Dracaena deremensis

‘Janet Craig’ Dracaena Palm

Dracaena deremensis encompasses several attractive plants. The most well known of the group is the cultivar ‘Janet Craig’. Its 4 inch wide, dark green leaves can reach a length of 18 inches. This gives mature plants a palm-like appearance.

5 foot tall Dracaena 'Janet Craig' growing in a pot.

Young plants will retain all their foliage for many years.

Only with age will the lower leaves drop to expose the canes.

It is this form that some people call the Dracaena palm.

A similar plant is Dracaena fragrans, the indoor corn plant.

You can tell the two apart because the indoor corn plant will develop a yellow stripe down the center of its leaves when grown in high light.

Also, its canes are as thick as your wrist.

The canes of the ‘Janet Craig’ Dracaena are much thinner.

Over several years D. deremensis ‘Janet Craig’ will reach a height of 5-7 feet. When it is mature it may bloom if it gets enough light to do so. After it flowers it will branch at the tip. This may or may not be attractive.

When the one on my porch did this, I cut one of the new shoots off and stuck it into the soil in the pot to make another cane with foliage all the way to the bottom.

I thought it looked strange at the top of the plant.

Other D. deremensis cultivars include the gray-green leaved ‘Warneckii’. Each sword-shaped leaf has a white stripe down both sides.

The leaves of the cultivar ‘Bausei’ have a wide white band in the center and are green on each side.

The older leaves of ‘Rhoers Gold’ are nearly identical to those of ‘Warneckii’. This cultivar’s pale yellow new growth is what distinguishes it.

All Dracaena deremensis plants originate in tropical Africa. None will withstand frost. Unless you live in the tropics, it is best grown as a house plant.

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