Height: 10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m) 12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m) 15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m) 20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
Spacing: 18-24 in. (45-60 cm) 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
Hardiness: USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade Light Shade Partial to Full Shade Full Shade
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Fall/Early Winter
Foliage: Grown for foliage Variegated Shiny/Glossy-Textured
Other details: Flowers are fragrant This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From woody stem cuttings
Seed Collecting: Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible
On Oct 8, 2012, jamic from Fredericksburg, TX wrote:
Like so many other gardeners, I inherited a 6' Dracaena fragrans (Corn plant) & Dracaena marginata (Dragon tree), which I repotted together in front of a window on the sun porch. I've never been particularly fond of Corn plants because their leaves tend to turn yellow, or crisp & brown along the edges & tips. I've been told to avoid overwatering & keep the soil slightly acidic. Anyone have any more specific tips on how to keep this tropical houseplant green & growing?
On Mar 5, 2012, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
Very common house plant (as can be seen by comments below). If ever visiting Hawaii, may see these grown as a cash crop in large fields in full sun. They grow them up to a certain height, then cut them off, stick them in pots for rerooting and send them off for shipping. The cut off portions left in the ground continue to grow, though branch at that point. One plant can produce countless 'canes' for sale over the years.
On Feb 18, 2011, L_Rafael from Luquillo Puerto Rico wrote:
I live in Puerto Rico near of "The Yunque" which is a sub tropical mountainous forest. I planted 3 Dracaena Fragans 3 years ago making a small hole and putting in the ground. And I did not do anything more, and now I have 3 plant like 18 feet hight with a lote of branches. Few days ago I feel a strong fragans, I mean... a very nice strong fragans!. It was a 2 feet flower in the top of one new branch. I don't know about plant..so I began to find out the name of the plant and now I love that plant. I believe that where I live it is the best condition, or environment for this plant. I need information about this plant and any idea about what I can do for reproduction. Thanks and I am open to any suggestion or to give more details about how live this plant in my back yard (temperature, humidity, watering etc). To communications it is up to DG.
On Jan 12, 2011, patricia4jesus from Ashville, NY wrote:
11 yrs. ago I brought home a dish garden from my mom's funeral. The garden eventually outgrew the dish, and each plant was repotted separately. About 5 years ago, I had to cut back the Dracena, and rerooted 2 stalks from it. It is now 5ft. tall again.The morning of Dec.21st., 3 weeks ago, while watering my plants, I spotted 2 buds popping out of the top. My husband said he almost had a heart attack, as he came running to see what my shrills & shock was all about.
I never knew an indoor Dracena flowered. Now the flowering stalk is over a foot high. Only in the evening, it's fragrance fills the room, At first smell, we searched for the cause of what we thought was a danger sign of something gone wrong. To our delight , amazement , and enjoyment we have discovered the fragrance of the Dracena plant.
In a south window, but indirect winter sun, situated beside a humidifier.Gets watered every other week. It enjoys our wood heat temps of 73 - 80 degrees.
On Sep 16, 2010, jskyieeyes3 from Saint Cloud, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
i originally started with a mass planting massangeana a year and a half ago. (it was a triple when i bought it, and one of the first plants i bought) during transplanting, my husband and i separated one of the canes from the rootball (rookie mistake lol) and it took 7 months for it to perish. then we just had the two canes in the pot. during our unseasonably cold winter in central florida last year, the massangeana got hit hard (it is usually very happy on the back porch, but we didn't bring it in until it was too late), and the little cane died. the big cane lost almost all of it's leaves, and my husband had little hope that it would come back. when spring rolled around, we put it back out on the porch, and it just started to explode with new growth! it has come back to nearly what it was (it's not quite there yet), but we're still amazed that it came back at all. it's obviously a very hardy plant! i love it's exotic look, and have my fingers crossed that one day it will flower. =) it only gets watered once every 10 days; any more than that and it droops. it's very easy to care for, and would recommend it for beginners. just be careful when transplanting! =)
On Jun 29, 2010, JeCollinsT from Huntington, VT wrote:
I'm feeling pretty lucky right now. I got this plant because someone left it outside and apt building to die. Wasn't in to bad of shape so I replanted it and I have now transplanted it twice. Now knowing what I know I'll leave it be. But it as already flowered and I think it has only been in its current pot for maybe a couple years. I put it out on our deck this spring and its started to bud to my surprise. I feel pretty bad for it because the wind has knocked it over a few times. I'm wondering if its just flower due to the trauma.
