Dracaena fragrans – Did you know it flowers? We get emails regularly asking about the flowering of Dracaena fragrans. The emails go something like this:
I have a Dracaena fragrans – “Corn plant” and have had the plant for 5 years – in some cases more. It is blooming for the first time. I did not know it even bloomed.
- How long will the flowers last?
- Will the plant die?
- Can I cut off the flower stalk?
I must go on record and let you know that I am writing only from experience and cannot give you the full details on the the Dracaena fragrans flowering indoors – it’s not the most common event!
Hopefully some of our interiorscapers will write and give us their hints and tips.
As I write this I have a dracaena fragrans massangeana planted outside in the ground and flowering. It is approximately 180 feet from my house and I can smell the intoxicating fragrance every evening.
Background on Dracaena Fragrans
Most of the time you find Dracaena fragrans flowering it will be on very mature plants. Plants usually 6 feet and up.
The flower stalks emerge out of the center of the leaf whorl and will grow to sometimes 3 feet in length arching to the ground.
In the evening the plant gives off a sweet fragrance that is noticeable for hundreds of feet. The fragrance is very strong as some of you have experienced. One person even said that they had to open the office doors to air out the place!!!
Now to the questions:
Will the Plant Die?
No – The plant will continue to grow. The plant will begin by putting out a new head of foliage. The center of the plant – the growing tip – is no longer active after flowering.
A new “head” will emerge out of the center of the foliage next to where the flower stalk was. This is similar to pruning a plant and new growth starts below the cut.
It is also possible that more then one head may emerge. Specimens with branched trunks occur when two heads develop where the old flower stalk was and has matured.
How Long Will the Flower Last?
The fragrance last each evening for approximately 3 to 7 days. It may last longer indoors because it is protected from the elements. After a period of time the flower stalk will eventually wither away.
Can I cut off the Dracaena flower stalk?
Yes, you can cut off the flower stalk. Remember, while the plant is flowering it is putting its energy into the flowers and not into other parts of the plant.
I’d like to hear from the interior people but I think they would recommend cutting off the flower stalks for a couple of reasons.
- The potency of the fragrance indoors can be very strong (especially in commercial settings)
- Pollen may get on the leaves and give a dirty look.
How about you – ever had your Dracaena fragans flower?