A tall form, glossy leaves, and low-maintenance care requirements make the Dracaena Janet Craig an easy-care stunner. This plant is dependable, leafy, beautiful, and accepting, so it will be okay if you’re a couple of days late with water. Find out what Janet Craig needs to look her best.
Get to Know Janet
This tropical plant is originally from East Africa and is formally named Dracaena fragrans ‘Janet Craig.’ This plant was formerly classified as Dracaena deremensis and is a variant of the Dracaena warneckii. You may also know Janet by the name compact Dracaena, Dracaena compacta, or corn plant. The last name is due to the tall form and leaf shape, which resemble corn stalks.
Young plants appear as a tuft of foliage that grows in a rosette. New leaves grow from the center as the plant constantly reaches upward. The foliage gently arches back and has a slight wave. The Janet Craig has glossy, solid green, sword-shaped foliage. Lower leaves fall away as the plant grows taller, creating a tree-like appearance. This Dracaena develops a tall stalk that looks similar to bamboo.
Dracaena Janet Craig Light Needs
Give this plant bright indirect sunlight. An east- or west-facing window is a good location, but this plant can also live near a south-facing window. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves and cause thin, black splotches to develop. Spin the pot a quarter turn once each month or every time you water the plant so each side receives even sunlight.
How Often to Water Dracaena Janet Craig
Give the plant water when the top few inches of the potting mix are dry. Feel the soil to determine the best time to water. When you water, drench the soil until moisture drains through the pot. Houseplants like the Dracaena compacta are sensitive to overwatering, so when in doubt, wait. Yellow leaf tips are an early indicator the plant is overwatered, while black or brown foliage occurs when the plant is underwatered.
Dracaena plants may be sensitive to minerals and fluoride often found in tap water. Discolored foliage can indicate that the water’s mineral content is too high. Let tap water sit out for 24 hours so the minerals dissipate, or water your Dracaena using distilled water.
Dust buildup on the leaves looks messy while also diminishing the plant’s ability to conduct photosynthesis. Periodically rinse the leaves or wipe the foliage with a damp cloth to clean the plant.
Best Soil for Dracaena Compacta
Well-draining soil is essential for Dracaena Janet Craig care. Help your plant thrive by providing a rich, mildly acidic potting mix with a 6.1 to 6.5 pH.
Temperature for Dracaena Fragrans
The Janet Craig Dracaena is comfortable in average room temperature between 65° to 75° F. Drastic temperature swings are potentially damaging, so keep the plant away from vents and drafty doors and windows.
Dracaena Janet Craig Humidity Requirements
Janet Craig Dracaena likes 40-50% humidity. Increased humidity is alright, but low humidity is not good. Brown edges on the leaves alert to low humidity. Place the plant in a naturally humid area, place several plants near one other to increase the dampness, or use a pebble tray with water to combat dry air.
Dracaena Janet Craig Fertilizer Basics
Fertilizer provides nutrition houseplants would not receive otherwise. Feed your Dracaena Janet Craig using balanced fertilizer once per month. Water the plant before feeding to prevent fertilizer burn. Only fertilize plants when they are actively growing. Dormant plants do not need to be fed.
Does Dracaena Janet Craig Bloom?
The Dracaena Janet Craig does bloom. Indoor plants do not always set flowers, so don’t be surprised if you have a planet for years that never blooms. A sturdy flower spike emerges from the center of the foliage and features clusters of tiny white blooms. The flowers have a sweet fragrance but produce a sticky sap, so avoid touching them.
Many plant owners select the Janet Craig for its striking and laidback foliage. Flower production slows leaf growth, so many plant owners choose to remove the flower spike. Getting the plant to bloom is an accomplishment and a clear indicator that it is well-cared for and healthy, but the Janet Craig is often grown for its foliage.
Dracaena Compacta Pruning Tips
Remove dead or damaged foliage, which appears to keep your Dracaena looking good. Yellow or discolored leaf tips can be trimmed instead of removing the entire leaf.
The Janet Craig can grow four to six feet tall as a houseplant, which is great if you want a tall plant. If you miss your smaller, more compact plant, trim the central stem. Cut the plant back to the desired height and save the top to propagate. You’ll have a bare stem for a while, but new growth will emerge from the sides of the stem near the top, creating a branched appearance. Prune plants during the spring at the start of the growing season.
When to Repot Dracaena Janet Craig
Your plant will need a new container when the roots grow through the drainage holes or appear above the soil. Dracaena houseplants typically need to be repotted every two to three years. Select a new, larger container with drainage. This plant is a slow grower but can bulk up quickly with proper Dracaena Janet Craig care. If you’ve noticed the plant putting on significant height, you’ll need to repot sooner than later. Try to time repotting for spring when the plant is actively growing.
Dracaena Janet Craig Propagation
Propagate Dracaena Janet Craig by stem tip cuttings. Trim the leading stem, removing the top four to five inches. Remove the lower leaves, exposing the nodes. Place the cutting in water, and roots will grow in a few weeks. The cutting can be transplanted into soil when the roots are at least one inch long. Removing the top of the parent plant will encourage new branched growth, creating a full appearance.
Is the Dracaena Janet Craig Pet Safe?
Dracaena Janet Craig is not pet-friendly. This Dracaena contains saponins which cause vomiting and excessive drooling when consumed. Be aware of the risks before introducing a Dracaena into your home if you have cats or dogs.
Dracaena Compacta Styling Tips
Young plants are leafy and adorable and make the perfect accent for a desk or nightstand. Mature plants bring an effortless air of confidence and foliage to a narrow space or a corner. This Dracaena is a good choice to frame an interior door or brighten a hallway.
Dracaena Janet Craig Care Tips
The Dracaena Janet Craig or Dracaena compact is good-looking, dependable, and not fussy. The green foliage is simple and elegant. Everything about this plant is low-key. If you want an easy-care plant or are trying to figure out a gift, the Janet Craig is a good choice.