On May 15, 2010, flowerpotgirl from Redmond, WA wrote:
Unbelievable fragrance! We were so shocked when our almost 20-year-old plant suddenly started growing this alien thing out of its top! Every day tendril grew longer and longer and got these balls of spiky thingies growing out of it. We thought it was going to be like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and turn us into pod people. We didn't know what in the heck it was! Last night it bloomed very quickly and, WOW! It smells so incredibly sweet. It was closed up again this morning and didn't bloom again until tonight. It is so entertaining to watch, and I absolutely love the incredibly strong fragrance. It is like a cross of honeysuckle, plumeria, and jasmine. We live in a suburb of Seattle and the plant is in our bathroom which has a large skylight (no direct sun on the plant) and a very large frosted window. Lots of humidity from the shower. I give it a shower every couple of months to wash the dust (and hairspray) off the leaves. I have never repotted it and the pot is very small for its size now (about seven feet). Love this plant!
On May 8, 2010, dbwolfer from Penns Grove, NJ wrote:
I received this plant for Mother's Day about 25 years ago! I have transplanted her about 2 times to bigger pots. During fall and winter I have her in front of windows East side. During Spring and Summer I have her on my deck which gets partial sun all afternoon. I water about once a week. She finally bloomed last summer (2009) with two flower strings. I just put her out on deck end of April this year (2010) and behold, three flower strings now. She smells wonderfull! I was shocked when she did finally bloom. I didn't know they did bloomed! Very hardy plant with little fuss. She started out with two "trunks" and now has 5. I love this plant.
On Feb 27, 2010, donnaishis from Dearborn Heights, MI wrote:
I have a Corn Plant which I received 17 years ago from my grandson. The plant has done beautifully. I always had it in one spot. It has bloomed once. Last year I went to Colombia as a Missionary, leaving someone in the house to watch over things. The person moved the plant. Upon my return, 9 months later,I found the plant in poor condition. There are 2 long shafts out of one stalfk, like always, but now there are leaves only at the very top. I am very concerned. I want to try and bring the plant back to a healthy condition. Does anyone have any ideas of what I can do. I have moved the plant back to the orginal spot. I am holding my breath.
My "Corny" as I like to call it, was taken from my Mom's house as she forgets about her plants. I have had it now about 5 years. It has bloomed 2 times.
First time was when I started a new job. We had only been there for a few months when I noticed the first bloom, or what I thought was a vine. When it bloomed I was so shocked at the smell that I thought I had an alien plant, as I didn't know much about them and thought it was a fluke of nature. Since the "Corny" has bloomed the one time, I began a nice outdoor garden in the summer here in Alaska growing just about everything and realized I had a very green thumb!
But I didn't know that "Corny" would/could bloom again as I didn't know the name until today. Yesterday I realized it looked odd and went to investigate and to my happy surprise, it is blooming again! This is a VERY large bloom this time, as the last was small and viney. "Corny" is a happy plant it seems and I will be taking the seed pods and hopefully grow little "Corny's" for my friend here at work who all are enjoying watching it bloom.
"Corny" bloomed about 3 and a half years ago. So I am pretty happy that I can say it has bloomed twice since I have had it. I do not plan on repotting it anytime soon. I only water it once in a two week period and it does well indooors here in Anchorage. I have noticed that when it does bloom, the temps dip very low (subzero outside) and when the temps come up, "Corny" decided that it is ready to bloom. It is in a south facing window and recieves quite a bit of winter sun.. so I would assume that would be partial sun in the lower 49. I hope you are enjoying your plant as much as I am enjoying mine!
On Dec 6, 2009, Geadeaux from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:
This plant has been in the family for over 20 years, possibly a plant that was a memorial gift when my wife's grandfather died in December 1978. The plant is still potted in its original container and has always a healthy two stalks about 3 feet tall.
Until a year ago it sat in a south-facing piicture window at my in-law's home in Lake Charles, LA where it was well-tended. A year ago the plant moved with my father-in-law to our home where he has continued to tend it as it now camped in front of a new window.
Last week it surprised us as new growth emerged from the top of each stalk,which we finally determined were blooms. The blooms became more prevalent and soon the blooms began wafting a stong fragrence,
I have taken some pictures and will post them onto your site soon.
On Nov 30, 2009, SouthernBelles from Soperton, GA wrote:
I, too, have a beautiful 13 ft. varigated corn plant. She is 6 yrs. old now. Her original cane stalk is only 3.5 ft. tall and she has 4 heads that grew from it. I repotted her in a 20 gal. pot 2 years ago because she was so top heavy. I also planted a varigated heart-shaped philadendrum vine around her and have let it wind around the cane and up into the heads.
