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


Easily grown as an indoor plant in St. Louis. Tolerates a wide range of indoor temperatures. Place in bright indirect light locations protected from direct sun and drafts. Tolerates some low light. Pot may be placed on a bed of wet pebbles to increase humidity. Use a loamy, peaty, well-drained potting soil. Keep soils uniformly moist during the growing season, but reduce watering from fall to late winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dracaena fragrans, commonly called corn plant, is a popular houseplant. Although it may grow to 20’ tall or more in its native tropical habitat in western Africa, it more often is seen in the 4-6’ tall range as a container plant in homes. Grows slowly. Rosettes of plain parallel-veined green leaves (to 2’ long and 3” wide). Over time, plants lose lower leaves revealing bare stems. Fragrant, tiny white-yellow flowers in round heads appear in terminal panicles in winter-spring. Flowers are followed by red berries. Flowers and berries rarely appear on indoor plants. ‘Massangeana’ is a popular cultivar that features a wide central yellow stripe on each leaf.

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

Specific epithet refers the the fragrant flowers.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for spider mites and scale. Leaves may brown if soils are too moist or too dry. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants

Garden Uses

Containers for bright indoor locations.