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I have three Dracaena fragrans house plants that were propagated form another large plant. I've found that two of them have White root rot disease. (The plant that did not have the fungus was the topmost cutting.)

Can I propagate healthy plants from their cuttings (that is, is the fungus confined to the roots, or does affect the whole plant, so that the propagated plants will also end up having the disease)?

[I suspect that the large plant I propagated the tree plants had some root issues (the leaves had yellow spots and were turning brown and drying out at the end), although I couldn’t identify any problems with the roots when I was replanting it, so I assumed it had to do with some unfavorable conditions. I’ve been having the large plant for a year or so, and except for the yellow spots on the leaves I got it with it seems to be doing ok. ]

  • What is this "White root rot disease" that you write about? Are the roots white which is healthy or brown and soft which is rotted due to overwatering? – kevinsky Mar 29 '18 at 0:00
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You can try it.

Do it in a pot, so that you will not propagate the fungi, after some months, check the plant and the root, and decide if the fungi were also propagated or not.

On tree, you see the filaments also on trunk, so it is not only a disease of roots, but OTOH I do not think it go to branches (and on trunk it is already a terminal phase)

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I would wash the mush off the roots and plant the entire plant. But cuttings should do fine.

You have to use sterilized potting soil. Just soil, no rocks, compost, gravel. hole at the bottom of the pot. Bottom of pot lifted off surface with little flat pieces of tile. Small pots, do not put a little plant in a huge pot. Gradually enlarge your pot. As your plant gets larger.

The reason for this fungus is that you probably used garden soil in your pots? Sterilized potting soil only for plants in pots; indoors or out of doors. Don't water until plant and pot feel light.

Send a picture please.

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You note in your question that the disease is a fungus.

Both powdered (agricultural) sulphur and cinnamon are natural fungicides and are considered environmentally sustainable without any negative side effects to soil or plants.

Regarding powdered sulphur, two issues worth noting:

  • Powdered sulphur also acts to temporarily acidify soil, albeit to a minor extent; and
  • Powdered sulphur can cause allergic reactions in some people, so handle with care, wear appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves and a face mask.

If your concerned about the health of your cuttings, I would encourage you to undertake the following steps:

  1. Use a rooting hormone powder to “dust” over the surface of the length of the cutting that will be buried in soil;
  2. Mix a small quantity (tablespoon) of either cinnamon or powdered sulphur into the soil you will use in each pot;
  3. Apply a small amount of liquid tonic to the cuttings, initially then every two weeks in warm weather and every four weeks in cold weather (although some discretion is required), that is a mix of half (manufacturer’s recommended) strength of both seaweed solution and soil bacterial solution.

Dracena is relatively easy to strike, however do not be discouraged if the original length of stem/trunk dies back. Continue your care as if the plant were alive for at least six months. I’ve had Dracena cuttings completely die back, then the following spring, watch with happiness as new growth emerges from beneath the soil.

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