I have had to move her 3 times--first from my LR with 8 ft. ceilings to a retirement home that I managed that had 10 ft. ceilings. From there I took her to my fitness center with 14 ft. ceilings where she is about to max out again. I live in a small town and everyone here thinks I'm nuts because every so often, I load my baby in my yard trailer with a pair of hand trucks and go scooting across town on my golf cart pulling this huge corn plant behind it in the trailer. AND Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered NOT 1 BUT 3 BLOOMS on her this afternoon!!.
But, I need advice. I'm out of places to take her, unless I donate her to our courthouse. I hate to lose her but the only info. I can find about trimming a corn plant back says to cut the main stalk off. I'm afraid to do that. Can the tops be cut back at all? What would happen if I trimmed her at the top?
On Nov 29, 2009, yownhonk from Fairbanks, AK wrote:
I've had the same corn plant for almost 10 years. It is now 12+ feet tall and in a 10 gallon pot. It flowered for the 1st time on Thanksgiving Day 2009. I had no idea it would flower until I found this site. My house now smells like lilacs. :) :) :) It has been one of the easiest houseplant I've owned. With 24 hour daylight in the summer, I don't usually have an issue with indoor plants. However, in the winter with only 2-3 hours of daylight I have to baby most indoor plants. Lack of daylight doesn't matter with the dracaena.
My ceiling is 12 feet tall and it is starting to bend. Do I dare cut it off and start over? If so, will it flower again next year?
We have a number of these plants in our atrium sun room. They all flower every single year, usually in November or December.
About a month before blooming, each plant sprouts one or two flowering stalks which grow to about 2 feet in length. Each stalk develops a number of bud clusters.
The plant blooms only at night, and the flowers close and die at daybreak. A portion of each cluster blooms every night for a week or two until all the buds have flowered. Their fragrance is extremely strong, but very sweet and beautiful.
The plant also excrete a clear sticky sap which drips off the flowers and flower stalks. This sap is very sweet, and tastes just like the flowers smell.
As I am writing this, four of our Dracaena fragrans plants are in bloom at the same time.
We absolutely love these plants!
Last summer, one of our plants had grown too tall. I used a hack saw to cut the thick (3 inch diameter) main stalk in half. I then simply planted the top part in another large pot with potting soil mixed with fertilizer. The plant took root easily and is now developing new leaves and shoots. I expect that it will begin to flower next year.
On Aug 17, 2009, DracoVolans from Crestline, CA (Zone 7b) wrote:
I inherited this three to four-foot "tree" from my Mother-In-Law (she had two big ones and asked if I wanted one- I took the smaller of the two), and it was dry, leaves were crispy and yellowed at the tips, and many had long since died. It had been kept in a spot where it got no rain (not that it rains much in Santa Monica these days), only infrequently watered when she remembered to drench it and so I wondered if I'd be able to bring this one back to to full health.
It was far from dead, thankfully, and after a month's careful watering, removing dead growth and keeping it in a semi-shady spot where it gets indirect light, it's bounced back in spades! I cleaned the filth off of the leaves (dust caked on from Santa Monica air, I guess), and now they are glossy and deep green. I don't have the varigated variety, though, as all the leaves are the same shade, and I don't know when it will flower, but I'm hoping. There's even a sapling sprouting from the base in the rocky soil it sits in. When I got this plant, the sprout was a weedy and tiny inch-and-a-half tall, now it's past five inches at least, opening up nicely and going strong.
So my verdict on this tropical beastie is that it's pretty tough, easy to care for, and, if you remember to water it, will grow into wonderfully glossy green heads on the scaled trunks which will twist and corkscrew depending on how you turn it into the sun. Sometimes the trunks are thin and get floppy and using heavy stakes to prop them up helps. I suspect it's leggy due to not enough light or being pot-bound, but I'll re-pot it eventually and see if that changes anything.
I've had my plant for two years. I had to repot it into a heavier container since it got top heavy. In the summer I water once a week. In winter, I water once a month. I have two new shoots growing from each of the two main stems. I might try to grow outdoors.
On Mar 30, 2009, youcanemaillia from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:
Hi guys!! I just bought a plant and so did my friend. We need lots of advice. We don't live in FL, but in KY. We get a mix of all types of weather. We keep our plants inside near the window. First, what does it mean when the tips turn brown? My friend said it wasn't a big deal, but I think it means we are doing something wrong to the plant. My friend just trims the tips when they turn brown. Does anyone know of a sealant to put on plant leaves when torn or cut? Second, how many times do you guys water your plants? I water mine every 2 weeks, but my friend waters hers every other day. Third, is there a certain length of time when you know it's time to repot in a bigger container? My friend said every 4 years, is that right? My last and most important question. When we got our plant we noticed at the end top of each stump, there is a black material. It almost looks like black dried up tar. Seems like it was used as a sealant. Does anyone know what that is? It's at the top of each stump. Does anyone know what it is and the name of it. Thank you guys. Please email me at email@example.com and also post the answers here too.
