Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Borrowed: Dracaena deremensis 'Janet Craig' flowers

New category (borrowed) for PATSP today. Jasdip posted this picture to Garden Web (on this thread) a while back (on 12 Jan. -- there was a backlog of posts to put up before we got to this one), and I thought it was cool. It will be interesting to see if there are follow-up pictures about the flowers once they open.

Open in new window for a much larger picture.

From what I've read and experienced about other Dracaena flowers, the follow-up post may be about jasdip's tragic asphyxiation via Dracaena perfume. I don't think D. deremensis 'Janet Craig' are supposed to be as bad on that count as D. fragrans, but even so. Could be pretty intense.


Darla said...

Don't know anything about this flower, curious though!

Ann said...


I am ethnic Chinese, and there is saying "the Dracaena bloomed!!!! " We call it the Iron Tree, sorry the Lay man's term again. What we gathered is this plant doesn't bloom. If it does, you strike Gold or good luck.

I was in Singapore for 16 years, and I grew lots of Dracaena, in doors and out. The outdoor ones grew to ten feet, but I never had a bloom.

Anonymous said...

This is my Good Luck Day. I have had one of these in my office for years, but now I have a gorgeous bloom. The bloom branch is about 16" long and during the day the blooms close, but at night they open and are amazing. I have a wonderful picture. Linda

Anonymous said...

I have a three stem Janet Craig Dracaena for a while. It grew about 10 ft tall and 3 ft wide(all the 3 stems included in the width) - all in one big indoor pot. Each stem grew a branch. Each of the stem grew to be about 5 ft tall.

Since it is taking too much space and the plant is becoming heavy for the pot, we separated them into 3 pots. The original branches, we trimmed the leafs off and chopped them. We planted each branch( which is a big plant by itself now) into a separate pot. After 3 months of separation one of the plant grew flowers at the tip . Next it flowered on its immediate lower node. Then again on its immediate lower node. It went on till 6 nodes now. It has been 10 days from the first time it started to flower. The flower is more like a bunch of buds together ( reminds me of white broccolini flowers , but in smaller bunch).
The flowers have no smell, so far.
But when I touched it there was a gel coming from them . I noticed that all the nodes that have flowers in them have this gel oozing. As the flowers showed up the small leaves at that node browned and fell off.

I am still waiting to see for how long the flowers will stay alive? will the flowers grow any bigger from their bud stage? How many node will they go down? What happens to the plant itself?

Anybody know any answers?

mr_subjunctive said...


I'm sorry to say I don't have any answers to your questions; nothing like what you describe has ever happened to me, and I've not heard of any plants doing what you describe before.

I would guess that the flowers will eventually open up bigger than buds: if they don't, it could be that they're responding to some sort of environmental problem (too cold? too wet? too dry?). Though, again, I don't know for certain.

My understanding with the related D. fragrans is that the stems which flower eventually die back, though they produce new sprouts first, and the new sprouts go on to be the stem for the new growth. I'd assume something similar would happen in D. deremensis 'Janet Craig' too.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou Mr_Subjunctive for your response for my post on Jan, 2011.

I have a couple of photos of the flowers and the plant itself. Is there a way to upload them to this blog , so that anyone (like me) looking for some information about these plants can get a visual aid?

mr_subjunctive said...


Uploading them to this post probably wouldn't help much; the older posts don't see much traffic. You can e-mail them to me, though, and I could write a new post about your plant. That's more likely to get the attention of a reader who could answer your question, and as soon as the search engines pick up the post, other people will be able to find it too.

Remove the three "a"s from the following e-mail address (I'm trying to keep myself relatively spam-free, is why the inconvenient extra step) and attach the photos:


I won't make any promises about when the post will go up, but I'll try to post within three days of receiving the photos.

Anonymous said...

I just saw the flowers blooming on my plant this morning and had no idea what was going on. I searched it up and came to this page. We have this plant for the past 15 years and never saw it bloom like this before!

Anyone know how to take care of it after this? I usually don't touch the plant and give water to it once in a while. It doesn't get sun much and we usually don't pay too much attention to it at all.

mr_subjunctive said...


As far as I know, you don't need to do anything differently when there are blooms. The blooms may drip nectar, in which case you might want to put something down to protect the floor (D. fragrans flowers are very drippy, anyway; I don't know about 'Janet Craig'), and the stalk that flowers may die after the flowers ago (it'll produce a replacement for itself before it goes, though), but actual watering, feeding, temperature, etc. should all be the same.

Anonymous said...

My mother was given a Janet Craig, (I just figured out what it is today), by our church when I was born 44 years ago. I still have it, and mature potted cuttings go to my kids, and grandchildren when they're born. It has been trimmed down to it's stalk probably three times in it's life; last time about 10 years ago I suppose. It's about five feet tall right now. Only blooms about once every 5-7 years, and smells bad when it does, but boy what treat to see!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see this post. Like a similar response, I've had the plant well over a decade, water it when I remember, and that's about it. Moved it exactly two weeks into a greenhouse-like porch area and my roommate said, "Your plant is goiing to bloom!" After calling her a crazy woman, I am in shock as three buds are clearly visible -I will be quietly eating my words in private later. Can't wait to see what happens!

Anonymous said...


I know this thread is several years old, but I've encountered the same experience with my indoor Dracaena sprouting buds. Each of the buds (about 5) have a sticky gel oozing from them. It has only sprouted for 5 days yet the new growth is about 14" tall!

I accidentally broke a branch off the original stalk and potted it separately. This stalk is about 4 feet tall and has remained in our four seasons room for the past 2 years. We have 2 other Dracaenas in this same room; the tallest being about 7ft (the original stalk we purchased).

Have you been able to provide any information to the previous posts? I look forward to your response... (if you're still active on this blog!)

mr_subjunctive said...


Like what kind of information, exactly?

Willika said...

I am looking for information on flowering Janet Craigs.
We recently took over a Dracaena nursery in SE QLD. All our Janet Craigs in the greenhouses recently bloomed, which we were told only happens every 5 years. The flower stalks died off and we cut them out. Now they are blooming again! Also all our Janet Craig stock in the paddocks are blooming so we can't take any new cuttings.
I know that a lot of plants will flower when stressed. We are wondering if they are lacking a nutrient or if there is another problem. We have had a lot of rain lately and very high humidity for a few weeks now (85-90%). The plants look healthy otherwise apart from mild leaf spot disease.
Thanks in advance for any insights you can give :-)
Best Regards

mr_subjunctive said...


Whoever told you they flower every five years is incorrect, obviously. I haven't had a 'Janet Craig' bloom personally, but they're currently classified as a Dracaena fragrans (used to be D. deremensis) and I have two D. fragrans that bloomed this fall/winter for the third year in a row.

I haven't seen any official scientific pronouncement about it, but my personal suspicion is that they're one of those plants that won't/can't flower until it reaches a certain age or size, and then once it's mature enough to bloom, it'll bloom whenever it feels like it, unless/until it's cut back or whatever.

If your plants are blooming while still very small (say, under 1 m), then maybe there's something bad going on, but my guess is that that they were started as a group, and have matured as a group.

(I should maybe underline that this is just a guess, based on how my plants have behaved and what I've heard about other people's plants; you shouldn't take it as the final word on anything.)

Willika said...

Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I feel somewhat reassured that there is nothing “bad” going on. We will make sure to keep up our usual care of the plants and work around this unexpected occurrence. Nature always has its own reasons for everything and I am sure this is no exception! Thanks again 😊