How To Grow Dracaena Draco From Seed Successfully?

gtiboyOctober 27, 2013

Hi all,

I recently bought some seeds for Dracaena Draco, I planted 4 seeds in a small pot keeping the soil moist wrapped it up in a clear bag and put it into the airing cupboard. A week later one seed began to germinate.

A few days later it began to develop some kind of green fungus/mould which I cleaned off, scrapping the brown surface off in the process exposing the white layer.

Not sure if i damaged the seeds, but I'm finding it frustrating how long its taking to get these to germinate.

I even tried them in a propagator for a week with temps upto 85 degrees fahrenheit - nothing.

How do you get these seeds to germinate, considering everyone here says they're easy to grow?

This post was edited by gtiboy on Sun, Oct 27, 13 at 15:22

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greenclaws UKzone8a

Hi there...were the seeds fresh? I know it's difficult to tell..the float/sink test may have helped determine freshness. Maybe they got too warm at 85f and rotted as I've boiled many myself, lol! Were the ungerminated seeds hard or soft when you last checked them? Just trying to figure it out for you. I would say a week wouldn't be unusal for them not to show...give them a bit more time and you may get lucky. Just because folks say they are easy, it does not always follow that you may have that same luck, it depends on the actual seed viability, and the conditions you provide.
I grew 3 to the 5yr old stage from seeds I collected myself in the Canaries. They reached around a metre tall, but our UK winter trashed them last year sadly.
Gill UK

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Yes they sunk in a glass jar of water when soaking them for 5 days, also they were hard not mushy. So they seemed fresh.

Also some of them started producing a grayish mould, I'm guessing this was due to the fact it had to much moisture.

Isit best to keep it on dryish side? would it still germinate through keeping the temp around 25 degree's or so?

Well that was my plan to ultimately put it in the garden. From what I read on the internet it seems to much water as opposed to being too cold kills Draco's. I'm from the UK aswell.

This post was edited by gtiboy on Sun, Oct 27, 13 at 19:48

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 7:38PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Grey mould is Botrytis....a sign of dead or dying tissue. My seeds were in the airing cupboard and popped in a few days. that makes me suspect that your seeds although viable, as they sunk, they 'may' not have been all that fresh. I can't recall if they had a very hard seed coat, I do remember they were about 1/4 inch diameter and round in shape...maybe 5 days soaking was too long? Just my thoughts. Sorry I am really solving your problem am I?

Uness you live in a sheltered southern part of the UK, I would doubt very much if you could get one to grow 'in ground' for very long, our colder months are just too cold and wet for Dragons. Potted and the added protection of a frost free g/h for the colder months worked for mine...for so long anyway, Good luck.
Gill UK

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 7:21PM
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maark23 TX/8a

Did you sterilize the soil?


    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 11:58PM
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No I didn't sterilize the soil, but will be doing that very soon and trying it out that way and putting it into the Vitopod propagator which I bought.

One thing I noticed about propagators is they don't heat the soil to the desired temperature, only the surface that the pots sits on is at the temperature you set it at. Which is why I find using the airing cupboard more effective.

Which leads me onto the next point, what is the optimum temperature for Draco seeds to germinate?

This post was edited by gtiboy on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 17:17

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 5:14PM
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Update: Had my Draco seeds in a propagator for 3 weeks now sitting in a sandy mix tray. Has had heat upto 28 degrees centigrade and kept moist at all times, not over watered. Still nothing.

What's the longest time someone here has had to wait for germination?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 9:27AM
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Hey gtiboy, apparently dracaenas take up to 2 months to germinate. They are just that slow. What sort of medium did you use for them?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 9:25PM
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Crenda SWFL 10A

I've not tried to grow this tree, but I remembered researching it for my landscape. I had bookmarked this article! It may not tell you anything that you don't already know, but I thought I'd share it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sprout Dracaena draco seeds

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 10:27PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Interesting article linked does seem that they can take several weeks to sprout and a temp fluctuation to trigger them into action.

Hope Gtiboy has some luck. Sorry I wasn't able to help much as it was 2004 when I grew mine from seed and looking back I have now forgotten what/and when it all happened!
Gill UK

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 6:35AM
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I used mainly a sandy mix, managed to get one Draco to germinate out of 20 seeds.

I am now trying again to germinate the others, in which I now have mixed the sand with some John Innes compost and lightly covered the seeds with some cactus mix on top, in order to keep the moisture in and stopping the seeds from drying out.

How have others sowed their seeds? Have you buried them under the soil or sowed the onto the surface?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 4:09PM
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I germinate and do first year growth in screened 16" nursery flats 144 seeds/flat. My seeds go down in late autumn, 1/2 inch deep in cactus mix, after cleaning, scarification and an overnight soak (with a few drops of bleach). The flat goes onto the floor of an unheated greenhouse (temp range 38 to 85 degrees F.) with weekly overhead watering. I usually see germination within the first 10 days but continuing for the next two months. Germination rate approaches 100% using this method. Good luck! RTH zone 10a

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 10:03PM
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