On Mar 3, 2009, thefamilycircus from Sparks, NV wrote:
I, too, noticed about a year ago that my plant began to sprout these beautiful yet very pungent blooms. It was disturbing at first as I had had my plant for more than 20 years and never experienced anything like it before. I thought for sure something was wrong with my plant. The smell was so strong it penetrated throughout my home and in fact awoke me one night with nightmares so that I finally cut off the blooms.
Now almost a year later it has bloomed again with the same beautiful flowers and strong fragrance. This time it oozed a clear sticky sap-like substance. I decided to look the flowers up and found this website. I am very pleased to find that there is nothing wrong with my plant and look forward to seeing if it will bloom again.
I have really enjoyed my plant as it is very easy to maintain and seems to thrive with the occasional lack of attention that it receives.
Thank you all for the helpful information. I look forward to visiting this site regularly.
On Jan 4, 2009, dizzyup7 from Poughkeepsie, NY wrote:
I came to this site last year when my plant started flowering. My mother had this plant for more then 20 years when she gave it to me. I was actually very concerned that there was some type of parasite or something growing out of it, but when I came here and found out it was flowering. Much as people said in the past, the flowers were beautiful, white in color and the fragrance was strong and amazing. The flowers bloomed every night for about 2 weeks until finally dying off. I read more about this, and was lucky to have experienced it - since it apparently happens only once or twice in its lifetime to this plant.
Anyways, I came back again today, because it has started flowering again - for the second year in a row! I have done a little searching and cannot find another example of one flowering two years in a row. The plant has two stalks, and the only difference this year from last year is that only one of the stalks is flowering. Last year both did.
Our plant is about 7 1/2 feet tall, with two stalks. The flowers are attached to a branch of sorts that is comes out of the top of the stalk. Last year it was both stalks, this year it is only the tallest stalk.
On Dec 26, 2008, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:
For the first time last year my Janet Craig compacta flowered.This year for the first time in over 20 years my regular leaf Janet Craig flowered in it's life. Unlike my large 5' compacta ,my regular leafed Janet is a wall covereing giant with multiple blooms that..REAK! lol.Sorry,but that many blooms in 10X 10' room is overpowering. Good thing it's an extra room used for plants and my Aquariums. Ah, just a few more days and besides, the blooms are like an exotic bromeliad,maybe even orchid.
"fragans" is an understatement.
On Feb 16, 2008, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:
last spring, i set this plant in the ground under my hardy banana tree in full sun. the foliage quickly burned off, and looked quite ratty for a cupple weeks or so, but quickly recovered, and had a nice tropical effect under the banana. unfortunently i had to dig it up just before the first frost and bring it back indoors. im doing nothing about it, and it looks wonderful! its in more shade than thought possible for a plant to survive, and i havnt watered it scence october, heck, i didnt even care to put it in the pot right, its growing at a 45 degree angle as of now, and it couldnt care less! i cant wait to put it back in the ground this spring, and i wander if the foliage will burn off again.
We were amazed that the unlikely source of this honey suckle/rose type scent came from this plant, all of the input about this plant rung true here.
We have had this plant ten years and it bloomed in the east facing window in december.
My girl friend's coworkers joked that the plant liked me because the plant was set next to where I sit and thats why it bloomed and yes I could not explain where the sap on my feet came from.
I have had this plant for about 7yrs. I had no idea it bloomed. About 1 week ago (Nov. 1, 2007) I noticed the flowers and 3 days later realized that the strong scent I was smelling(honeysuckle like) was coming from the plant. Although, the smell is beautiful it is very fragrant & strong enough to permeat most of my 2 story home. I guess I don't need inscense any more!
We have several of these plants throughout our yard. We are in Florida. They grow well here in direct sun light. We were shocked to find that they fruited this year! They flower all of the time and I am thankful for Claritin. The fruit is orange and has a large seed in the middle like a cherry. The outer skin is a little tough but tastes very sweet. We started this from one plant and now have several over a twenty year period. Has anyone else had there plant fruit?
