Dracaena fragrans
Common Name: fragrant dracaena
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: Tropical Africa
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 15.00 to 50.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White-yellow
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Easily grown in St. Louis in containers as an indoor foliage plant where it typically thrives in organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils in part shade. Use a loamy, peaty, well-drained potting soil. Corn plant is best sited in bright indirect light locations protected from significant periods of direct sun and drafts. Tolerates some low light. Containers may be placed on beds of wet pebbles with regular misting of plant leaves in order to increase humidity. Dry soils usually result in brown leaf tips. Too much sun may prevent best foliage color from developing. Keep soils uniformly moist during the growing season, but reduce watering from fall to late winter. Allow soils to dry slightly between waterings, but never allow the soils to totally dry out. Plants tolerate a wide range of indoor temperatures, but are best grown in temperatures of 60-75 degrees F. Plant containers may be placed outdoors in summer but should always be brought back indoors in early fall before outdoor temperatures begin to dip below 50 degrees F. This is a frost-free tropical perennial.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dracaena fragrans, commonly known as corn plant, is a popular, durable, easy-to-grow indoor houseplant that is native to tropical Africa. Although it may soar to 20’ tall or more in its native habitat, it more often is seen in the 4-6’ tall range as a container plant in the U.S. Rosettes of evergreen, parallel-veined, sword-shaped, bright green leaves typically grow to 2’ long and 3” wide indoors in containers, but may reach 3’ long in outdoor locations. Over time, plants lose their lower leaves revealing bare stems. Fragrant, tiny, white-yellow flowers in round heads appear in terminal panicles. Flowers may be followed by red berries. Flowers and berries rarely appear on indoor plants, however.

Genus name comes from the Greek word drakaina meaning a female dragon.

Specific epithet refers the the fragrant flowers.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Easy to grow houseplant. Watch for spider mites, thrips and scale. Leaves may brown if soils become too moist or too dry. Leaf spot diseases. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants

Garden Uses

Containers for bright indoor locations.