bottom half grows back again?

28th Jul 2007, 20:35

minkey says:

open heart surgery. x fingers for it to work.

28th Jul 2007, 20:37

harimanjaro says:

That's the theory. Sounds like voodoo to me, but it was this or cut a hole in the ceiling. So, fingers crossed indeed, if this doesn't work I've killed an old friend.

28th Jul 2007, 20:42

minkey says:

should work. lesson 102 in propagation of plants:-)

28th Jul 2007, 21:15

Rick says:

Wow, that is amazing. I hope it works. That is a beautiful dragon tree.

2nd Aug 2007, 07:57

red-foxie says:

Oh Gosh!
You should just cut as long part of this tree as you want and put it into a wet soil - that's all! (: And now you would have 2 dragon trees - the old one with 2 or 3 new bunches of leaves on it - and a young one, made of the top part. Believe me, that's easy (:

16th Aug 2007, 09:50

harimanjaro says:

OK, I'll take your word for it. Next step... The Separation.

16th Aug 2007, 15:25

Truusje (you know !) says:

So what is going on does the dragon live???

15th Sep 2007, 19:06

harimanjaro says:

Still wrapped in moss, Truusje, and apparently I didn't have to go to all this trouble anyway. Haven't got round to making the cut yet... but soon...

16th Sep 2007, 22:34

dragonman says:


13th Dec 2007, 04:58

harimanjaro says:

No roots. The air-layering didn't achieve anything, as red-foxie said. So I cut it in half at the weekend and planted the top half in wet soil... it's not dead yet.

13th Dec 2007, 08:25

pondlife says:

Your plant looks just like mine - so I'm keen to know if red-foxie's advice worked - before I kill my own 'old friend'???

22nd Mar 2008, 16:52

mr wright says:

Did it work?

6th Sep 2009, 22:06

harimanjaro says:

It did work... after a fashion. After the air layering failed I chopped the plant as Red Foxie suggested. The top bit died, but the lower half did well... it now has a good two feet of foliage above the cut. Another couple of years and I'll have to cut it again.

7th Sep 2009, 07:29