On Mar 3, 2007, colmenar from malaga region Spain wrote:
I live in southern Spain and have just been given a dracaena fragrans, I have no idea haow to care for it ,or if in these climates I can keep it outside. Our temp at the moment, March, is approx 35 C. The plant is about 3 ft tall and potted in a clump of 3, with a lot of heads on it. Can you help me. Many thanks
I just read everyone's comments regarding the blooms. I am so excited because mine has began blooming after about 3 years. This is just amazing to me. It looks and smells like honeysuckle. I did some research and discovered after the blooms, the plant produces fruit. I cant wait to see what they look like. This plant truely is indestructable. I am not the greatest at remembering to water it. Mine sits near an east window.
This plant is truly indestructable. I can't believe it is blooming. We water it when it's about to die and after 8 years of true neglect, it has now bloomed! My entire house smells of the blooms! Not sure that is a good thing yet...will let you know...it's very strong!
On Sep 11, 2005, vickyh from Saint Cloud, MN wrote:
I have had my plant for about 15 years. We moved from California to Minnesota in 1992 and we brought it with us. It is now about 8 feet tall. It is getting too tall to keep inside and I want to propagate it but am hesitating, as I don't want to kill it. It has two stalks and does not have any leaves on the bottom. I did not know that it could flower until I found this website. I am open for suggestions.
We got this plant from a friend several years ago but have NO IDEA how old it is... it was tall when we got it. It started blooming for the first time last week. The smell is very sweet and very strong. If you check out my pic, you'll notice that there is a small stalk on the right side of the pot. This is a piece that broke off the left stalk because it was too heavy. I just stuck it down in the dirt to see if it would grow, but I didn't expect it to because is has such a woody stalk. I really didn't think it would root, but it has new growth on it! This is a VERY good plant and doesn't require any special attention... just add water! :)
On Jan 24, 2004, maisoui11 from Modesto, CA wrote:
i have had one of these in a pot on my covered patio in orlando for about 2 and a half years, and it does very well. it blooms dec-feb, and shares its pot with some (very successful) philodendrin (sp?) (I bought it that way.) I water it about once a week, and of course in the summer it also gets some rain and a lot of humidity.
as for cutting back the blooms--i usually cut them off once they are done--not because anyone told me to, though :)
1-22-04 I have had my plant for about 3 years as a house plant. I didn't realise it would bloom, and don't know if I should cut off the bloom now that the flowers are spent. I thought the smell was beautiful and smelled up the whole area. It is in it's original pot, but I may transplant it and set it outside sometimes since it isn't cold here.
I've had my corn plants since 1992. There were three "stalks" together. In the Summer of 2002 the paper "pot" finally had had it, so I removed the largest one and re-potted the 3 into 2 pots. I put the solitary plant in front of one of my Eastern-facing windows and it amazed me by blooming Dec 2002. I have posted a pic here.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Jones, Alabama Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Lake Havasu City, Arizona Folsom, California Hayward, California Laguna West-lakeside, California Santa Monica, California Valley Village, California Victorville, California Denver, Colorado Henderson, Colorado Norwich, Connecticut Azalea Park, Florida Bartow, Florida Big Pine Key, Florida Boca Raton, Florida Boyette, Florida Chuluota, Florida Deltona, Florida Fort Myers, Florida Haverhill, Florida Lauderdale-by-the-sea, Florida Lutz, Florida Melbourne, Florida Miami, Florida (2 reports) North Andrews Gardens, Florida North River Shores, Florida Pembroke Pines, Florida Port St Lucie, Florida Saint Cloud, Florida Saint Petersburg, Florida Sebring, Florida Sewall's Point, Florida Stuart, Florida Valrico, Florida West Bradenton, Florida Winter Park, Florida Lawrenceville, Georgia Soperton, Georgia Stone Mountain, Georgia Makakilo City, Hawaii Girard, Illinois Mackinaw, Illinois Baton Rouge, Louisiana Gonzales, Louisiana Richmond, Maine Albion, Michigan Detroit, Michigan Pleasant Lake, Minnesota Sparks, Nevada Carneys Point, New Jersey Ashville, New York Red Oaks Mill, New York Charlotte, North Carolina Clemmons, North Carolina Lilesville, North Carolina Fruit Hill, Ohio Landen, Ohio Lawton, Oklahoma Harbeck-fruitdale, Oregon Jennings Lodge, Oregon Springfield, Oregon Luquillo, Puerto Rico Vieques, Puerto Rico Austin, Texas Broaddus, Texas Dallas, Texas Doyle, Texas Enchanted Oaks, Texas Fredericksburg, Texas Frisco, Texas Hill Country Village, Texas Palm Valley, Texas Spring, Texas Redmond, Washington